Osbourn Park High School (Manassas, VA)
Classification: Virginia High School League (VHSL) Class 6, Region B
District: Cedar Run
I tell you, this preseason for high school basketball sure has been a blur up to this point. Halloween will be here next Thursday and then less than two weeks remain until most teams hold tryouts for all who’s interested in earning a jersey this winter. Back during my coverage of the inaugural ‘ASSIST DMV Top 100 High School Showcase’ about two months ago (8/18), I clearly saw several Northern Virginia public school prospects who looked capable of having an attention-drawing year in their respective districts. One could make a stop on Euclid Avenue in the town of Manassas, VA to see those such players going through daily workouts at Osbourn Park High School. I first came across the Yellow Jackets’ program back around this time last year and, after scouting a couple of their returning players throughout the summer/fall offseason, I’m convinced by now that they’re on the right path to establishing their status in the Cedar Run District.
What We Know
- Frankly, choosing to judge Osbourn Park off of their 9-16 overall record in 2018-19 does not do them justice. They landed a significant achievement by reaching the regional tournament for the first time in over a decade; losing in an opening round matchup to Marshall High School (Falls Church, VA). Less than a week before that regional play, the team also advanced to the semifinal round of the Cedar District tournament before Patriot High School (Nokesville, VA) knocked them off. Those results should have brought some mutual optimism with it to the roster members and a new coaching staff in its first year. Now, however, the returners will face a challenging task of stepping up even more to replace a seven-man Class of 2019 core.
- More recently, my Phenom Hoops co-worker, Frank Bennett (aka Coach Frank), and I came across Osbourn Park in the 2019 ‘ASSIST East Coat High School Team Camp’ (8/24). The Yellow Jackets represented one of only two Northern Virginia schools, took on tough foes, and stood out as a unit for each showing in three games. Honestly, I felt they finished out that particular Saturday as one of the event’s best in team defense. Their perimeter guards/wings stayed in front of opponents constantly with endless aggressiveness, which frequently led to either dead-dribbles or turnovers. For the past several weeks, Osbourn Park has spent time participating in the Bowie High School Fall League (Bowie, MD). In the midst of my open gym visit last night (10/22), I learned from the coaching staff that they’re currently sitting at a 5-1 record.
- Back to the departure of the 2019 senior class. So yes, losing a number of older heads usually never comes easy and this year’s Osbourn Park group looks like it’s shaping up to be fairly youthful. Still, like I always say, one can find good things within young rosters. For starters, there’s inevitable talent among the team’s underclassmen, who all seem to show a common feel for playing the game in a natural way. Putting the younger ones in adverse situations once season games emerge will only force them to grow in more ways than one. Already, I picture them operating nicely in the half-court with an offense that has opponents on their heels.
- 11 players arrived for Tuesday night’s 105-minute workout. I definitely appreciated the organization of things and how Osbourn Park’s coaches already have certain future scenarios in the back of their minds. Drills of the traditional three-man weave, ball-handling, splitting guards and bigs into opposite ends for skill development, spacing on the court, 5v5 full-court games, and a two-man defensive slide challenge (four total times, one-minute each) composed of the evening session. The Yellow Jackets appeared like they’re gelling well together and absolutely have guys who can shoot the ball. Also, notable physical improvement from the players shows the school’s eye popping weight room is being put to good use.
Who to Watch
* Obviously, with weeks left until tryouts, the roster remains unofficial. Still, several guys stood out during my visit, whom all I feel can make notable contributions if they fill a roster spot.
Ethan Wilson ’20 – The senior’s return for one more year likely has surrounding opponents groaning with despair. At 6’0,” Wilson’s continued to maintain his mark as one of the best scorers I’ve seen in Northern Virginia. It doesn’t matter the location, day, time, or circumstances…expect him to pour in buckets from anywhere on the floor. I think the DC-Maryland-Virginia (DMV) region got the best taste of this when he exploded for 43 points in last season’s renowned ‘DMVElite Governor’s Challenge’; it was only one point shy of tying the tournament’s single-game scoring record. He’s made some advances in trying to instill a ‘combo guard’ reputation but filling up the scoring column nevertheless keeps appearing as his best asset, without question. An All-Cedar Run first teamer and All-Region 6D honorable mention selection in 2018-19, Wilson currently holds an offer from Georgian Court University.
Jaren Cazar ’20 – Another returning senior piece, the 5’11” Cazar gives Osbourn Park a good scoring option that can usually be found off of the ball. He does a great job moving around the floor and getting open, whether his team’s pushing the ball or setting up their half-court execution. Once they find him, Cazar can make shots from both three-point range and near the basket. The thing I like most about his style involves a trait of selflessness. As a veteran who knows the system, it’s easy to see the two-guard hold an IQ of what’s the right play to make. That’s something his peers should feed off of and I see him becoming an important leader by example. Cazar could also contribute heavier by being comfortable with controlling the ball more.
