20 Jul 2023

Florida Showdown Notables – Rpt I

The Source Hoops Florida Showdown took place this past weekend at The First Academy in Orlando and surrounding facilities.  Teams from as far away as Oklahoma, Texas, and Argentina(!) took part in the event.  Below are just a few of the standouts that participated.

Sebastian Kramar, Team Vecchio: A 6’0 senior from Argentina, Kramar is fluent in four languages – Spanish, English, German, and Hoops.  He is great fun to watch as he has high level court vision, ball skills, and feel for the game.  Time and again Kramar got into the lane to either score creatively in a crowd at the basket or find teammates for open looks.  He gets the ball quickly up the floor via the dribble or the pass.  Kramar has an excellent mid-range and floater game and his three-point shooting is streaky enough to be dangerous.

Caleb Gatewood, Team Gritty: A 6’5 rising senior out of Tampa Catholic, Gatewood was arguably the most explosive and impactful athlete at the Florida Showdown.  He is quick off the floor to grab missed shots, flushes lobs off set plays and in transition, and covers a lot of ground quickly on the defensive end to create loose balls and turnovers.  Though his shot appears to a bit flat, Gatewood made his perimeter jumpers on both sides of the arc this past weekend.  He is a grab-and-go rebounder on the defensive end as well as a capable on-ball defender.  Gatewood plays hard at both ends of the court and that energy/effort combination is difficult for opponents to handle.

Jase Edwards, OK Next Level: A 6’1 rising senior from Tecumseh in Oklahoma City, Edwards left a major impact at the Florida Showdown.  A three-level scorer, Edwards impressed with his ability to knock down shots off both the catch and dribble from behind the arc, create space, pull up and knock down mid-range shots, and slash thru defenses to the rim and score with either hand in traffic through contact.  Edwards has the athleticism to finish with ferocity and a flourish above the rim.  He is also adept at posting and scoring inside.  Defensively he has active hands, quick feet, and anticipates the passing lanes well.

William Ruffin, Ultimate Warriors Basketball: A 6’1 rising senior from New Port Richey Mitchell, Ruffin was one of the more interesting finds of the weekend.  A quick slasher with the ball, Ruffin is tough to keep out of the lane, especially if the defense lets him go to his dominant (right) hand.  He will either score at the basket, earn a trip to the foul line, or both.  Ruffin mixes that drive with a reverse-dribble step-back that creates separation for him to get off a soft mid-range jumper that more often than not connects.  He’ll make the occasional three off the catch should the opportunity arise.  With long arms and good leaping ability, Ruffin plays bigger than his size defensively and on the boards.

Elijah Payne, XPC Elite: A 6’6 rising senior at Bell Creek Academy in Riverview, Payne continues to make a plethora of basketball plays despite looking like he should be putting on the should pads.  His feel for the game is uncanny.  Payne has a soft touch from fifteen feet and in, excellent timing to grab rebounds from opponents that have more bounce, and the ability to deliver catchable passes to cutters in the lane or open teammates on the perimeter.  Payne may not get great lift off the court, but he times his leap well and comes up with more blocked shots than one would expect.

Svastian Rosado, MDBA: A 5’9 rising senior who is transferring to Lakeland from Lake Wales, Rosado puts points on the board in a hurry.  He has very deep range on his shot and is effective at pulling up from behind the line coming off ball-screens or when given too much space when pushing the ball up the floor on the break.  Rosado has a knack for making creative shots inside after slicing through defenses with the dribble.  He is very fast with the ball and is quick to attack and put the defense on its heels.  Rosado is quick to push the pace and thrives when the game is up-tempo.  Inch for inch, he may be one of the best, if not THE best, scorers in the state this coming season.

Bryce Henson, Exclusive Hoops: A 6’2 rising junior from Harmony, Henson caught fire in the second half of an early morning game on Saturday.  He hit some threes and then switched into drive-and-score mode, getting by defenders and scoring at the rim.  Henson is physically tough and very active at both ends of the floor.  He also had a couple of nice passes for assists when driving to the bucket.  Henson works hard on defense and gets a lot of rebounds for a player his size.

Mario Forbes, 352 Soldiers: A 6’6 rising junior at St. John Paul II in Tallahassee, Forbes was productive but also showed potential for a lot of growth in his game.  He displayed a soft touch inside, a few basic scoring moves on the block, and persistence when it came to pursuing rebounds at both ends of the floor.  Forbes is a decent athlete now but will get better as he gains physical strength and additional coordination.  He challenges opponents who enter the lane and plays physically on defense.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *