Mason Loewen & Jermaine Haley Earn MVP Honours at BC Showcase
RICHMOND, BC – After a full weekend of games, the NPH BC Showcase concluded with the Top Prospects Game, featuring the top 20 players in camp.
Tough decisions had to be made with respect to the final rosters, and there were some very talented players left watching from the sidelines.
Team White had gained a comfortable lead with a complete team effort in the first half. It was the best basketball played all weekend by the 2013-2015 prospects who meshed well together by swinging the ball and getting everyone involved. They went on to win 69-64 after Team Black went a run of their own in the second half that was sparked by Izaiah Ugoalah and Nicolas Trninic’s barrage of threes. Trninic hit seven from deep to put his team back in it.
In the first half Ethan Scott went on a shooting spree of his own and helped build the strong lead for Team White. He was a standout on all three days displaying maturity and overall toughness. Leadership on the floor is an area of needed improvement, he was very vocal and engaged on the sidelines but it didn’t translate onto the floor.
One of the toughest defenders in the gym, Taylor Browne guarded Team Black’s best scoring options on most possessions as he had done all weekend. Browne is a tenacious, wide-eyed go getter; there’s no drop off in his game when it comes to his effort level and productivity regardless of playing atmosphere.
We’ve now seen Browne play on the high school scene and club ball, where he’s been consistent throughout. He was a major piece to this win in the Top Prospect Game. The most improved dimension in his game is perimeter shooting and he’s developed a quicker first step. Next on the development chart for Browne is making the transition to a lead guard which will then give him the ability to play either spot.
Mason Loewen who had all eyes on him since day one, took home NPH BC Shwocase MVP for the upperclassmen. Loewen was a pleasure to watch, displaying his athleticism and finishing around the basket while absorbing contact. His above the rim play is what sets him apart from other prospects, but he’s so much more than a dunker. Loewen can create shots for himself and teammates off of penetration from the wing.
Assertiveness will be the determining factor in his journey as a combo guard. At times he is too unselfish and tries to get others involved when a better shot is available for himself. Mason has all the tools necessary to take over a game but he needs to do it on a more consistent basis; as he had done near the end of the Top Prospect Game.
Jermaine Haley is by far the most skilled prospect in the province of British Columbia and the most intriguing young guard. He stands at 6’5 with a 6’10 wingspan and doctors say that he still has 2-3 inches of growth. Asides from having elite guard skills as a 2015 prospect, what makes him tough to defend is his feel for the ball, court sense and slithery moves to the basket.
While most guards create space, Haley excels at knowing what spot he wants to get to and his body control and lengthy frame allow him to do it.
Moving forward, Haley needs to add muscle mass and build lower body strength. From a psychological standpoint he is in a very comfortable position and realizes how above the competition he is; however, to avoid a downfall he must continue to perform and train above the rest as well.
On our next visit to BC we hope to see that this year’s group have taken their conditioning to a whole new level. When compared to their Eastern counterparts, overall toughness and aggressiveness were attributes that are lacking on the west coast.
On a positive note, the fundamental skills and the potential of many of the top players is more than intriguing, and we can’t wait to monitor their progress over the next year.