Top Performers & Breakout Players – Who Stood Out at CNIT?

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The hottest spot in Canada for basketball this past weekend was the Canada National Invitational Tournament.

Not only did top-notch talent battle on the court, but the NCAA D1, CIS and OCAA programs were evaluating, looking to find pieces to add to their rosters.

Over 145 games where played at the first annual CNIT, July 8-12.

Courtesy: Sam Mantini

Courtesy: Sam Mantini

With all that talent in the gyms, you can bet our talent evaluators Elias Sbiet, Tariq Sbiet, Srdjan Pejicic, and Nikolaus Zefi were licking their chops at the chance to find some stand out performers.

So without further ado, here are who we thought really stuck out:

Feature Prospect: Addison Patterson (G/F – Mississauga Wolverines | 2020)

Addison_PattersonStanding at a whopping 6’6, Addison Patterson (2020) has grown about three inches since I had seen him last. Along with that growth spurt has come the evolution of his game. How good is Patterson? Well let’s put it this way, in a few years time he could be the best Canadian prospect regardless of class. When evaluating his skill-level, his mechanics and fluidity at his size, when compared to others of the same size and age, or older, are not even close. His offensive capabilities are endless as shown by his multiple 30-point efforts against the GTA Guardsmen and Team Newfoundland at the CNIT. “I wasn’t even close to as good as Addison when I was his age,” raved Mississauga Wolverines head coach and Toronto basketball legend Phil Dixon. “His feel and basketball IQ are so high, along with his physical tools.” But what really impressed me the most when I watched Patterson were his defensive instincts. Anchoring a 2-3 zone at the CNIT, Patterson showed that he is a legit rim protector, accounting for multiple blocks, deflections and altered shots, even when playing a year up at the U14 level. Stay hungry and humble young man because you have next!

Kyle Duke (G – 2021 | YAAACE)

Duke had a flare for the dramatic at the CNIT as he, along with teammates Marcus Moore, Jemoi Syblis, and Jevaughn Boothe, stormed back from an 8-point second half deficit to take the U12 crown from WNYE. Duke is a great all around player, with a good handle, and good playmaking ability. He is able to take what the game gives to him and make the most out of each situation. Duke is also a shot maker, encompassed in his 2 three point bombs that allowed his YAAACE team to come back into the championship game and eventually win. With a little more sense of urgency added into his game, Duke will be a force in the 2021 class for years to come.

Joshua Bascoe (G – 2021 | S-Elite)

Joshua Bascoe

Joshua Bascoe

S-Elite had a convincing run to the semi-finals before being dealt a crushing 72-69 blow at the hands of WNY. Nevertheless, Bascoe lead his team in that effort with 20 points–a feat that he is usually accustomed to achieving. Bascoe is a heady point guard who can be seen as the best pure point guard in his age group. Along with a strong basketball IQ, Bascoe shoots a high percentage from the three-point arc, and also has great playmaking and leadership qualities. As he matures, gets bigger and stronger, Bascoe will continue to be in discussion for not only the best point guard in his class, but player too.

Jalen Bradberry (PG – 2021 | Western New York Elite)

Courtesy: Sam Mantini

Courtesy: Sam Mantini

As the only American team in the tournament, Jalen Bradberry and WNYE impressed in the U12 division making it to the finals before eventually falling to YAAACE. Jalen Braddberry was an absolute beast at the CNIT as, in one game, he dropped 35 points, including 9 threes in a win over SBA. As he continues to learn and understand at which tempo to play during the game, expect to hear this one’s name around basketball circles, on both sides of the border.

Moon Heath (2021 – OYBA)

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Moon probably has the highest potential of any player in the U13 division at this point. His length, stride, and shifty dribble at 6 foot 2 inches for a seventh grader are jaw dropping. However, potential is the key word here as Moon is very raw at this point in time. Moving forward, with a continuing focus on improving his jump shot, and protecting the ball so he isn’t stripped continuously, the ceiling is very high for this Ottawa native.

Brendon Ocampo (2021 | SBA)

Brandon is a great two-way offensive point guard that uses effective passing, and the ability to score at will to his advantage. In SBA’s game against Brampton, this talented lead guard was able to score half of his teams points (16) in the first half alone, keeping them in the game. Decision-making will really allow for Brandon to further his skill set, as this young PG is just starting to make a name for himself.

