TORONTO,ON–It was a pleasure to be in the gym this weekend with such a deep talent pool. From guys that are graduating to those who have just started their high school basketball journey. If you’ve been following along closely then you know how we feel about the Canadian 2016 class. Over the course of the weekend many more prospects were added to the North Pole Hoops National database to the class. Moreover, the class of 2017 & 2018 are looking quite promising.
A large group of upperclassmen showed their worth as well. It’s gratifying to see improvements from guys who are coming off of a championship high school season. It shows how dedicated they are to making gains. Starting with a guy like D’wan Williams, workhorse extraordinaire. He was a catalyst in the offensive assault along with Chase Vassell. A strong collective effort from the 18U Canada Elite team brought them back to steal a win after being behind for a majority of the game against the star studded line up of the 17U team.
D’wan Williams was able to get to the free throw line the entire first half because of how well he knew his opponent. Marcus Ottey’s hops were used effectively on the offensive end with a number of dunks where his eyes met with the rim, but on the defensive end Williams had his number. His use of the pump fake was able to get multiple defenders in the air as he finished three point plays.
Justin Jackson now in the lineup for the Canada Elite 17U added 30 points to the score sheet as he was able to create offense for himself and for others by being aggressive and looking to score first react en route to the bucket. He can be the focal point of an offense or a completely selfless player that puts his teammates in great scoring situations. Moving into the summer his job will be to find a balance between the two.
One guy that can flat out score when he gets into the zone is Chase Vassell. He led the GTA in scoring during the regular high school season and has earned a rep for catching fire late in games when his teams really need buckets. Vassell connected on 5 three point shots, 3 of them came on consecutive possessions as the gaming was coming to a close. He ended up with 25 points in the win.