We took in the Best of the Best Middle School Showcase this past Sunday at The Well Center in Apopka. Over 150 players in the 6th thru 8th grades participated. With that many participants and a short amount of time, our attention was focused on the 8th grade division.
Before we dive into some player notes, some of the better players in attendance were highlighted in our reports last week from another event. While we don’t want to repeat ourselves, we feel we should at least give mention to those players that once again impressed scouts and onlookers alike.
Ian Parham, a 6’2 guard from Orlando, was quite impressive with a varied offensive skill set. Felipe Quinones, a 6’4 wing from Orlando, impacted games with his ability to get to the basket off the dribble. Palmer Maddox, a 6’3 wing from Ponte Vedra, again showed great versatility. Christopher Washington, Jr., a 6’6 wing from The Villages, is not just a high level athlete but also a deluxe scorer and rebounder. Evan Roberts, a 5’9 guard from Bradenton, scores from the perimeter as well as at the rim. Amari Cummings, a 5’9 guard from Jacksonville, was stellar in his shooting from beyond the arc.
Samourian Wingo: The 6’0 guard from Ponte Vedra was one of the better performers on the day. He routinely got to the rim and scored in a crowd, found teammates for easy baskets, and displayed a high level of both athleticism and basketball IQ. Wingo didn’t shoot any perimeter shots that we saw, but when a player can get to the basket as easily and as with as much success as Wingo, there isn’t much need to take jumpers.
William Flores: A 5’10 guard from Winter Haven, Flores took great care of the basketball and was one of the more unselfish players at the event. He routinely found open players in transition as well as when driving to the basket. After playing the role of distributor for most of the contest, Flores switched gears to scoring, making a tough shot in traffic and knocking down a three a bit later on.
Omarion Alford: A 5’10 guard from Fort Pierce, Alford proved to be another guard that can set the table for teammates or cook up points for himself. He has a strong frame and good athleticism to go along with speed and quickness with the basketball. Alford made good decisions on the move with the basketball and finished well at the rim in a crowd. He rebounds the ball well and is quick to push the pace.
Guy Potter: A 5’6 guard out of Cocoa, Potter kept defenses honest with his ability to connect from three-point range but most of his damage came after getting past his defender then scoring against help. He made some difficult finishes in traffic, didn’t over-penetrate with the dribble, and quickly kicked the ball to open teammates if the shot wasn’t there.
Zane Elliott: A 6’2 guard out of Davie in South Florida, Elliott has broad shoulders, good athleticism, and knows how best to use the combination. He won many battles on the offensive glass, completed short drives from the perimeter, and finished on the break. Elliott was an active defender with a lot of deflections and also proved to be a willing passer into the post.
DeAndre Harvey: The 5’10 wing from Williston simply has a knack for finding ways to put the ball in the basket. He got a lot of second chance points, transition baskets, and knocked down a couple of perimeter jump shots. His combination of skill level and ability to play with a great deal of energy allows him stand out from the crowd.
Michael Madueme: A 6’0 guard from Lake Nona, Madueme has good size, athleticism, and skills at this stage. He is a solid ball-handler, decision-maker, rebounder and defender. Madueme pushes the pace and attacks the defense at every opportunity. He will want to continue to work on his skill development in all phases to make the most of his potential on the high school level.
Rawle Farose: Listed at 5’4, the guard from Belle Glade was amazing in his knack for getting into the lane, launching, and connecting on floaters over the defense. Farose also showed that if defenders lay off of him, he can knock down the perimeter shot. It wasn’t just floaters but tough finishes in a crowd at the rim that went down for him. He uses his speed and quickness well at the defensive end.