Courage Ogbeibe (2021 | Brampton Warriors)

A Canadian junior academy participant, Courage Ogbeibe has transitioned from playing the centre position, to filling out the small and power forward position. Along with his excellent footwork, the 5’11” Brampton product is a high-energy player, especially on the offensive boards. Courage also brings a great post game to his repertoire, and is one of the most skilled players at his position.

Chris Sagl (2020 – Oakville Venom)

Here’s a kid that is very skillful at the lead guard position, and constantly had my head turning during the Venom’s game against Canada Elite. Chris can finish left, right and has some good speed and footwork that allows him to get to the rim. Explosiveness and size are aspects of Chris’s game that continue to progress, but this is a real dynamic player that we will continue to hear from down the line.

Ladera Obang Ujulu (G/F – 2020 | Waterloo Wolverines)

Ladera is special. Arguably a top 5 U13 player in the CNIT. He possesses all the skills to take over a game. Standing at 6’3 with serious length. The best part of his game is that he is a stat stuffer. The game vs Ottawa Elite really showed his best; finishing with 21 points, 7 assists, 8 rebounds, 4 steals and 3 blocked shots with only 2 TOs. Hitting 5 threes from all over the court. Making the right pass to his teammates. Having active hands and using his length on defense to get deflections that led to easy baskets. He cheers his teammates on and encourages his team no matter what the situation. He is a very humble kid as well. He always examples how he needs to get better and always asks questions on his improvement. The sky is the limit for Ladera.

Jordan Persad (G – 2020 | Canada Elite)

Jordan put through a very effective and efficient effort during his YAAACE teams run to the championship game. Persad had multiple 20 point contests during the CNIT, with his tournament high coming in at 23 points, including 4 threes, vs. the Marksmen. His ability to adjust his game to the tempo at which it is being played at shows he has a great feel and knowledge for the game. Couple that with a strong work ethic and some added bulk and attention to defense in the future, and Persad will be electrifying gyms for years to come.

Cashius McNeilly (G – 2020 | Canada Elite)

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McNeilly’s basketball IQ, length, and poise are his biggest asset as the U13 point guard has great character and plays controlled under any sort of pressure. He is able to get to the rim consistently, and has a really good understanding of passing lanes and which angles he needs to cut off, defensively. With added aggression, and more work on his jumper, he will take his game to another level; McNeilly is arguably a top 5 prospect in the class of 2020.

Keisaun Robertson (G – 2019 | Hoops Canada)

Robertson of Hoops Canada had a great, overall, showing at the CNIT. A deadly scorer, Robertson typically beats his opponents getting to the rim and also from the free-throw line, as the aggressive lead guard never takes his foot of the gas pedal. In his 32 and 20 point winning efforts against the Markham Gators, and team Newfoundland, Robertson shot a combined 20 free-bees.

Cal Hager (F/C – 2019 | Tri-County Canada)

Tri-County Canada proved they were the toughest team at the U14 level coming away with the underdog championship. Hager is very skilled and athletic for his size, length, and position. Add that with a silky smooth jumper, and Hager has all the tools to succeed. He has a good feel for the game, and moves the ball well, always finding the open man. Moving forward with added poise, tweaking his ability to bounce back from his mistakes, and added aggression, Hager’s potential is very high.

Jared Parkin (G/F – 2019 | DC United)

This DC United product that could shoot the lights out of the gym. Parkin has great mechanics and fluidity on his jumper, and a good consistency in his ability to get open and create space off the dribble. He stands at a slender 6’2 and has shown glimpses of being able to attack the basket, steadily. As his understanding of the game increases, and he becomes more of a leader, big things could be in the making for Parkin.

AJ Lawson Jr (G – 2019 | Markham Gators

Lawson played up a year at CNIT, and averaged over 20 PPG, thanks to his smooth three-point stroke. Very good length, and looks to still be growing. When he’s out on the perimeter, he’s locked and loaded. Certainly had himself a breakout performance.

Joshua Inkumsah (F/C – 2019 | Markham Gators)

Still a little rough around the edges, Joshua Inkumsah showed some positive play during the CNIT. At 6’4 Inkumsah moves well on the court, and has a athletic stride. Added with good ball handling, and a toughness inside when battling for boards, and this prospect stock is on the uprise. With more consistent shooting, and playing against better competition, Inkumsah’s game will start to shape up nicely.

Liam Chislett (G – 2019 | Team Newfoundland)

Chislett impressed about everyone that saw him play. With his great pace, and tempo during the game, added to his strong shooting, dribbling ability, and a knack for being a top notch playmaker and this prospect reigning from Eastern Canada had heads turning during the entire CNIT. This lead guard proved to be a consistent contributor and tough as nails, in terms of physicality on both ends of the floor. Our first look at Chislett and it certainly won’t be our last.