Dominic Shoemaker ’22 – I liked Shoemaker’s game a LOT when I scouted him at a first glance in the aforementioned ‘ASSIST East Coast Team Camp.’ He’s a good example of the team’s young core of smart players. Likewise to Cazar, he also gets to his spots seamlessly in transition and half-court areas for perimeter shots and/or finishes. The 6’1” guard gets his release off quickly and already possesses exceptional strength that aids in his bullying drives. On Tuesday, he looked better facilitating to his peers; probably better than anyone else during scrimmages. Shoemaker already does many things well, fearlessly makes plays, and ensures his vocal projection is known on defense. There’s a high ceiling for the sophomore if he keeps enhancing his guard skills.
Elyas Yassin ’20 – Strolling into the gym with long arms and an infectious personality, Yassin has a motor about him that stands out immediately. Personally, I felt he competed with the most energy on Tuesday. Whether it involved hustling for loose balls, snagging rebounds, or picking off steals, the senior was everywhere on the floor. Osbourn Park may need his 6’4” frame to play at the forward position, especially when observing how well he crashes the glass. I think Yassin will succeed best in transition since he runs the floor nonstop and can elevate solidly for finishes. He’s still a bit raw and needs to keep working on his footwork, along with a few other skills, but can bring a spark for his last outing as a Yellow Jacket.
Rahim Woni ’21 – Woni potentially brings the best inside-and-out capabilities to Osbourn Park this year. He stands at around 6’5”, consistently attack the rim with a deadly burst in his first step, relies on a good frame, and makes short jumpers. Similarly to the first time I saw the junior back in April, he looked incredibly difficult to stop from powering towards the rim. If he’s positioned inside, Woni can rise pretty high for hook shots and strong dunk attempts, along with fairly good footwork. His game centers on power mainly and he’ll create even greater matchup issues if he continues to develop stronger perimeter skills. I think the junior’s in a good place to breakout in the area’s 2021 class…he undoubtedly passes the ‘eye test’ immediately.
Carson Miller ’21 – Miller could very well become one of Osbourn Park’s top spot-up shooters for his last two high school seasons. He performed in that area very well during the ‘ASSIST East Coast Team Camp’; netting triples from both wings around the perimeter and displaying great balance on his shot. Having seen his progression, I think it’s appropriate to coin the 6’0” guard as a ‘microwave guy’ by this point. Not long ago, he racked up seven makes from outside of the arc in a contest…that should serve as indication enough that he’s a lethal shooter who can change the course of a game on the scoring end. The more he starts using ball-handling for separation and showcasing playmaking for others, the more complete his game should expand.
Peter Oduro ’21 – The 6’7” forward had the most size in the gym last night and keeps looking on pace to increase his stock at that position. Oduro’s grown in his assertiveness around the paint and has learned to establish quick position for touches. Whenever he spots a 1v1 opportunity on the block, he does well scoring hook shots over either shoulder and can also face up a bit. I see he’s been working on the latter especially…trying some sneaky moves once facing up in triple threat. Oduro’s midrange shot is still coming along…it looks better at times compared to others. As far as his touch near the basket, however, he could use those go-to hook shots effectively and also find success from going hard on the offensive boards. College coaches searching for a big fella in their 2021 recruiting class need to give him a look ASAP.
*Cameron Cole ’22 could not truly participate due to nursing some knee pain at the moment but nevertheless returns as one of the youngest players. I’m excited to see more of the 6’1” guard’s game…Coach Frank is high on his point guard abilities.
Where You Can Find Them
- Hosted ‘DMV Elite NOVA Tip-Off’; December 7, 2019
- 39th annual ‘DMV Elite Governor’s Challenge,’ hosted at Wicomico Youth and Civic Center (Salisbury, MD); December 26 – 31, 2019
- ‘John Handley High School Winter Showcase’ (Winchester, VA); December 14, 2019
- 12th annual ‘VirginiaPreps Basketball Classic’ ; January 2020
A Word from the Head Honcho
“My main hope is that we can build off of last year, which was our foundation year. We set the stage for the culture and where we wanted to go as a program. Now, I have a big returning group that has embraced the teachings from last year and set expectations high for this year’s potential team. So, my expectations are just really focused on building upon last year. It felt pretty good to go back to the regional tournament after a 10-12 year drought and then reach the semifinal round of the conference. This year, we expect to be in the conference finals and go deeper into the regional playoffs.
- Head coach Jeremy Coleman (2nd season)
Wilson provides a great deal of importance as the returning leading scorer but he, Cazar, and Yassin should have many other non-senior options around them. Shoemaker’s growth has looked great for the past few months…the sophomore and others listed all have a chance to attain interest from the next level. One respectable notion about Osbourn Park: they seek out events that hold the best competition, evident by the four big showcases they’ll partake in. Having that mentality goes a long way with a young group…experience should keep playing the role of the team’s best teacher as they keep aiming for greater heights.
Be on alert…mess around with the Yellow Jackets this year and you might get stung.