12 Sep 2023

Best of the Best Elite Florida Showcase – 2026/2027 Division

Based on the quality of play, the future looks quite bright for Florida basketball over the next couple of years.  There were several standouts at the Best of the Best Elite Florida Showcase on Sunday at The Big House in Tavares and we highlight many of them in this article.

Tristen Payton, Winter Park: The 6’1 sophomore has good length and proved to be a strong driver and finisher.  Payton also gets out quickly in transition.  He showed some scoring ability from mid-range and promise for extending his effective range past the arc.

Dallas Lambert, Port Charlotte: The 6’3 sophomore is a high-level athlete.  The lefty showcased a nice mid-range game off the dribble and improvement as a passer and ball-handler.  Lambert is an active defender that uses his long arms and quick feet to challenge ball-handlers and disrupt the passing lanes.

Nick Florea, Fort Lauderdale Boyd Anderson: The 6’0 sophomore displays a high basketball IQ and simply understands how to play regardless of the setting or game tempo.  Florea does a great job of creating space off the dribble to score on both sides of the arc.  He is an excellent perimeter shooter that will take advantage of over-eager closeouts and take the ball strong to the basket.  Florea plays with a bit of an edge and never backs down from a challenge.

Isaiah Gilard, Riverview Bell Creek Academy: The 6’2 sophomore is an aggressive scorer.  A lithe but strong driver and finisher, Gilard puts great pressure on the defense.  His perimeter shot is also a weapon. He sees the floor well, is a reliable ball-handler and passer, and puts maximum effort into his defense.

A.J. Ambrose, Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas: A 5’11 sophomore, Ambrose doesn’t look to score much but makes sure his teammates get touches and looks.  He sees the floor very well and makes good decisions with the ball on the move.  Ambrose does a great job of scoring at the rim in traffic and knocks down open perimeter shots.

Trace Westercamp, Ponte Vedra: A 6’9 sophomore, Westercamp has high-major potential and reminds a bit of former Gator Collin Castleton at the same stage.  A versatile big that can score inside and out, the lefty has a reliable perimeter stroke from behind the arc as well as a soft touch around the basket when posting up on the block.  Westercamp is a good ball-handler and passer for a young player his size.  He is improving as a run/jump athlete and challenges shots on defense.

James Nowells, Orlando Dr. Phillips: A 5’11 freshman, Nowells looks and plays taller than his listed height.  He ran the floor and scored often in transition.  Nowells showed some offensive promise with a couple of made perimeter shots off the dribble as well as putting back some missed shots in traffic.

Dominick Walsh, Fivay: A 5’10 freshman, Walsh was one of the few “true” point guards in attendance.  In his first contest of the day, he tallied four assists in his first four minute rotation.  Walsh looks to pass first, is adept at delivering passes through traffic to teammates, and could be found making positive plays when it didn’t look possible.  He is very quick and fast with the ball, looking to push the pace at every opportunity.

Alex Davis, Palm Coast Matanzas: A 6’8 sophomore, Davis has solid frame and big body, but also nimble feet and a light touch around the hoop.  He moves well and runs the floor.  Davis also surprised with his ability to handle and pass the ball on the move.  He has great potential and the look of a future D-I prospect.

Juwan Scippio, Newberry: While the 6’3 sophomore is long and thin, he possesses a good combination of skill and athleticism.  He shot the ball well from behind the arc off both the catch and the dribble.  Scippio was an active rebounder and defender all day on Sunday and will be a name to follow in the Class 1A ranks for the next three seasons.

Kenny Parks, Fort Pierce Central: The 6’1 sophomore is a high-level athlete that gets to the rim quickly and finishes well in a crowd.  Parks showed some offensive promise with a couple of made shots on both sides of the three-point line.  His physical attributes allow him to be a solid on-ball defender and disrupter of the passing lanes.

Trey Spriggs, Fort Pierce Central: The 6’4 sophomore caught our attention with a deep three during the three-on-three portion of the day and proved to be a worth watch during full game competition.  Spriggs is a good athlete that runs the floor, crashes the offensive glass, and moves well without the ball.  He plays hard and doesn’t mind getting physical at either end of the floor.

Ryan Carey, Lake Nona: A 6’3 freshman, Carey made the most of the opportunities that came his way.  He knocked down a couple of open perimeter shots and later drove the ball and scored thru contact at the basket.  No doubt he will continue to improve as his body matures and he gains athleticism.

Markel Holmes, Jacksonville San Jose Prep: The 6’0 freshman is solidly built and is also very fast with the basketball in his possession. He pushes the pace and finds open teammates on the move.  Holmes was an active and aggressive on-ball defender, forcing mistakes by opponents.

Julian Fox, Orlando Southeastern Prep: A 6’3 freshman, Fox is all about attack off the dribble.  He has a nice pull-up jumper from mid-range but is also adept at getting all the way to the basket and scoring in traffic.  Fox spends a lot of time at the foul line and makes a reasonable majority of his freebies.  He put in work at the defensive end with active hands and feet.




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