Wazir Latiff (G – 2019 | YAAACE)

YAAACE and coach Carlos Wadley have a great point guard and floor general in Wazir Latiff. Here is a lead guard that has good athleticism, and a great craftiness to his game. Couple that with a solid jumper and his ability to control the pace and tempo of the action there is some real potential in Latiff’s game. As he continues to expand his range on his jump shot, get stronger, and really focus on the details of the defensive end of the ball, expect good things from the Toronto native.

Lala Sheli (G – 2019 | Waterloo Wolverines)

Courtesy: Sam Mantini

Courtesy: Sam Mantini

Lala stands at 6’3 with a wide wingspan. Lala is a very skilled forward with a good body for basketball but still growing and developing. Isn’t awkward when handling the ball or attacking the rim. One of his best moments of the weekend for him was when he came from help side to block the defender picking up the loose ball and going coast to coast to finish using a spin move to break the defense and drawing the foul. He moves at a calculated speed; examining the court and willing to provide the extra pass. The next step for him would be expanding his range and working on his foot speed to be able to switch to smaller guards defensively.

Jahbril Price – Noel (G – 2018 | Canada Elite)

Jahbril brings some great physical tools to the table as far as his size and skill-level go. Here is a 6’4 combo guard that can create offense for himself, and also his teammates becoming a playmaker when need be. He was the top producer for Canada Elite’s U15 team and has a tonne of upside.

Dominic Bakuteka (2018 | Team Breakdown)

Bakuteka i a strong and quick guard with the ability to find the cracks and attack the rim to draw contact. He was able to hit some big time threes in timely situations, while creating for himself and others. Was also able to turn consistently defence into offence.

Kevaugh Touzalin (G – 2018 | Brampton Warriors)

Touzalin was able to impress at the CNIT with multiple 20-point efforts, dictated on good shooting. In his highest output, a 23-point game against DC United, the Brampton product was able to connect on three downtown bombs in a 65-51 losing effort. Expect more good things from Touzalin who has pushed his spot onto the NPH radar.

Chad Vincent (G/F – 2018 | Markham Gators)

Vincent is a prospect that we became very familiar with when we discovered him at our NPH Toronto showcase. Vincent is a very good athlete that thrives in transition as a wing. He also displays his athleticism and physical tools on defence using his quick feet, and long wingspan to cover his opponents. Vincent has one of the highest motor at his age group, and has shown the ability to get points in a variety of ways. As he continues to tighten up his skill-set through tighter ball handling, mid-range and 3 point shooting, his upside is tremendous.

Quincy Guerrier (G – 2018 | Thetford)

This Quebec product had been a straight scoring machine during the CNIT’s u15 division play. Guerrier had a strong showing against Canada Elite, dropping 30 points in a variety of different ways. Agianst S-Elite he was also able to drop 22 points, including 6 from deep, making noise and proving to be one of the most consistent three point shooters at the tournament. In addition, at the CNIT he received interest from Weber State, Maine, and Vermont.

Shakur Daniel (G – 2018 | Grasstroots)

Daniel and his Grassroots team had a very entertaining and competitive run to the CNIT finals against Canada Elite. Daniel had a strong final game, filling the stats sheet up with 17 points, including two long bombs, and going 3 of 4 from the free-throw line. Daniel is an athletic guard that has great mobility and ball skills for his size and age.

Nickeil Alexander-Walker (G – 2017 | Canada Elite)

Courtesy: Sam Mantini

Courtesy: Sam Mantini

N.A.W. is a freak when it comes to describing his fluidity with the ball in his hands standing at 6’5. He has supreme competitiveness and toughness on the basketball court along with an air of confidence about his play. Length, shooting ability, and the ability to be clutch in late game situations most describe N.A.W’s game. With added girth and strength, here is a prospect that everyone is going to want a piece of. One of the best overall prospects at CNIT, regardless of age.

Zubair Seyed (PG – 2017 | Waterloo Wolverines)

Seyed had himself a great showing at the CNIT notching 23, and 13 points respectively. Seyed has a good handle on the ball and a high basketball IQ as he is always looking to always make the smart pass. When pressured this weekend he passed out of double teams in the backcourt and shot the ball extremely well. His favourite shot is the corner ball which he shot at a high efficiency. He is really small. The next step in his development is adding bulk and strength to his frame.

