The weather in Toronto hasn’t been as cold as it usually is during December, which likely means an extended Canadian Winter.
That said, a stop in Florida this weekend sounds about right.
I look forward to attending one of the top tournaments in America–City of Palms–which not only features Canadian content, but intriguingly the NPH #1-ranked prospects from 2016-2019:
- 2016 – Thon Maker (Athlete Institute)
- 2017 – Nickeil Alexander-Walker (Hamilton Heights)
- 2018 – Simi Shittu (Montverde)
- 2019 – Rowan Barrett Jr (Montverde)
This will be a very unique opportunity to check in on all these guys, during one event.
Thon Maker – 2016
In 2016, 7’1 Thon Maker of Athlete Institute will be in action as A.I takes on Potterhouse Christian of Jacksonville, Florida, who feature two ESPN Top-25 Ranked prospects in 6-10 SR Udoka Azubuike and 6-9 FR Jared Jones–a prime time match up that will have scouts locked in for. Maker is the most unique prospect in the basketball world, with his physicals and skill set, but what has stuck out to A.I Head Coach Brandon Lesovsky the most this year is his effort.
“He has shown a real high level of competitiveness, he wants to be the best and has a strong desire within himself. He has been really active running the floor and rebounding”
Averaging 30 points and 14 rebounds this season.
Arizona State, Kansas, Indiana, Notre Dame, St John’s, Kentucky
Nickeil Alexander-Walker -2017
Nickeil Alexnder-Walker currently holds the #1 spot for the Canadian Class of 2017, and will lead Hamilton Heights out of Chatanooga, Tennessee. Florida Commit and cousin Shai Alexander along with Therren Schmidt complete the Canadian trio. I caught up with NAW, who spoke about his team, and the season thus far.
“I feel like there’s nothing we can’t do. We have weapons everywhere. Shai being our starting PG makes everyone around him better; he’s a great leader and he’s always poised nothing gets to him.”
Alexander-Walker described Schmidt as a big time shot maker and lethal scorer. He says Silas, Hamilton Heights’ starting four-man is the best student-athlete you will meet. He has a 4.0 GPA and is pulling a lot of high major interest. “He’s strong, physical, and works hard in anything and everything he does. He will step out and shoot the three but also is very skilled in the post.”
As for Mississipi Statte commit Abdulhakim Ado, “an example of an old-fashioned big man. He bangs down low with a great post up game and is the most disturbing defender we have. The best part of him is he’s incredibly humble and all about the team.”
Hamilton Heights will be featured in what’s called the “Signature series” in the City of Palms tournament. The squad will take on Westtown School out of Pennsylvania, highlighted by two Top 5 Nationally ranked prospects in 6’11 JR Mohammed Bamba and 6’6 SOPH Cameron Reddish.
As far as Alexander-Walker is concerned:
I honestly believe we’re the best team in the country. We can do it all, plus I think we can defend the best in the country.
Being recruited at the high major level, includes offers from Baylor, Illinois, Auburn, Cincinatti and but mentions Maryland and Vanderbilt as schools recruiting him the hardest as of late.
Simi Shittu, Rowan Barrett Jr – 2018, 2019
These two greyhounds have been a strong addition to an already loaded Montverde roster. Shittu and RBJ were quite accomplished on Canadian soil before stepping on campus, however have really had to earn their minutes with the Eagles, and rightfully so.
Despite their youth, they are winning over the trust of the coaching staff and recently showed out on ESPN National television–RJ lead the team with a game-high 18 against Huntington Prep, while Shittu finished with 9 points and a game-high 21 rebounds.
I’m very interested to see what type of impact they will have for Montverde this weekend, who enter City of Palms as runner up from last year. The Eagles are also Dick’s Sporting Goods national champions.