Phenom Capital City Jam: Coach Rick’s Magnificent Seven
The Second Annual Phenom Capital City Jam was once again loaded with talent and college coaches. More importantly, two players used the Phenom Hoop Report platform to secure offers by college coaches in attendance. 6’9 2020 Josh Hall (Moravian Prep) quickly picked up an offer by St. Bonaventure while 6’3 teammate Caleb Burgess picked up an offer by Hofstra. There is no greater feeling to provide a platform that allows teams and players to get exposure and this event did just that. In addition, many players used the Phenom Capital City Jam to make a statement on the court and should see their recruitment pick up tremendously. Now, let’s take a closer look at the players the made the biggest impact.
5’11 2019 Mikey Dukes (First Baptist)
To many of the college coaches that remembers Bruce Ellington that played at South Carolina, think of a faster version of the two-sport star. While Dukes has offers from a vast majority of Power Five football schools, his first love is basketball. Coming directly off the gridiron, Mikey Dukes gave the fans and college coaches in attendance just a glimpse of his unbelievable skills for the basketball court. First of all, we’re talking about one of the fastest basketball players in the country. His “end to end” and “jet like” speed is at a high level, not to mention the ability to change directions on a dime. While Mikey Dukes has all the physical attributes, we were also impressed with his court vision and passing ability. Without question, Dukes sees the floor as well as any point guard we have watched all year, and even knocked down midrange jumpers off the dribble/bounce. For the game, Dukes finished with a game high 24 points and was named game MVP.
Lee Central’s Dynamic Duo
The future looks bright for Lee Central. The dynamic duo of 6’0 2021 DaVeon Thomas (no. 37) and 6’2 2022 LeBron Thomas (No. 42) will be names for college coaches to put in their SIM card. The cousins are tight on and off the court and their play compliments each other so nicely. DaVeon is a poise and mature point guard that has excellent court vision, passer friendly instincts, and simply knows how to run a team and make his teammates better. While he can score efficiently within the framework of the offense, DaVeon is as happy and content making the right pass and getting the assists. In addition, we were equally impressed with his play on both sides of the ball. He is a strong defender that has terrific lateral quickness and speed. DaVeon finished with 12 points and was named game MVP.
We first saw LeBron last summer at the CP3 Live event. He immediately grabbed our attention with his advanced skill set and terrific passing skills. The southpaw has the unique ability to see plays in advance. His performance at the CP3 Live event earned him an invite to the prestigious SC Top 80 event. At the SC Top 80, we stated, “Thomas already possesses impressive feel and instincts on offense, able to manipulate on-ball defenders with his quickness and carve up the interior with his craftiness.” Lebron also has the ability to score at will. He has good range, but more importantly knows how to score within the team structure. LeBron finished with 14 points and could have shared the game MVP honors with his cousin DaVeon.
Both young men are quality young men. Speaking with both players after the game, we were equally impressed with their humbleness and maturity. Both came to us after the game to express their gratitude and thanks for having Lee Central at the Phenom Capital City Jam. Both young players were well mannered and couldn’t say “thank you” enough. In our age of entitlement with a lot of young players, it’s just refreshing to see two young players understand the big picture. Humbleness and gratitude go a long way and college coaches will simply enjoy recruiting these two fine young men.
6’9 2020 Josh Hall (Moravian Prep High School)
After his terrific performance vs. Northside Christian, St. Bonaventure quickly offered. Josh Hall was literally “in the zone” with a tournament high 34 points including seven 3-pointers. The silky smooth forward played with swagger and confidence and if this performance is any indication, Josh Hall is going to be a very popular prospect among Power Five schools. You simply can’t find players with his size that can step out and consistently knock down 3-pointers with his range. In addition, Hall has the ability to put the ball on the ball and create driving opportunities to the rim.
6’10 2020 Javerzia Belton (Moravian Prep)
Prior to the game, we came over and said “Hello big time.” Javerzia quickly responded, “I’m not big time yet, but I’m going to be.” And you know what, we believe him. In speaking with head coach Antonio Lowe, he raved about his tremendous work ethic and desire to get better. In the game vs. Northside Christian, he completely dominated the play on the interior. He simply has strength, size, and a relentless approach to the game. Belton finished with 16 points, had countless rebounds and basically was an intimidating factor in the paint on defense. In addition, Belton has excellent hands and good footwork. What more can you ask for in a young “big.”
6’4 2020 Quentin Hodge (Lakewood High School)
Talk about an all-around performance! In the loss vs. Liberty Heights, the long, wiry and athletic wing demonstrated poise, maturity and the ability to score from all three levels, not to mention he plays much taller than his listed height. Hodge finished with a double double of 26 points and 12 rebounds. We just loved his confidence and positive body language the entire game. He competes at a high level and could be one of the state’s most surprising prospects in his class.
6’7 2019 Juwan Gary (Liberty Heights)
One thing is for certain, Juwan Gary simply just enjoys playing basketball. The no nonsense senior goes out each and every game and gives it his all. It’s fun to watch. Gary scores from all three levels, rebounds, defends and will do anything that is asked of him, but most of all his maturity on the court is what clearly stands out! In the hard fought game vs. Lakewood, it was all the simple things he does on the court. When you need a block, he is there to block a shot. You need a rebound, again it will be Juwan Gary! Let’s just say Juwan Gary continues to become a complete all around player.