KITCHENER, ON–The second annual Tri-City Adidas Top 40 Camp got underway last night where 40 of the best junior level prospects gathered at Core Lifestyle and Recreation Complex in Kitchener to compete in their first showcase games of the weekend. Event Director, Imad Qahwash was very pleased with the effort put out on both ends by the young guns.
“Day one could not have gone any better, they’re not taking this experience lightly and are going hard on every possession, I can’t ask for more. They’re a great group of kids who are trying to make a name for themselves early on,” stated a satisfied Qahwash after day one.
If there was any message that hit home the hardest, it was to ‘distinguish yourself from the rest of the pack’ by displaying all developed skills and playing within the player’s element. In showcase environments, its easy for a young prospect to get carried away or get too “hyped” to the point where they are trying to do things that haven’t been practiced in hopes of impressing.
Distinguishing between one player and another does not necessarily mean that you have to put up big scoring numbers; it’s the little things that count. Something as simple as hustling back on defense after a missed shot, high fiving teammates after a good play, providing energy as well as being a strong communicator are all examples of qualities that will stand out.
There are a few returning campers who are now 10th graders and have shown drastic improvements in various parts of their game; whether it be a developed handle, have become better conditioned or have been working on the technical aspect of skill work.
Nedim Hodzic, Ryan Stafford, Minas Abara, George Dumitru, Adrian Mendoza and Sasha Simic are some of the names that currently stand out from the group of 40. Moving on to day two, campers will be showing themselves in a training/skill work setting, as well as show case games. Being able to evaluate talent in these two different environments gives scouts a chance to see how a player’s body and mind react, and can tell who is training regularly and who’s playing based off natural abilities.
Adrian Mendoza, (2016 5’6 PG/ St John’s) who is one of the camp selections from last year was a standout on day one of the Adidas Tri-City Top 40 Camp; he was able to distinguish himself by creating space and playmaking for himself and others off the dribble. In the past year, Mendoza has shown great progress in his development shedding 25 pounds to improve his speed and stamina.
Here he catches up with @CarlanGay about his experience thus far at the Adidas Tri-City Top 40: