Hoops Elite Academy had a successful first summer with a highly concentrated collection of New England’s top young talent attending the recent camp. Here is a look at some of the standouts:
Aaron McLean: McLean came to camp with a reputation of having a tremendous motor, and he did not disappoint. An absolute workhorse on the boards, McLean cleaned up on the glass, utilizing his long arms and 6’5” frame. McLean was a formidable defensive stopper all week, showing off his ability to guard multiple positions on the court, and blocking shots at a high rate. What was impressive about McLean, other then his high character, was his ability to step out to the perimeter and knock down shots, extending his range out to the three-point line. McLean took home the Most Outstanding Defender Award, and will be a tremendous addition to the St. Mark’s frontcourt.
Bruce Brown: Standing at 6’3” tall, Brown gets after it at both ends of the floor. He utilizes his long wingspan, superior speed, and athleticism to create havoc on the defensive end of the floor. Brown really fills up the stat sheet, as he is an excellent rebounder and shot blocker at the guard position, who is constantly in the passing lines. Brown is most dangerous in transition, with a tight handle, and finishes with aggression at the rim with monster dunks, as he is fearless driving to the hoop in any situation. Brown continues to improve as an outside shooter, adding a nice pull up midrange game to his offensive skill set. Look for Brown to contribute on Varsity immediately at Wakefield High School.
Chris Baldwin: You will not find a more talented young big man in the country then Baldwin. Standing at almost 6’8” tall Baldwin’s skill set is off the charts. He uses his guard like coordination and agility to score in a variety of ways, including spin moves, pull up jumpers, and half hooks over both the left and right shoulder. Baldwin has extended his shooting range out to the three-point line, and can finished strong at the rim with monster dunks. Baldwin will also drive past slower defenders with a quick first step. Defensively, Baldwin uses his superior length to disrupt and alter as many shots as he blocks. With an improved motor, Baldwin really got after it this week competing for loose balls, and rebounding out of his zone, taking home the Hoops Elite Academy MVP Award.
Eric D’Aguanno: At 6’4” D’Aguanno displays a versatility to his game that is unmatched. D’Aguanno has the ability to stretch the floor with deep three-point range, drive to the hoop when matched up against a bigger defender, and go to work on the block against smaller defenders. D’Aguanno is a fierce competitor on the glass, seeming to always be in the mix for rebounds both offensive and defensive and will hit the floor for the loose ball. D’Aguanno displayed the ability to guard multiple positions on the court, and a knack to hit three’s in bunches, taking home the Blue vs. White Showcase MVP Award.
Jordan Galloway: One of the youngest players at camp, the rising 7th grader had an outstanding week. The Boston native showed off a tight handle, pure shooting stroke, and ability to hit tough floaters in traffic. Never one to back down, Galloway excelled all week against older and bigger players, earning a spot in the Blue vs. White Showcase. Galloway is without a doubt a point guard to keep an eye in the future as he gains more experience.
Keyshaad Dixon: Only a rising 8th grader, Dixon showed off an impressive floor game. Rarely one to turn the ball over, or make a bad decision, Dixon was the ultimate glue guy at camp. Dixon also showed a tremendous amount of potential, as this 5’11” guard has a tight handle, solid jumper, and the ability to score in a variety of ways. Dixon had enough savvy to drive past slower defender, while taking smaller defender to the block. Dixon seemed to be at his best during clutch time, as he hit a game winner at the buzzer during one of the most memorable games of the week.
Sultan Olusekun: As true a point guard prospect as they come, Olusekun optimizes the term floor general. Olusekun displays a great feel for the game, always playing the game at his speed. Throughout the week, he displayed the capability of being a distributor for a high level team, as well as the knack to assert himself offensively when his team needed him the most. Olusekun rarely turns the ball over on offense, consistently making the right play, and taking what the defense gives him. With a tight handle, explosiveness and strength to finish through contact at he rim, three point range, and the ability to get into the paint for the pull up midrange jumper, Olusekun was one of the more impressive players we had a camp. He uses his great speed, long arms, and athleticism to put a tremendous amount of defensive pressure on the ball to create turnovers defensively. His leadership ability and character are off the charts, as he took home the Hoops Elite Academy Leadership Award.
Taj-Amir Hazard: A superior athlete, Hazard uses his track like speed to blow by his defenders, and running back build to finish at the rim through contact. Hazard displayed the ability to blow by his defender at camp, finish with either hand, and get into the paint for a very effective pull up or turnaround jumper. Hazard uses this same athleticism to create havoc on the defensive end, with his lockdown on ball defense, and ability to use his speed and anticipation to get into the passing lane. Hazard had a knack to make plays offensively or defensively when his team needed it he most, taking home the Most Outstanding Playmaker Award.
Terance Mann: This instant offense wing player caused fits for defenders all week. Mann uses his 6’3” frame, and long arms to rise above his defender, only needing a glimpse of daylight to show off his deep three-point range. Mann utilized his quick first step and tight handle to blow by defenders and finish at the rim with authority. Mann fills the lane effectively during fast break situations, often finishing above the rim with monster dunks. It was not uncommon for Mann to showoff his full offensive skill set of three’s, pull up jumpers, post up moves, and athletic finishes at the rim, single handedly going of for double digit runs of his own.
Tyree Weston: Weston is as fundamentally sound a player that we had a camp, with a textbook release on his jump shot. Weston uses his speed, strength, and tight handle to blow by his defender and finish through contact at the rim. His sound decision-making was also on full display, having had to play point guard at times throughout the week. Weston uses his strength and lateral quickness to always stay in front of his player on defensive, and is always willing to do the dirty work defensively whether its crashing the boards or getting on the floor for a loose ball. It was this type of attitude that allowed Weston to have one of the most successful weeks at camp, leading his team to a Hoops Elite Academy Championship. Perhaps what was most impressive about Weston was his effort in the classroom, bringing home the Hoops Elite Academy Student-Athlete Award for his work on and off the court.