OTR Hoops: Florida Battleground Session 2 7th/8th Grade Prime Performers – April 11, 2024

As the 7th and 8th grade groups play for positioning at the Finals, these players looked to make a bigger name for themselves.

By: Bilal Benjamin

8th grade

Alexis Fuentes | Rivera Sports Black

Although Rivera Sports Black had mismatches all over the floor, Fuentes was utterly dominant. The best player on the best team throughout Florida Battleground Session two. His on-court communication and footwork left defenders in awe. Fuentes would not be denied. A big that can score on all three levels with finesse and flare.

Jordan Rivera | Rivera Sports Black

Rivera can play the game of basketball. His level of understanding of the game is at an elite level. It’s early, but there’s no way when his playing days are over, he doesn’t elect to coach with his basketball IQ. That explains why his teammates love playing with him. As the leader of this team, Rivera makes it his duty to keep his teammates happy and in the right spots to succeed. Amazing lead guard to track.

Caleb Gbadehan | Rivera Sports Black

Gbadehan looked un-guardable from 18 feet in. He finishes with both hands around the rim, knocking down the middy and sets solid screens to open the floor for his guards really set the tone. He’s on a team that doesn’t make many mistakes and he makes them even tougher to beat.

Lamorris Sellers | Team Speights

Sellers is a lanky that can really score the ball. Particularly in the open floor. He also defends and rebounds at a high level. Whether the ball is in the paint or on the perimeter, Sellers will gravitate to it and make a play.

Zion Poole | BTI Pressure Elite

I’m not even sure Poole understands how athletic he truly is. Poole was extremely efficient in the open floor and had some crafty moves in display. He’s the go to guy for this BTI Pressure Elite squad, but he doesn’t force things. His scoring is very fluid.

Connor Pierre | ABG All-Stars

Pierre effortlessly had the best performance of Session two. He was on an absolute heater dropping 30 points and leading his ABG All-Stars squad to a 20-point win. Pierre is abnormally powerful for an 8th grade and uses that to his advantage to get to the cup at will. He is an underrated prospect to pay attention to out of Florida.

Malian Williams | Florida Blaze

Williams is a player that will take on any challenge you throw at him. He proved that Saturday evening in a victory over South Florida Select when he took matters into his own hands, waved off his teammates and slashed to the cup for a game winning bucket. It was virtually impossible to keep Williams out of the paint in Session two and I don’t see that changing in Session three.

Eugene McCray | South Florida Select

McCray was easily one of the most impressive players throughout Session two. Very few players will do whatever it takes for their teams to win, but McCray is a player that leaves it all on the floor. Offensive rebounding, help defense, cutting off the baseline, looking ahead to the open man are all things McCray did to help secure W’s for South Florida Select. He’s much more than a glue guy, kid can score at will too! He is a unique 2028 prospect.

Trenton Coley | Hoop Dynasty

Coley helped lead Hoop Dynasty to a 4-0 record during Session two. They solidified this undefeated mark by turning defense into offense and controlling the glass. Coley was at the forefront of that. It literally felt like he was a step ahead of his opponents with everything. His athleticism, power and quickness allow him to play, compete and produce at multiple positions.

7th grade

Jamaal Abdullah | Florida Gulf Coast Legends

Abdullah is one of those players you go, “he’s in middle school?” This young man has a good frame, next level strength to go along with a nice overall skillset. He controlled games with his physicality on both ends, which led to him commanding attention anytime he was in the game. Abdullah is a program changer whose stock is rising.

Jaheim Jones | Florida Gulf Coast Legends

Continuing from momentum from Session one, Jones had some scoring outburst that put teams away early. He slashes to the basket with a fierce determination to get a bucket. Jones also dominated the boards and defended 1-5 with success. This Florida Gulf Coast Legends squad will be tough to beat in the finals with Abdullah and Jones lead the way.

Luigi Saviani | Rivera Sports

Saviani was twisting opponents up all Session two. His craftiness on the court, displays a skillful level of finesse. He has the ball on a string and makes something out of nothing. His ability to outsmart opponents and create scoring opportunities showcases his mastery of the game. Saviani is a strategic game manager that is looking to lead Rivera Sports to the championship.

Abdulrahman Salehmohd | Heavenly Hoopers

Salehmohd played a crucial role in his team’s success during Session two, leading them to an impressive undefeated record of 4-0. He was the key to victory in most games. Salehmohd led the team’s point of attack to perfection. His ability to read the game, make crucial plays, and score points effectively helped his team secure wins against tough opponents.

Zacchai Wright | Team Euro

If we are talking fundamentals, Zacchai Wright doesn’t lack any. He’s extremely talented and skilled. It runs in his genes, as Wright’s father Zack Wright played 14 years professionally in Europe. Wright has that competitive edge that he plays with, which uplifts his team when they hit adversity. After a loss in game 1 of Session two, Wright came out playing with a chip on his shoulder the rest of weekend. Buy stock now on this fundamentally sound 7th grader.