OTR #BattleattheBeach – Four Part Notebook Chapter 3

WINTER HAVEN, FL – With typical Central Florida T-storms rolling through all weekend, the “storming” on the inside of beautiful Advent Health Fieldhouse took place at the rim and beyond the arc as players and fans alike were treated to 6 courts of more high-level basketball during OTR’s Battle at the Beach.

With our own Summer Jam happening at Next Play 360 and Hiram HS in Atlanta at the same time, OTR took its act to the forefront of the Southeast travel scene with deep fields at both spots. A predominantly Florida-based field took on all comers in Winter Haven over 3 days, but plenty of out-of-state talent made our superlatives list.

Here’s the third group of four to come who created a whole bunch of buzz all weekend in the Sunshine State (in no particular order, GA guys have high schools in parentheses).

By: Keith Agran

Frenelson Atilus | Lake Worth Pride 17U | 2023

Power-packed low-to-the-ground combo guard who played a lot of point and was tough on the penetration but showed nice creativity coming off the wing and a smooth jumper as well, serious on-ball defender as all Lake Worth guys are, the defense and overall lead guard play alone are notable.

Alex McCray | Game Speed Elite Blue 17U | 2022

The unsigned 2022 was a calm and cool customer at the point with a confidence that was evident, showed all the key tools of a solid floor leader, nice range on the jumper combined with good quickness made it tough on defenders to figure his next move.

Mikel Brown Jr | Southeast Elite 17U | 2025 (pictured at top)

2025 playing up 2 levels looked comfortable and skilled despite being the smallest guy out there virtually every game, slick with the ball and an advanced mind on the attack as he pushed pace up the floor or created for his teammates in the halfcourt, a sure-fire name to watch down in FL who has hints of the dynamic 2024 ATL-Metro star and Michigan-signee Christian Anderson Jr.

Quay Randolph| Tallahassee Thunder 17U | 2023

Interesting right out of the gate at 6-7 with good movement, the mobility at both ends attracts eyeballs and when he asserts with a good frame inside it adds to the intrigue, soft jumper out to 15 is yet another facet to like, a ton to work with for a staff that see the natural gifts.

Shawn Cineus | Wellington Wolves 17U | 2023

On a team featuring all guys around 6-0 up to Cineus around 6-5 the hybrid forward at the upper end of that scale impressed with his full-court hustle playing both forward or guard, happily went inside to act as a 4-man against bigger teams and was both strong and clever in close, the versatility extended out to the arc where he showed comfort from distance, one of several solid and fun guys to watch for the always sound Wellington group.

Mehki Craft | HYPE Hawks 17U | 2023 (Columbia)

SG David Feeman of Peachtree Ridge has rightfully been garnering a ton of attention for HYPE as he shoots it and shows off his versatility at 6-5, but of late Craft has been showing that Columbia toughness at the point to go with the kind of leadership and crafty scoring you crave at the next level, he really knows how to run a squad with a vocal and high IQ nature that has been a stabilizing force for HYPE as they as usual take on all comers in a gauntlet of a schedule so far.

Ermil Fleurinvil | Sunshine Elite 17U | 2023

Late on Sundays the play can get kind of choppy but Sunshine outpaced that with a group of high-flying and energetic athletes who were a ton of fun to watch, in a dunkfest win on Day 3 Fleurinvil was up above the rim and all over the floor affecting shots on defense and cleaning the boards at 6-7, intriguing athletic prospect to potentially hone further when he gets to campus.

Liam Simington | SBT 16U | 2024 (North Cobb)

Down to just 5 guys late on Sunday Simington still played as hard as he usually does and affects the game either handling it out front or using an often deadly jumper from the wings, there’s a little fire brewing in the belly and it will be fascinating to see if that can be utilized for what on paper is a talented group of returnees in the 2023 and 2024 classes at North Cobb.

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 has both a championship-coaching background on the HS-level and daily newspaper writing experience, both from New Jersey. You can reach him at keithagran1@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @BracketSage.