#OTRHoopsReport: Bob Gibbons Invitational Standouts – May 4, 2015
Class of 2017 center Ikechukwu Obiagu of Decatur, Ga., held a block party this weekend. Read why he is considered one of the best post players nationally in his class. Photo cred – Ty Freeman/OTR
SUWANEE, Ga., – The Bob Gibbons Invitational hosted at Suwanee Sports Academy has long been considered a premier stop on a non-certified weekend. This weekend a handful of elite teams showed up to compete for championships. Here are the top individual performers from the weekend.
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Premium Post Play
The Georgia Stars feature two of the best players nationally in both the 2016 and 2017 classes. Udoka Azubuike of Jacksonville, Fla., proved why he is a 5-star prospect once again. The 6-foot-11 center gobbled up rebounds and rattled the rafters while leading his team to a 17U championship. While 7-0 Ikechukwu Obiagu of Decatur, Ga., proved why we will need to consider him one of the nation’s premier shot blockers regardless of class. The long-armed post combines length and incredible timing for a player his size. The sophomore made the lane a no-man’s land for opponents regardless of size or speed.
Class of 2016 Robert Baker Jr. of Marietta, Ga., revealed why he is being mentioned as one of the most recruited prospects from the Peach State. At 6-10, he has the wingspan to rebound and defend the paint, however it is what he can do away from the rim that makes him unique. He showed his ability to hit the 3-point jumper and defend the top of the press for Game Elite. Walker moves to the top of the list in the early conversation for the Atlanta Tip-Off Club Metro Player of the Year . When he suits up for Walker High School, he should be considered as one of the top prospects in the area. In a similar vein, class of 2017 Alex Reese of Pelham, Ala., played his way into the ELITE 100 discussion with his performances at the Gibbons Invitational. The 6-9 wing forward has a skill set and frame that reminded Keil Moore (Naismith Awards Selector) of Michael Carrera from the University of South Carolina. His ball skill away from the basket and ability to defend multiple positions has a number of Power Conference coaches watching closely.
While there was a lot of fanfare about uncommitted players, perhaps the most productive player of the tournament was Jared Harper of the Georgia Stars. The Auburn commit was complemented with a full roster of play-makers that allowed him to pick and choose between making plays for himself and others. Again Harper consistently hit the 3-point jumper from behind the high ball screen while also finishing with flair at the rim. Equally as effective at the back court position this weekend was Darius Perry of Powder Springs, Ga., for Game Elite 16U. Perry is an ELITE 100 Watch-list player in the class of 2017 following his high school season with Wheeler High School. Perry puts us in the mind of another Atlanta combo guard, Alterique Gilbert, because of his ability to get open and score from the off-guard position. His quick release and polished footwork allowed him to move off of screens and get shots off the dribble.
Exposure & Showcase Opportunities
Jonathan Hemingway is a National Evaluator for the OTRHoopsReport. Hemingway serves on the Board of Selectors for the Naismith Trophy. He is also the publisher of CoachHemi.com. He has been involved in the community since 1996 as a coach, camp director and evaluator. You can reach him via email at JonathanHemingway@PeachStateBasketball.com and follow him on twitter @JLHemingwayPSB
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