#OTRHoopsReport: Steel City Invitational – December 22, 2013
Birmingham is known for historically producing steel and hard-nosed athletes. The Steel City Invitational provided a showcase of a number of talented basketball players last weekend.
*Photo Courtesy of SteelCityHoops.com
Birmingham, Ala. – The college atmosphere on the campus of Samford University set the stage for many of the best teams in the state of Alabama to square off in the Steel City Invitational. The Pete Hanna Center provided a state tournament-like atmosphere where 16 teams competed in the premier high school basketball tournament in the state. Here is a look at a few of the individuals who stood above the rest on championship day.
Mitchell Baldwin (Birmingham, Ala.) – Ramsay – 2014
The 6-foot-5 forward helped his team knock off the three-time defending Class 5A champions, Wenonah High School, in the semifinals. Baldwin who has recently committed to the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. played a central role in that victory. The strongly built slasher can take contact and finish at the rim even amongst bigger post players. His ability to score on the drive and be able to shoot a high percentage at the free throw line makes him a player who will consistently be productive at the next level. He even showed range to the arc here today, which further illustrates why Navy has to be excited about getting the Steel City native.
Justin Coleman (Wenonah, Ala.) – Wenonah – 2014
The 5-10 point guard had his full package of talent on display Saturday afternoon. The über-quick guard slashed into the lane and finished at angles that left defenders confused. Coleman battled versus Ramsay High School all afternoon and nearly single handedly led his squad to a victory. Not only did Coleman make plays for himself, but he set up his teammates for easy buckets with slick passes through traffic. His ability to see the play even before it happens makes him a truly special talent. The 4-star prospect signed to play for Anthony Grant at the University of Alabama in the early signing period. After his performance at the Steel City Invitational, the home-state fans will be anxious to see him suit up for the Crimson Tide next season.
Marquell Oliver (Birmingham, Ala.) – Parker – 2014
Oliver and his Parker High School teammates steamrolled their way to a championship at the Steel City Invitational. In the championship game versus Ramsay, Oliver scored 21 points and picked up MVP honors as well. The 6-6 forward is a versatile threat on the floor as he can score the ball inside the paint and from the arc. He is best in transition where he is free to use his size and athleticism to score around defenders. The unsigned senior has garnered interest from around the country in past months. If he continues with performances like he had on Saturday afternoon, that interest should translate to offers in the near future.
Jonathan Hemingway is a National Evaluator for the OTRHoopsReport. He is also the owner of Coach Hemingway Basketball. 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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