WATERLOO, ON–This weekend the NPH team has been getting acquainted with some eager young talent that are ready to make names for themselves. The Guelph, Kitchener, and Waterloo regions have been producing a buzz over the summer with some of the seniors making their way into the NPH rankings, but this weekend belonged to the underclassmen.
Former Central Arkansas point guard and current pro baller in the Russian Superleague, Imad Qawash, who is a Kitchener native put on this showcase so that he could give back to the community by instilling confidence and helping them take the steps necessary to reach their goals.
Jamal Murray, who is a 2016, 6’2 Guard from Grand River High School, like many other young Canadians has the dream of wearing a D1 uniform down south.
When talking about a player with some serious upside, Murray enters the conversation. He caught our attention immediately starting with his physical attributes; he has long limbs at 6’2, with a large pair of mitts, and a body that is made for basketball.
Murray comes to the Tri-City Top 40 camp well equipped with offensive tools such as a smooth pull up jumper and a set of handles that would mark for a trusted ball handler. One part of Murray’s game that would bring him up another level is having a consistent aggressive outlook from an offensive standpoint, he’s unselfish and looks to be a long term PG.
An older and very confident PG is Murtada Khamis, who also attends Grand River and will be entering his grade 11 year this coming season. Khamis is arguably the most packaged player from this crop.
Firstly, he brings a great deal of energy to the floor as a result of his high motor. Defensively, he always gives the man that he’s guarding trouble getting the ball up the floor because of pressure defense and being able to recover so well.
A majority of the youth at camp are going to end up training to play one of the guard positions. Khamis stands at 5’10 and has committed to playing at the one spot. He certainly has the ball handling aspect for his position on lock, as we’ve seen him create space to put up a jumper or shift his man to open up the lane for the attack.
With a more developed perimeter game Khamis can end up being a serious problem for all defenders. This off season will be instrumental to how high his ceiling will be for his high school career.
Mike Blumel has been pummeling opponents in the paint in the first two days of camp. He is a 2015, 6’5 forward that is very aware of what his body is capable of when used effectively.
Being one of the biggest kids at camps gives him an advantage surely, but this shouldn’t take away from his well rounded arsenal. Throughout day one and two, Blumel has been assertive and strong with his power moves to the basket. He showed glimpses of some three point shooting, and from time to time would recognize his defenders as a bigger and slower opposition that he would bait and bring out 15 feet from the basket.
Once he had his defender stretch away from the basket and get him in an uncomfortable defensive spot, he would use his speed and ball control to get by for an easy two. There are many kids at camp that will be included in player evaluations following the third day of camp. This group has brought a great deal of energy and enthusiasm all weekend and are looking to leave it all on the floor on day three. Butterflied stomachs have been released and they’re here to compete!