Kobril Gany (G – 2017 | Waterloo Wolverines)

Coming into this summer, Gany was mainly a lock down defender. But, through working on his jumper, especially his pull up game, he has been able to transform himself into a real offensive threat. He is a real competitor who never backs away from a challenge shown by his 23 point and 19 point efforts with a combined 7 three point baskets. As Gany continues to work on his poise, and basketball IQ, expect him to become tougher mentally, and always play his hardest, no matter the competition ahead of him. Stock rising.

Jordan Brathwaite (G – 2017 | S-Elite)

A physically gifted athlete, Brathwaite showed off his impressive shooting stroke at the CNIT. He is able to confidently hit deep threes on a consistent basis and also play good hard nose defense. To continue his evolution, the young guard has to improve his leadership, play making ability along with his basketball IQ in order to run the point at the next level.

Mattia Colangelo (G – 2017 | Canada Elite)

Colangelo has all the intangibles, basketball IQ, and shooting ability necessary at the highest of levels. His output of 19 points on 5 threes vs. Thetford illustrated his capabilities. Playing on a stacked Canada Elite squad, sacrifice for the greater good of the team is required; Colangelo never complains or displays negative body language. Instead, this guard has been a steady producer on both ends of the floor. This Ivy League prospect is now Atlanta bound for the Under Armour championships

Shakwon Barrett (G – 2017 | Grassroots)

Shakwon Barrett defending

Shakwon Barrett defending

Shakwon had a solid weekend as this smart, high IQ guard led his Grassroots team. He can easily pick apart any defence, and has the ability to go to the rim and finish with either hand. He always is making the right basketball play! Moving forward, with added aggression and improvement on his jumper, Barrett will elevate his game to the next level.

Christian David (G/F – 2017 | SElite)

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After coaching him a year ago at the Toronto  NPH Showcase (Srdjan Pejicic), I have seen MAJOR improvement. He is quicker, better handles, handles pressure better and handles contact much better as well. David’s game is smooth like silk. When doubled he makes the right pass, and strokes it with the best of them. One big step forward would be developing that killer instinct. Humble kid, with a bright future.

Chris Poloniato (G – 2017 | Guelph CYO)

Poloniato COMPETES at a high level. It doesn’t matter who the opposition is, he will fight on defense. You can see his passion for the game is very high as well as his basketball IQ. He can handle the ball and relieve pressure for his PGs. He can guard 1-3 as well as he fronts hard against the 4s and 5s. There is no fooling around or showmanship in games, rather its all business until the final buzzer. On the offensive end, he moves the ball and can finish in numerous ways. He still needs to develop a consistent pull up jumper and some explosiveness around the rim.

Ahmed Ali (G – 2016 | BTB)

He holds the scoring record at the CNIT with 44 points. To go along with the 44, he added a step back game winner that made the gym explode. This PG is rather small for the next level but he plays big. Doesn’t take possessions off on the offensive end, however if he applies the same passion and urgency on defense, hie will take his game to new heights.

Robbie Bramhill (G – 2016 | Waterloo Wolverines)

Lights out, knock down, dead eye shooter. Keeps the ball high, feet balanced, and doesn’t pass up any kind of shot. His ability to find the open space is second to none. He moves with the ball rather than standing in one spot. This weekend having 20+ point games was a regular occurrence. Many coaches were asking who is the lanky shooter on Waterloo. His foot speed and getting lower on the attack and on defense is key for the next level. Robbie Bramhill was the BREAK OUT performer of the CNIT.

Nedim Hodzic (F/C – 2016 | Waterloo Wolverines)

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A mixture of Dennis Rodman and Enes Kanter, Nedim plays bigger than his 6’4 frame. A serious fighter under the basket but still having finesse and a soft touch after gaining contact. His don’t-quit attitude made him a problem all weekend. He couldn’t even be stopped by UNLV commit Justin Jackson. Nedim vs Justin was a gift to watch. Nedim had 12 points and 6 rebounds at half time while Justin was held to 2 points and 2 rebounds with 3 TOs. Nedim also had a chance to send the Championship Game at the CNIT to overtime but the shot rimmed out. His next step is working on his jumper and overall perimeter abilities.

Michael Edwards (G – 2016 | Grassroots)

mike edwards

Edwards is a solid all around point guard whose specialty is shooting the rock, especially from deep. He has a shooters mentality, and when he sees the ball go in a few times, watch out because he can get hot in a hurry. Edwards also brings solid passing and a high basketball IQ to the table. As his defense gets stronger, particularly his quickness, Edwards will be a solid addition to any team.

