Phenom Hoop Report was on hand at the recent Session II of the MadeHoops Winter Circuit at Boo Williams Sportsplex. Let’s take a look at some of the players who caught our attention at that event and other up and comers from the Winter Circuit:
Alfred “AJ” Swinton (6’4 2024 Team Takeover Grant) AJ is an elite athlete who can impact a game in many ways. On the drive his length and powerful rangy strides allows him to eat up real estate in a hurry as he slices his way through to the rim where he is a punishing finisher. He has great technique on his jumper; catches the ball shot ready and elevates effortlessly getting great uplift in to a fluid stroke and high release. He is a very good shooter, especially on catch and shoot opportunists. He moves off the ball instinctively and manages to get to his kill spots where he can get hot and shred the nets at a high percentage. He has excellent length and a strong, athletic frame and explosive leaping ability. He rebounded the basketball and defended multiple positions. Showed good anticipation and quickness in passing lanes. Definitely a player to follow going forward! Put the name in Alfred “AJ” Swinton in your memory banks, you’ll be hearing it plenty in the near future!
Darren Harris (6’4 2024 Team Takeover Grant) Darren really shot the ball well all weekend long and also showed he could handle and score on the drive. His shot mechanics are sound and he has a quick release. He uses long, powerful strides and a strong frame to get into the lane and scored in traffic nicely showing the ability to play through contact. Solid handle, attacks space nicely and scored at the rim showing a nice touch. Darren defended the dribble nicely and was always in position to make plays defensively.
Tayeshaun Smith (6’4 2025 Team Marsh) Tayeshaun has soo much potential! He has excellent length on a frame that shows plenty of vertical growth potential. He plays with a great motor and stays active. Contests shots and gets off his feet quickly showing great timing for blocked shots and rebounds. He runs the floor hard, has great hands and finishing touch around the rim. I even saw him knock down a three pointer when he got his feet set but he demonstrates potential as a shooter as he showed comfort and nice mechanics mostly on jumpers inside 15 feet and on the occasional three pointer.
Kai Wade (5’8 2025 Team United) Kai is a physical playmaker, his strong frame allows him to play through contact and get where he needs to with the dribble. He has the ability to turn the corner and really blows up when he sees daylight to the rim showing a nice burst and strong finishes around the rim, good touch!
Khristian Martin (2024 Team Marsh) Khristian is a strong, athletic wing with versatility. His strong frame allows him to make plays on both ends of the floor both inside and on the perimeter. He is very good scoring on the move and plays through contact. He can defend multiple positions and doesn’t mind battling inside against bigger players, many of whom he has the strength to move or initiate contact and score against.
Caleb Williams (6’3 2024 Team Takeover Olidipo) A smooth shooting lefty can hit the three pointer at a good rate and has sound mechanics, high fluid release. Caleb demonstrates advanced skills and the ability to serve as the primary ball handler or a scorer off the ball with equal success. He has a solid handle, length, vision and is a sound decision maker. His length and crafty handle allows him to get where he wants with the dribble. He has a chance to be a special player!
Derrick Eley, Jr 2024 Team United NC) Eley is an outstanding scorer who hit the jumper with good consistency, he makes great cuts to get open and scores on the move nicely. Uses the floater over taller defenders and shows a great touch and ability to play through contact and score. He showed plenty of versatility on both ends of the floor handling the ball and creating for himself and for teammates. On the defensive end he proved he could guard multiple positions. Uses his length inside and quick elevation off the floor and is a good rebounder. You have to keep a body on him, Derrick is active and really pursues rebounds especially on the offensive end and time and again was able to use his quickness to slip into space and steal rebounds by being more aggressive.
Colby White (6’2 2024 BWSL Dreamchasers) Colby is a fantastic scorer who can knock down the jumper at a good rate from deep or put it on the floor and knock down the pull up jumper. He is very athletic and quick and gets into the paint regularly using crossovers, a strong frame and some hesitations. Slices through the paint with shiftiness and shows a great touch on runners and finishes off the glass. He plays through contact and is powerful and crafty enough a finisher to absorb contact and finish. He is an explosive leaper and won’t hesitate to dunk on a defender!
Jamal Brown (6’6 2025 Boo Williams) Jamal is a player we featured two years ago and he continues to blow up nationally. At 6’6 he is amazingly agile and quick. He is a strong finisher around the rim, punishing yet crafty and can explode to the rim for thunderous dunks. Jamal has really added a solid perimeter game to his impressive repertoire knocking down the spot up three pointer and also using dribble pull-ups where he has smooth, effortless mechanics, gets very good elevation and is a threat to hit the jumper in addition to his dominance around the rim.
