Adidas Invitational Day 1: Northern Kings Win In All Divisions. Canadian Prospects Galore In Indiana

INDIANOPOLIS, IN–While driving into Indianapolis all I could think about was how I was going to keep track of all the teams crossing the border to get exposure and play high level basketball at the Adidas Invitational in Indiana. I figured the best way to do it was to spend the first day focusing on and tracking the upperclassmen, which was done yesterday. Today I will be checking in with the very deep talent pool of the 2016, 2017 and 2018 classes.

In the 16U division, BSYJ Canada Elite, Brookwood Bounce Elite and Northern Kings dove in with a win in their pool. UPlay watched from the deck and will be playing all three of their games today.

Adidas Invitational
Adidas Invitational

Moving on to 15U, Northern Kings won their first contest, Team Toronto Orange ended the day perfect with two wins and Brookwood’s youngsters let a W slip away at the end of the game. Team Toronto Orange took two wins last night tying Best Choice 2016 Elites for the best records yet for this division.

I will need to allocate two days to get acquainted with the 2017 and 2018 classes and spend time catching up on 2015 and 2016’s as well. Looking into NPH National Rankings, it looks like there will be another flood of high caliber players going into and having a positive affect in the CIS and NCAA.

All Canadian teams in the 17U Division started off with a 1-0 record in Indiana on day one. These teams included; Northern Kings, Brookwood Bounce Elite, UPlay Canada and Team Toronto. Jabari Craig highlights a Northern Kings team that will take on fellow Canadian team Brookwood Bounce Elite in pool play today at 1:00pm. There is already offers on the table from NCAA programs to players from both teams, so this game will surely draw in coaches.

Isaiah Cummins Passes Defender
Isaiah Cummins Passes Defender

The mindset is to stay composed and take it one game at a time, don’t get too high on emotions and don’t get too low. A lesson learned by Team Ontario’s 16U team who lost in double overtime last night to Elite Nation; a Michigan based team that was missing their 6’9 post player Trevor Manuel. Manuel has turned out to be a top 50 prospect in America for the 2015 class and is being recruited by the likes of Kansas, Michigan State, UCLA and NC State.

Team Ontario’s standout in their overtime loss was Isaiah Cummins, who was brought to the spotlight earlier this year after an OBA tournament with his team, the Whitby Saints, where he showed great poise and well packaged offensive game as a point guard. Over the past few months Cummins has had very consistent performances in games, tryouts and camps. Recently, he attended a camp at Columbia that made Lions coaching staff very interested.

The fact that he has two more years, if he chooses, to develop before getting into university makes him a promising prospect. Muscle mass seems to be the only thing that coaches would like to see him add, while improving on his PG assertiveness as a communicator.

He is one of the many 2015 recruits that are being closely watched on the circuit. Gavin Pearce, Abdul Atta, Matt Trpcic are others who have been on the NPH radar and will require a follow up to see what they’ve added and how they’ve improved.

When speaking to student-athletes a constant topic for discussion is whether or not they are the same player on the circuit this year than they were last year. The fact is, there is no point in spending time and money coming down for exposure if all weaknesses are going to be exposed instead. Those who are on the circuit for the first time, will know exactly what I mean when they think their experience over on the way home.

Good luck to all teams, present yourselves respectfully and respect the game.


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