Midwest Mayhem – Exciting Athletes
WILDER, KY – The inaugural trip to the Midwest for OTR was a terrific success, as some of the top teams from the region descended on Town & Country Sports & Health Club and its 5 courts for two rousing days of action.
With a second OTR trip looming over Memorial Day weekend back to the same location, we got an opening taste of some of the talent from Ohio, Kentucky and points further east and west.
Some athletic performers highlighted the weekend, here are a few.
By: Keith Agran
Right with Griffin Elite’s UA Rise team for top honors in the overall talent department, a roster full of guys who could not only play but affect the game with pure athleticism, Ntambwe was both a beast and a finesse warrior as he got up above the rim for some exciting flushes but also showed off the purity of his natural athletic prowess as a rebounder and defender, the Huntington Prep 6-5 has the body and motor to be really effective at the next level in that hybrid 3-4 role.
The excitement around Adams’ ability to rim-rock was evident both during his eye-opening live play performances as well as his dunk show during the unfortunate power outage which was spread over a wide area of Kentucky and Ohio, he entertained the waiting players with a slew of exciting throwdown with just the sunlight pouring in from the open exit doors, on the floor with a really good BSE bunch he added some incredible splashes right as the cup that had onlookers stunned and entertained, that kind of exceptional athletic ability moves him up a notch as you can mold a player’s other abilities once you’ve secured him on campus.
Jackson Jennings | G | 2024 | Team Dickerson Black (Greenbrier)
Great to see one of Georgia’s top independents come up I-75 to take on some of the Midwest’s best teams as part of the A Pool, it’s a familiar cast of characters similar to last year’s 2024 roster and Jennings stood out in spurts playing a variety of roles for a somewhat injury-riddled TD roster, despite being out of position at times and just doing all the key dirty work when needed you still got a great look at how versatile he can be with his natural gifts, gets off the deck as a finisher and plays physical defense while also being able to handle the ball out front as well.
Julius Edmonds | F | 2025 | Kentucky Ambition (pictured at top)
Edmonds was a sort of interesting mix between Adams and Ntambwe both mentioned above, he had elements of Adams’ exciting vertical which he used to flush home baskets but also had a power element and fluidity on the scoring path which stood out facing the basket, just moves and plays the game like a player ready for the next level as he did some damage away from the basket as well and like all of a feisty and fun Ambition team took no prisoners on defense.
Nehemiah McMorris is definitely a rising junior to watch, his athleticism and frame are next level already. As he figures out the game more, we’ll see him become a good athletic wing prospect. pic.twitter.com/jOYnkFjD5d
— Shun Williams (@OntheRadarHoops) April 2, 2023
Nehemiah McMorris | G | 2025 | Nova Village
So deep was the UA Rise Nova 16U crew that it’s tough to just pick one athlete out of the lineup, McMorris just looks like a guy born to play some high-level sport really well and we just happened to get to enjoy the basketball side of his arsenal, uses a next-level body to be physical but runs and moves laterally like both a guard and forward, projects off the wing most likely and with time still to hone the full package what may come out the other side is a potential power 5 type of player.
When talking top 2024 Georgia guards you cannot rightfully leave Hopkins off the list, bigger and stronger seemingly by the month he looks the part of a college-ready guy and backs it up with a deft combination of high-level smarts and the ability to score in so many ways, mixed old school style mid-range action with the more predominant new school powering to the hole and basically defends the entire floor all the way up through centers with 4 or 5 inches on his own 6-5 frame, have said it many times for a year or more now that this is as good an all-around player as there is in the GA 2024 class.
Covering the entire gym myself I didn’t get a ton of 15U action in as is normally my want but was glad to catch some of Njogu’s excellence, so smooth and so skilled the upside for this guard is really fascinating, had some great dunks to go with some pretty movement out in the open floor, the work on defense can’t be discounted as he was a presence with long arms and good hands and even though a guard by trade was all over the glass in spots, good-looking young prospect.
Almost no one-on-one matchup got me more juiced than the early Sunday AM head-to-head between Kambomba and Team Dickerson’s roc Lee, the two studs went at each other most of the game and while some of their abilities were hampered by the defense from the other we still saw what Kambomba can do when given a sliver of space, the drive game in particular and first-step burst were next level, that kind of movement allowed him to matchup with both guards and forwards and hew’s built Ford-tough as well, part of a terrific and deep (even with several top guys injured in street clothes) Ohio Buckets team that impressed all weekend.
Keith Agran has lived in Georgia since 2011 and joined OTR as a National Evaluator in 2021. He previously scouted for Prep Hoops dating back to 2019, and also spent 3 years as a sports writer at two newspapers in New Jersey. After a championship-coaching background on the HS-level also in NJ, he accepted the Girl’s Basketball Head Coaching position in May 2022 at Mt Bethel Christian Academy and now balances scouting and coaching still with a keen eye on talent around the region. You can reach him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @BracketSage.
February 17, 2024
February 16, 2024