Godwin Boahen (PG – 2016 | Canada Elite)

Boahen made the most of his opportunity at the CNIT as the lighting quick bulldog type guard picked up offers from Niagara, and Eastern Kentucky. Boahen’s game was on full display as he showed off his ability to get to the rim and also shoot the outside jumper, consistently. Just a quick note as well, he was able to score 18 points in 3 minutes of action down the stretch for Canada Elite, and in the Championship game he dropped a game high 25 points to edge Waterloo Wolverines by 2 points, 72-70. Talk about scoring in bunches.

Dylan Gregory (SF- 2016 | Hoops Canada)

Gregory has made steady progress over the last year; he has matured mentally in terms of increasing I.Q and playing with substance. He has always had the physicals, however at CNIT he handled the ball with little to no turnovers. He basically played point forward for Hoops Canada. He broke down the defence and when help side came he passed it off to the open man for uncontested jumpers. He had a series of possessions where he would break down the defender going middle and either finish at the rim and one…or pass off to the corner for the open 3. He needs to improve his jumper, in order to become a threat, and limit defenders from sagging off.

Marcus Ottey (G – 2016 | Canada Elite)

otteyThe super athletic Marcus Ottey again showed off his athletic prowess, specifically with his hammer on Nedem Hodzic’s head.

Ottey also had some great defensive plays during the tournament and really uses his smooth stride, quick feet, and leaping ability at that end of the floor.

As he moves to be a more complete player and increase his basketball IQ, Ottey and his specialty dunk, the left-handed hammer, will soon find an NCAA home.

Abdul Mohamed (2016 | Ottawa Next Level)

Mohamed averaged 13 points per game, including 22 against Burlington on 5/7 on 3P. He made some big offensive plays and contributed on the defensive glass.

Gabriel Gymafi (2016 | Mississauga Monarchs)

With Gabriel’s 6’5 frame and length, he helped his team with defending three positions (1-3) and used his athletic ability on the offensive end of the court by scoring 14 points per game. A very versatile scorer who can mix it up, inside-out.

John Nwosu (2016 | Markham Gators)

john nwosu

Nwosu is a 2016 guard climbing the charts, due to his consistency over the course of the last year both in high school and club ball. A 6’1 strong, athletic, slashing guard that thrives in transition, has a developing skill set and provides defensive versatility.

Jake Price (2016 | London Ramblers)

Price is a scoring guard, who shot the ball extremely well from deep throughout the weekend, and was London’s main offensive threat. That said, Price is a two-way player that had a solid defensive showing, taking a number of charges and effective in his role of defending the opponents’ primary ball handler.

Jordan Aquino (PG – 2015 | Sphere)

Aquino is a very good ball handler who is able to create space effectively and make shots, even the very difficult ones. Standing at 5’11, Aquino has been working on building muscle mass to help add to his overall strength and quickness. The Sphere point guard brings great defensive instinct to the court as well, and is a top uncommitted point guard in Canada.

Alonzo Walker (F/ – 2015 | Brampton)

One of the top unsigned players of his class, Alonzo Walker was dunking everything at the CNIT. An athletic specimen, Walker has great hops and a nose for the ball, especially on the offensive boards. His length, combined with his high motor is his most attractive qualities.

Devonte Bandoo (2015 | Brampton)

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Standing at around 6’3, Devonte Bandoo has a very efficient, and effective offensive game that includes thunderous dunks, and three point shooting, on a limited amount of dribbles. Bandoo knows when to pick his spots, and is a nightmare for the opposing team in transition. He is very adapt at taking what the game gives him in almost every situation, and plays with a great motor on defense as well.

Kris Rotterman (2015 | Burlington Force)

Rotterman hit a game-winner VS BTB and lead a Burlington run after being down 22 to Markham, for a comeback victory. Against Hoops Canada, Rotterman provided clutch threes and baskets in traffic. Overall, he was Burlington’s best player throughout CNIT.

Overall, the dominance of the Canada Elite teams were shown as they took championships in every age group except the u15s, where Tri-County were crowned Champions.

We notice that no matter what age group was being scouted, all the kids showed passion for the sport. They cared about each possession and had enthusiasm for their teammates being successful.

CNIT Champions

16U

  • 17U – Canada Elite
  • 16U – Canada Elite
  • 15U – Canada Elite
  • 14U – Tri-County Canada
  • 13U – Canada Elite
  • 12U – Canada Elite
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