We took in one of our favorite events this past weekend as the All-American Jamboree rolled through The Big House in Tavares. A combination of college coaches from across the country and a bevy of talented players makes the Jamboree one of the better events of the year. We focused our attention on the teams from the Sunshine Independent Athletic Association and came away excited for the upcoming season in one of the best basketball conferences in the country.
Aiden Agnew, Southern Coast Academy: A 6’7 senior, Agnew is a playmaker, pure and simple. He can go get a bucket on his own but also create opportunities for teammates. Agnew has a solid frame and more-than-ample athletic ability. He has a high skill level when it comes to shooting, driving, and passing the basketball, rebounds in traffic at both ends and has the ability to play inside and out.
Babatundu Durodola, DME Academy: A 6’7 junior, Durodola is strong, athletic and bouncy. He grabs rebounds, outlets the ball, and runs the floor very quickly. Durodola showed some good scoring tools around the basket as well as the ability to face up and drive from the short corner/high post areas of the floor. An active defender inside and out, he can step out and defend on the perimeter against smaller, quicker players.
James Rivera, Academy of Central Florida: Listed as a 6’11 freshman (more like 6’8+), Rivera is definitely a long-term stock to buy. He has a good skill level for his size and age as he has a smooth lefty stroke out to the three-point line and can put the ball on the floor and drive it, especially to his dominant left hand. Rivera rebounds his area and runs the floor well. No question that as he physically matures and gains strength, his overall athleticism will improve. Rivera has a very high ceiling.
Evan Sterck, The Rock School: A 6’2 junior, we have always considered Sterck a promising point guard prospect since his freshman season. He finishes well at the basket in a crowd, is a reliable three-point shooter, keeps his head up on the drive and makes good pass vs. shot decisions. Sterck is also a solid on-ball defender that moves his feet well and is focused on keeping the opponent out of the lane. A better-than-expected athlete, he is quick to get by defenders, get paint touches, and find teammates for open shots.
Giulio Volente, IMG Blue: A 6’7 senior and native of Italy, Volente is quite productive offensively from fifteen feet and in. He is a strong driver that seeks contact, is quick to get out in transition to get baskets ahead of the defense, and aggressively pursues putback points. A good athlete and active rebounder at both ends of the floor, Volente puts forth every ounce of energy into every play while he is on the floor.
Alem Fejzic, Potter’s House: A 6’3 senior and native of Bosnia, Fejzic has a gorgeous shooting stroke. He has a quick release and reliable range past the high school three-point line. Fejzic stretches the defense with his shooting ability which opens up driving lanes for teammates or more room to work in the post. He is fast up and down the floor in transition and consistently drains spot-up threes in that type of situation. Fejzic has good footwork on defense and works hard on that end of the court.
Ibrahima Traore, West Oaks Academy: A 6’9 senior already pledged to play collegiately at Oregon, his progress over the past year has been nothing short of impressive. Traore has developed some reliable post scoring tools on either side of the lane as well as the ability to step out and either make shots from fifteen feet or drive the ball and score that way. He is adept a challenging/rejecting shots, grabbing rebounds and running the floor in transition.
Nick Gunter, Southeastern Prep: The 6’11 senior impresses with his length and mobility. Gunter is a good run/jump athlete that rebounds and rejects shots at a high rate. Many of his points came on opportunity baskets. While his face-up game may be a work-in-progress, no doubt Gunter has a high-upside.
Matt Biembongo, Victory Rock Prep: The senior native of the Congo is listed at 6’11 but is more likely in the 6’8 to 6’9 range. He is a lanky, energetic athlete that plays hard and is productive through sheer effort. Biembongo is more of an opportunity scorer at this point, but his tip-ins, lobs, and transition buckets still count the same as if he created the shots on his own. He rebounds, runs the floor, and rejects shots at a high level. His physical attributes allow him to be a versatile defender that can switch out and guard smaller, quicker players on the perimeter.
Diamonte Blazi, Jordan Christian Prep: A 6’8 senior from France, Blazi played well in this controlled setting. When we saw him a few weeks back at a “less controlled” individual event, his high level of run/jump athleticism was on display and dominant. His perimeter shoot went down with frequency when we watched him this weekend and he had some explosive plays at both ends of the floor. He played with a taped left (off) hand, so his drives mostly went right. Blazi has great potential as a defender thanks to his athleticism.
Caleb Gatewood, Specialty Fit Prep: A 6’5 senior, Gatewood is an explosive athlete that plays with great fire and passion for the game. He is dynamic in transition, completing plays above the rim and with a great deal of body control. Gatewood can also be a disruptive defender as he covers a lot of ground quickly when passes come into his area. His perimeter shooting continues to improve as he connected on a couple of jumpers during the course of the game we watched on either side of the arc.