Carmello Swinson (5’9 2025 Boo Williams) Carmello is really crafty, a ball handling wizard with an impressive array of dribble moves he can pull off in stride. He uses hesitations, quick change of direction moves and combines a quick first step, good speed and a strong frame to simply overwhelm many defenders. His vision is tremendous and he can make all the passes, dangerous in space. He is a threat to knock down the three pointer and is very good scoring off dribble pull-ups and runners. Tremendous potential in this skilled and creative playmaker!
Deshawn Spellman (6’3 2026 No Hype) Deshawn has a lengthy frame, good coordination for a player so young with his length. He is a very good rebounder not only because of his length but because he works hard inside, stays active and outworks opponents for position. He moves his feet nicely to help on dribble penetration, is a shot blocking threat. Deshawn also showed the ability to catch the ball on the wing and get to the basket showing good body control and some shiftiness attacking the basket. Good form on short jumpers, also a good passer from the post.
Josh Rice (5’7 2026 No Hype) Josh is a smart and poised playmaker. Showed strong leadership skills and feel running the team, solid handle and a very good passer. Josh can break down defenders and get to the rim, can handle and drive hard to the rim with both hands and score. He can hit the three pointer and knocks down the mid range jumper at a good rate. Excellent free throw shooter! Dribbles with purpose, makes sound decisions.
Kassidy Jackson (5’7 2026 No Hype) Kassidy has excellent scoring instincts and all the tools and athleticism to be a high volume scorer. Breaks defenders down with his high level ball handling skills and quick handle, wins isolations regularly! He can score using jumpers from deep and in the middle and scores off the dribble nicely. Crafty finisher at the rim and has a strong upper body allowing him to play through contact.
Ben Hammond (5’8 2024 BWSL Dreamchasers) High IQ and savvy floor general was really solid leading his team. He has very good ball handling skills, is shifty and quick and makes great decisions. Ben uses his dribble to move defenders and a skilled passer on the move. Gets into the paint with good regularity, knows how to change speeds to keep defenders off balance. Ben is a pass first true floor general but can also score in bunches when needed. He can hit the jumper with three point range and can score off the dribble. Solid defender who gets into the ball handlers bubble showing excellent footwork, lateral quickness and a great motor!
Kyle Green (2024 BWSL Dreamchasers) Kyle can really fill it up from anywhere on the floor. His shot mechanics are sound and fluid, he has a quick release and great range. He uses the threat of his jumper to stretch the floor and attacks with quick rips and a quick burst, crafty and strong attacking the basket. His length is impressive and he has great body control with the ability to employ hesitations, crossovers and behind the back moves to get defenders off balance where he can use a long stride and blow by his man or pull up off the dribble and stick the jumper at a good rate.
Stephen Osui (6’8 190 2024 UPlay Canada) Stephen is an impressive athlete, fluid and quick. Very good screen/roll guy with excellent hands and footwork. Hits the shots around the elbow and short corner with good consistency. He absorbes contact nicely and has a great touch around the rim. Defensively he moves his feet nicely and defends his position effectively. Very good shot blocker with explosive leaping ability, length and timing.
Ayobe Daniels (6’6 190 2024 UPlay Canada) Ayobe is very athletic and agile. Runs the floor nicely, has excellent footwork around the rim. He moves off the ball nicely has great hands and finishes at a very good rate around the rim showing some craftiness and a great touch. Ayobe is a strong rebounder, rebounds the ball high and is a powerful leaper who stays active with equally powerful second and third jumps. He also showed the ability to defend away from the basket with solid footwork and length.
AJ Osman (2024 Uplay Canada) Solid point guard with explosiveness off the dribble and power. Gets to the rim almost at will employing his physical tools and using hesitations. AJ knocks down shots at a good rate from all levels, uses a very good step back move to create separation. Does a great job moving the ball and finding cutters, solid vision, excellent passer. AJ is a high motor defender who has the strength and footwork to play physical and quick, really locks in on the ball and harasses ball handlers. Tenacious defender!
Zion Walker (6’2 2023 BWSL Dreamchasers) Zion is a physical yet agile and versatile playmaker who can overpower you and get to the rim or use a powerful first step and good quickness to get into the lane. He is very efficient a shooter in the mid range although is a threat from beyond the arc, hits catch and shoot jumpers and can pull up off the dribble. Strong and active around the rim, plays through contact and is really active on the glass with athleticism and very good jumping ability