We continue our look at the Best of the Best Middle School Showcase that took place this past weekend in Apopka.
Kyree McKelton: The 5’3 guard from Lake Park in Palm Beach County plays with a certain flair. Yeah, he’s small but he is also quick and crafty with the ball, a good passer, and active defender. McKelton does a good job of getting shots up and down in traffic, scoring far more often than not. Once his growth spurt kicks in, he will take his game to another level.
Yariel Bonilla: A 5’7 guard from Central Pointe Christian Academy in Kissimmee, Bonilla got a lot done despite finding little shooting success from the perimeter. He passed the ball well both in transition and when driving to the basket against a set defense, ran the floor and scored on the break, scored at the rim in traffic, and used active hands and feet to pick up steals and deflections.
Markel Anderson: The 5’8 guard out of Orlando was impressive in his ability to get to the basket. Each time he did so, Anderson either scored, earned free throw opportunities, or both. He knocked down the lone perimeter jumper he took in the game we watched. Anderson also made good decisions with the ball, getting it to open teammates for easy shots should his drives get cut off.
Ari Smith: A 5’10 wing from Palm City, Smith showed off an inside/outside scoring aptitude. He opened the game with a three off the catch then switched gears a bit to score at the basket. Not only did Smith connect on drives, he scored with putbacks and cuts to the basket area. Smith also proved to be a good passer, quickly getting the ball to teammates out in front of the defense and swing the ball quickly to open perimeter shooters.
Jared Thompson: A 6’0 forward that is home-schooled, Thompson is long, athletic, and comes with a bunch of upside. He was active at both ends of the floor, scoring inside, putting back missed, shots, and challenging drivers at the rim. It will be interesting to monitor Thompson going forward to see how his skills progress.
Felix Buroz: A 5’8 forward from Allapattah, Buroz played better as the day progressed. He was especially effective rebounding the basketball. Buroz routinely grabbed missed shots and pushed the ball up the floor. He handles the ball well and is effective at getting defenders on his hip and scoring through contact.
Jayden Jackson: A 5’9 forward from Fort White, Jackson did well running the floor and scoring in transition. He has a nice perimeter shot at this stage, actively pursues rebounds and both ends, and is alert to deflect or pick off passes in his defensive area.
Ryan Speace: A 5’9 guard from Ponte Vedra, Speace plays with a bit of a swagger. He is fast with the ball, is a reliable perimeter shooter, and quickly gets the ball to open teammates. Speace will surprise with a quick first step and score at the basket if the defense underestimates him.