26 Mar 2024

Travel Team Jamboree – 17U: Rpt II

There are a lot more players to highlight from this past weekend’s Travel Team Jamboree.

Hari Sefu-Bukinga, 1 Family Pro: A 6’10 junior at DME Academy in Daytona Beach, the lefty looks and acts the part of a big that makes an impact with his athleticism and abundant energy.  His body is sculpted, he gets off the floor quickly for rebounds and to challenge shots, and is fast up the court in transition.  Hari didn’t have many opportunities on the offensive end in the game we watched but when he did get a chance to put the ball in the bucket he succeeded.  Hopefully we can get another look at this big with huge potential.

Darius Washington III, SOH Elite: The 6’4 junior from Orlando Christian Prep had a solid weekend with his friends from South Florida.  He drilled a couple of long jumpers to go along with some spectacular drives and dunks.  Washington was difficult to keep out of the lane and displayed an ability to score with excellent body control and touch in a crowd.  He was active on defense as well.  He disrupted the passing lanes, quickly turned steals into scores, and was alert to come over from the weakside and get in a blocked shot or two.

C.J. Ingram, Florida Rebels: The 6’5 junior dual-sport athlete out of Hawthorne was more aggressive this past weekend than we have seen him before.  He was determined to get to the basket and rarely was denied.  He has more than enough bounce to finish over the rim in transition or in half-court sets.  Ingram is quite adept at posting up smaller guards and shooting over them.  He’ll do that effectively from fifteen feet and in.  Ingram is an active rebounder at both ends, covers a lot of ground quickly on defense, and is an effective passer when the defense converges on him.  He is a high-major recruit in both football and basketball.

Elhadji Diallo, MBJ Elite: A 6’7 sophomore out of Combine Academy in North Carolina, Diallo grabbed a lot of people’s attention in Saturday night’s final contest.  He started the game off with a quick drive from the high post for a score and finished it with a resounding baseline drive and dunk.  An effortless athlete, he seems to levitate off the floor rather than jump, not needing to do a deep knee-bend to catch some air.  Diallo rebounds, runs the floor, and rejects shots at a high-major level.  We didn’t see much in the way of perimeter shooting or ball-handling skills vs. pressure, but no doubt that will come in time.

Josiah Catto, TNBA South Kings: A 6’0 junior at St. Cloud, Catto was effective playing both guard spots when we watched him Saturday morning.  He is crafty and quick with the ball in his hands, gets plenty of paint touches, and makes good shot vs pass decisions when the defense collapses on him.  Catto knocked down a couple of shots off the dribble that were heavily contested, raising awareness of his ability to score from different levels.  He has a good deal of quickness and strength, moves his feet well on defense, and plays with a great deal of effort and energy at both ends of the court.

Gustavo Guimaraes Alves, All Ball: The near 7’0 junior out of Miami Riviera Prep knows what he is good at and sticks to it.  He uses his size to score inside near the basket, keeps offensive possessions alive by tipping offensive rebounds if he can’t grab them, and challenges shots around the basket.  His athleticism seems to be improving as he appears to be running the floor a bit quicker and less lumbering.  Alves has good hands and catches passes in his area when rolling to the basket after setting a ball-screen or cutting into the lane.  He also doesn’t shy away from playing physically at either end of the floor.

Landen Harwood, Wellington Wolves Select: A 6’3 junior at Lake Worth Christian, Harwood may have been one of the more interesting players to watch this past weekend.  Playing in the 2A classification, he led the state’s juniors in scoring, averaging just over 27 ppg.  How would he fare against “the big boys”? Pretty doggone well, actually.  Harwood shoots the ball well from deep and also has the strength and toughness to get defenders on his hip and ride them to the hoop, earning many an “and one” opportunity.  He passes the ball well and is unselfish for a guy whose primary role is to score.  Harwood is a better athlete than anticipated and works hard on the defensive end as well as fighting bigger foes for rebounds.

Christopher Maxon, Florida Pro: A 6’2 junior from Fort Pierce Central, Maxon was dialed in early and often in Sunday’s last game of the event.  He was 4-5 from deep in the first half and finished 6-9 overall behind the arc.  When he wasn’t scoring that way, he was moving the ball quickly to open teammates for easy shots and scores.  Maxon plays uptempo at all times; he doesn’t hold the ball or “dance around” with it in one spot.  He attacks and if the opening doesn’t appear Maxon whips the ball to a teammate and continues to move.  Maxon seemingly delights in challenging opponents on defense, constantly swiping at the ball and getting into the opponent’s body.

Andrew Okafor, Florida Pro Select: A 6’8 junior at Archbishop McCarthy in Fort Lauderdale, we came away intrigued in our first viewing of Okafor.  He’s got some length and bounce to him and while not currently a high-level run/jump athlete, Okafor is good enough.  He showed a soft touch around the rim, good instincts for the ball on missed shots by teammates, and a willingness to continue to go after the ball with quick second and third efforts.  A willing ball-screener and roller to the rim, there is still some work to be done in terms of ball-handling and shooting from the perimeter.  Defensively he protects the basket, pursues rebounds out of his area and is quick to outlet the ball to teammates and then quickly get up the floor.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.