The final game of Phenom Hoops’ MLK Showcase took place between two of the top teams throughout North Carolina in The Burlington School and Bull City Prep. It definitely took some time for these teams to get warmed up, as evidenced by the low-scoring first quarter and Bull City Prep’s lead of 10-8. In the second period, it remained evenly matched and both teams struggled to score or gain much separation, which allowed Bull City Prep to enter halftime with a 22-18 advantage. Following the break, both teams seemed to improve and the action only got more competitive as time passed. The Burlington School amped things up. However, multiple guys rose to the occasion for Bull City Prep, which allowed them to force overtime. During the post-regulation period, The Burlington School made smart decisions on both ends of the floor and ultimately secured a 70-61 victory over Bull City Prep.
Bull City Prep:
6’3 ’22 LJ Thomas
At this point, no one should really be surprised by Thomas’ capabilities as a pure offensive weapon. Like usual, he controlled the pace and tempo for this group, showing patience and spreading the ball around while seizing any available scoring opportunities. Thomas makes incredible difficult shots on a regular basis, often making it appear routine, and can exploit angles that other players simply cannot. He’s also a useful defender and rebounder for his position.
6’9 ’21 Luc Therrien
Arguably no player on this roster has progressed more than Therrien over these last six or so months, who now looks extremely comfortable within his role on both ends of the floor. He’s big, sturdy, and understands how to alter and block shots on a consistent basis. Therrien finishes well around the basket, displays solid rebounding instincts, and doesn’t force the action on offense. He runs the floor hard and doesn’t necessarily even require offensive touches to make a quality impact on the game.
The Burlington School:
6’10 ’21 Kuluel Mading
Anyone who has seen Mading over the last month already knows that he’s been undeniably impressive while making clear strides within his progression. He’s still long and wiry but has shown improved interior toughness, assertiveness, and the ability to apply his perimeter skills within the flow the action. Mading should have a variety of suitors at the next level and has the tools to continually getting better over the foreseeable future.
5’11 ’21 Isaiah Escobar
Although he’s not usually considered one of the “feature” players on this roster, Escobar is still a major asset. Not only does he provide exceptional energy and a nonstop motor on both ends of the floor, but his defensive prowess and three-point shooting allow him to make vital contributions within the flow of the action. He’s always willing to do the little things and battle for extra possessions.