The Warmup was held Sunday April 15th at FiDonce Player Development in N. Philly and featured some 17u and 16u teams getting in some game action ahead of the live periods over the next two weekends. Here were some of the top performers from the day in the 17u division.

Al-Amir Dawes 6'1' '19 NJ Playaz EYBL (Patrick School) ' If I was to describe Dawes in two words they would be point getter which is kind of plain but very accurate. In a win vs. K-Low Elite Silver Dawes hit a few three balls including one under pressure to end the 1st half. This young man is a pure 2 and not a combo because he has the ability to score the ball in bunches with a smooth and balanced jumper with deep range that he shows no fear in launching. In the Playaz second game he nailed 4 more treys but they came up short in their loss to Philly Pride. His handle is also very good and while he can get some assists with nice passes most of those come as a result of him using a solid basketball IQ to dish it when he can't get a decent look at the basket. He's an opportunistic defender who gets his fair share of steals and forced turnovers due to his quick hands and instincts. He holds offers from in state schools Seton Hall and Rutgers while Depaul, Maryland and Minnesota have also gotten involved. At last word I was told he may be leaning towards Seton Hall but until he commits I'd say he's still open.

Zach Freemantle 6'8' '19 NJ Playaz (Bergen Catholic HS) ' A year ago Freemantle was battling some injuries and missed some of the spring events but fast forward to this spring and he was in full playing mode and was quite impressive in his two contests. In game 1 he impressed by getting a dozen rebounds half of which came off the offensive glass and he also contributed 8pts in the win. He put up 19pts 10reb in the game 2 defeat at the hands of Philly Pride but his motor and non stop effort was pure joy to behold as in these pre live period events some players coast a bit. He has really good touch around the basket and even buried some jumpers from out to 15 feet. Defensively he plays stout in the paint getting some blocked shots I the process. Early recruiting interest has come from Columbia and Monmouth but with some solid performances and hard work the number of schools checking him out could increase tenfold.

Khalil Turner 6'6' '19 K-Low Elite Silver (Sankofa Freedom Charter) ' Turner had a very good Junior year in the Philly Public League helping Sankofa to the state playoffs and while their season ended far too soon he did earn an offer from Hartford to get a start on his recruitment. I only caught one of his two games at the Warm Up but that contest came against the NJ Playaz and I will admit that his 1st half did not go well as he made several bad decisions leading to turnovers or bad shots. The conundrum for Turner is position and this is interesting as he played on the ball a great deal for his HS team. At 6'6' though he seems perfectly suited for the SF or SG spot despite his court vision and passing ability. He runs the floor very well and can pull up and drill jumpers from the midrange to the arc and his handle is tight enough to allow him to get to the basket where he can finish at the rim. As far as his passing ability goes that is a nice weapon to have in a big guard who can deliver the rock to teammates who free themselves up close to the basket. His rangy frame serves him well on the defensive end as he uses his long arms to get steals or force turnovers. For now the K-Low coaching staff has a nice weapon at their disposal and I'm sure they'll utilize him in the manner that suits him best to beef up his college options.

Ray Somerville 6'9' '19 Philly Pride (Shipley School) ' On the eve of the Live periods Somerville stood tall and played some pretty impressive basketball for the Under Armour circuit squad. In their opening win vs. the Playaz Somerville notched 14pts 12reb and battled hard vs fellow big Zach Freemantle of the Playaz. Then in winning game 2 over PYO and their 7'2' center Naheem McLeod he surprised everyonr in the building by outplaying his counterpart and dropping 14pts 8reb 3blks in the W. Somerville has shown some potential as far back as his days at Penncrest HS the only problem is that it doesn't always translate to big numbers for him. Of course the old adage of being patient with big guys certainly holds true with Ray. He's getting better all the time and as his confidence grows I think you'll start to see that potential turn into results as schools such as CCSU, Stony Brook, Hartford, NJIT, Bowling Green and High Point have offered and with some good outings in the Association that number will almost certainly grow.

Donta Scott 6'7' '19 Philly Pride (Imhotep Charter) ' Scott is a jack of all trades type player who does a bit of everything on the court to get his team the win. He's a tenacious rebounder who boards in and out of his area and combined with his ability to run the floor is dangerous in the open court as he can grab a board and trigger the fast break. He can step out and play the point as he passes the ball quite well and defensively he sticks to opponents like glue playing a tough and physical brand of D that leads to steals or turnovers. His shot is better than people think as he can step out to the arc and stick a decent percentage of them and when he gets inside his athleticism allows him to sky over opponents to drop in an assortment of runners, floaters or just plain acrobatic layups. He's gotten offers from Penn St. and UConn as well as interest from Arizona, Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech plus National Champion Villanova is keeping tabs on him. In his two games he had 9pts 7reb 2asts 2blks vs. Playaz then followed that up with 5pts 9reb 3asts 2stls and 2blks vs PYO. While these numbers may seem pedestrian by the casual fans standards they sure reveal the player Scott can be which translates to a stat stuffing player who cares more about winning than being a 20 point per night guy who adds nothing else to the table.

Malik Green 6'2' '18 Team PYO (Simon Gratz HS) ' For Green he's using these two upcoming live periods as another opportunity to attract some college interest before deciding on his next course of action. Green was somewhat a complimentary player with PYO a year ago but his performances not only on Sunday but in the Donofrio classic as well should get some D-II programs to consider him as late spring steal. He can shoot the rock there's no question about that as he canned 5 treys on his way to a game high 28pts in the loss to Philly Pride. The only blemish on his stellar effort was an uncharacteristic 1-5 effort at the charity stripe. He used his speed to motor past defenders especially late in the contest to get some layups many of them in traffic. He played hard to the buzzer which certainly would endear him to a college coach. His handle is more than adequate and while he's not a natural point guard he can dish the rock to keep the ball moving against good half court defense. Speaking of defense he is not what I would call a lockdown defender but he seems to be a willing participant on that end of the court which is another quality coaches love. This concludes our look at the 17u action at Philly Prides Warm Up.