06 May 2024

Fire & Ice – Rpt I

Fire & Ice Session I took place this past weekend at The Big House in Tavares.  With over 200 teams in multiple age groups, there was a lot of basketball to take in.  We focused our efforts in covering the “ELITE” division which housed high-level teams in both the 17U and 16U age groups.

Ethan Sabec, BTI Elite 16U Circuit: A 6’7 sophomore at Clearwater Calvary Christian, Sabec was the talk of the event.  More likely pushing 6’8 at this point, he was highly efficient and “surgeonesque” with his ability to dissect defenses and score.  Sabec has a beautiful and consistent stroke from behind the arc, excellent footwork, both in the post and on the perimeter, to create space and score, and good enough ball-skills and court vision to play point-forward.  He’s tough on the glass at both ends and works hard on defense.  In a 2026 Class that is looking very promising, Sabec is quickly rising up the rankings.

Gio Easley, SWFL Hoops: A 6’0 junior at Fort Myers Cypress Lake, Easley was a revelation for us.  We came away not only impressed with his three-level scoring ability but also how well he can run an offense and get others involved at the same time.  Easley explodes out of change of pace/direction moves off the bounce, gets into the paint, and makes good shot vs. pass decisions based on the defense’s reaction.  He makes shots off the dribble with regularity on either side of the arc and drops in floaters over the defense from eight to twelve feet out.  He uses his speed and quickness well on defense, hounding ball-handlers and disrupting passing lanes.

Alex Pierre-Louis, Florida Pro: A 6’5 junior at Coral Springs, Pierre-Louis is a very difficult match-up.  He has a quick release on a very accurate perimeter shot.  Should the defense play up close to take that away, Pierre-Louis has a strong frame to overpower defenders, get to the basket and score through contact in traffic.  That strength and frame serves him well when it comes to rebounding the basketball, especially at the offensive end. Pierre-Louis handles and passes the ball with care and the ball doesn’t stick in his hands on offense.  Defensively he can defend the two through four spots and doesn’t mind playing physically at that end of the floor.

Artero Dubois, Powerhouse Bulls: A 6’1 junior at Orlando Evans, Dubois came into the contest with the reputation of a shooter, having made nine threes in a state semi-final contest just two months ago.  We were a bit surprised to see him take on a more “traditional” point guard role in the game we watched as he focused on running an offense, getting teammates involved, and taking what the defense allowed.  However, as the game stepped into crunch time, Dubois elevated his play.  He sank a pair of deep threes late and made some clutch plays in both overtimes to help the team come away with a big win.  Clearly, Dubois is a “gamer” and doesn’t shrink from big moments.

Jabari Washington, Team Breakdown: A 6’3 sophomore at Plantation, Washington is a fixture on the Breakdown 16U National team.  While that team wasn’t at Fire & Ice, the Breakdown crew that did come needed a jolt which Washington provided.  Exceedingly quick and “twitchy”, it was very difficult for teams to keep him out of the lane.  Once in the paint, Washington finishes well with either hand at the rim or pulls up quickly to drop in a floater or jump shot.  He will knock down perimeter shots if the defense plays off too far.  Defensively his length and lateral quickness make him tough to deal with.  He works hard to deny the ball, helps and rotates quickly, and will turn steals into scores in the blink of an eye.

C.J. Hall, 1 Family NXT: A 6’2 junior at Hilliard, Hall is a high-level athlete that would probably be successful at any sport he chose.  He’s more than just an athlete on the court as he has not just scoring tools but the ability to make plays for others.  Hall looks to get the ball up the floor the quickest way possible, often outletting a rebound to a streaking teammate for an easy score.  He gets rid of the ball quickly on the perimeter and moves without it.  Hall has the ability to blow by defenders and score in a crowd as well as pull up quickly to drop in jump shots.  He rebounds well against bigger foes thanks to his strength and athleticism, which also allows him to successfully defend bigger players inside if necessary.

Darius Livingston, BTI Elite 17U Circuit: A 6’1 junior at Lake Alfred Discovery, Livingston is the definition of “hard to guard”.  Quick and shifty with the ball, he frequently gets paint touches, drops in floaters or scores creatively with either hand at the rim.  His mid-range game is efficient and his reliable range extends past the three-point line.  Livingston makes good reads and decisions coming off ball-screens and delivers catchable passes to cutters in the lane and shooters on the perimeter.  He is very active defensively, comes up with a lot of tips, deflections, and steals, and moves his feet well when guarding the ball.

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