EDMONTON, ALBERTA–The talent across Western Canada has come to the NPH Showcase Circuit to put their talent on display. Exposure is what prospects are after and exposure is what they get on the circuit.
In our travels from Winnipeg to Calgary new names have been put on the scene, some of which have already picked up new interest from post-secondary programs and others that have splashed on to NPH National radar.
Jashon Henry of Notre Dame Prep in Saskatchewan has proven to be the top prospect in Western Canada thus far. We have completed camps from Winnipeg and travelled West to Calgary. Two more stops remain in Edmonton and Langley, British Columbia.
Since the season in the National Preparatory Association, there has been tremendous gains in his development as a ball handler and outside shooter.
The video below will show how powerful his attacks are at the rim. He can rise and absorb contact to come up with tough finishes.
Henry’s latest interest has come from Tulane University (NCAA DI), a program that has laid multiple offers to Canadian prospects this month.
Jashon Henry’s list of schools include St. Bonaventure, who was his first offer, followed by Drexel, Creighton and Tulane.
Henry’s teammate and workout partner Adefolarin “Fofo” Adetogun is a problem on his own. When these two are playing together, the production they bring to the team is in high numbers.
Adetogun has a 6’9 wingspan as a 6’0 tall guard. His rebounding numbers throughout the National Preparatory Association season and throughout Canada Games were in double digits.
At camp, Fofo had this burning look in his eyes the entire way, like a man possessed. He spent his summer in the gym doing two and three-a-days and is ready to completely unleash.
Cole Newkirk is the newest name on the scene, hailing from Saskatoon, Saskatechewan.
He made a splash at this camp while standing at 6’8 and attacking the rim with aggression, attempting to dunk every time he was in range to do so.
Newkirk should have been a no brainer of a pick for Team Saskatchewan at Canada Games a few weeks ago. It’s mind boggling that he was cut from that team. He could have taken a large load off of Adefolarin Adetogun who played nearly every position.
High character and high academic makes him more of an intriguing prospect. He will immediately start to see his recruitment on the Canadian side ramp up. Newkirk is the kind of prospect that the term “diamond in the rough” is most suitable for.
From the underclassmen in Saskatchewan, it was clear that Isaac Simon of the 2022 class was head and shoulders above the competition and is the next one up from Saskatchewan.
This guard presented skills that can free him up to get his own shot or maneuver through the defense before finding a teammate or using his mid range jumper and floater.
Time and time again, the eyes don’t lie. There are prospects that talk about getting to the next level and others that work relentlessly to get there. Simon is one of those guys that grinds it out.
He has high expectation placed upon himself. When he was moved up to play against the upperclassmen, he was fine from a skill standpoint, just lacked the strength naturally at such a young age to be able to fight for position or take contact.
Rewinding back to Winnipeg, Greg Wint, a 6’6 small forward has transformed his game in the last 6-8 months. Having a more reliable three ball makes him more of a threat.
Wint’s intangibles set him apart from a lot of prospects. He’s mentally wired for combat and attacks with force and crashes boards the same way. Coaches at the USports level have inquired about him on several occasions.
The trio of Wint, Tiernan Marshall (2018) and Justin Omaga (2018) controlled a lot of the Showcase in Winnipeg until Aliou Sessay was challenged and rose to the occasion.
Moving into Saskatchewan, there was mention of the boys, yet the ladies had a few standouts as well.
Kennedy Hollinger (2020) put on a spectacular performance in showing off her skill set as a lead guard that can both facilitate and score from every angle on the floor.
From the same graduating class, Jade Belmore was the runner up for MVP. Belmore attends a high school well known for basketball, which is Leboldus. Being ahead of the older competition from a skill standpoint gives her a high ceiling when her age is taken into account.
Both of Hollinger and Belmore were gritty defenders with good instincts in the passing lanes. Both are projected at minimum to be high level USports players and more likely NCAA talents.
Half of our trip in Alberta is complete with Calgary under the belt and Edmonton starting today.
In Calgary, for the upperclassmen MVP, Manyang Tong (2019), Emmanuel Kuac (2019), and Brandon Muntu (2019) stuck out among the talent in attendance.
Tong was able to secure and hang on to earn MVP by slightly out playing Muntu.
Tong is out to prove that he is the most versatile piece in the province of Alberta and the best long term prospect. With goals this year of taking a provincial title at the high school level, his focus has shot up.
Being able to play from point guard to small forward makes him an asset to any team.
Kuac was only able to attend the first day of camp as he headed down to Utah for Prep school this year.
In that one day, the 2016 MVP Kuac went to work and made sure his opponents, coaches and scouts remembered him.
He left his mark with his above the rim plays and ability to breakdown his man and take it all the way.
The breakout player in Alberta so far is Brandon Muntu. He harnesses a rare fierceness that is tough to come by in Alberta. We’re looking for dogs out here, guys that get after it every play and he looks like he can lead a pack.
Ultimately a PG at the next level, Muntu has the size for position, length and smarts to be very effective.
The search in Alberta for Canada’s top talent continues with two more stops, today we begin in Edmonton and this weekend in British Columbia.