What a two day event this inaugural event was. There were college coaches from every level strewn across the crowd and baseline, even on Super Bowl Sunday, Head Coaches came to watch.
And the players showed out. With Top 150 Ranked Guys in seemingly every game, the ranked, un-ranked and the vastly under-recruited showed out. With the amount of media, coaches, videographers and scouts in the building was no hiding on these proving grounds.
After getting back and digesting the incredible two days of Basketball we just witnessed, here were the best individual performances from the Hargrave Military Challenge …
6’6 2021 David Jones
Teay’s Valley (WV) vs. Combine Academy (NC)- Day 1
Jones’ Saturday performance was arguably the best individual showing of the event. The lefty wing showcased the ability to flat out score the ball, in any way possible. What made this performance so impressive was doing it against a Combine Academy team, who is one of the best defensive units in the country. Jones created space off the bounce, Scored from the mid and low post and knocked in catch and shoot 3s. Add in Jones’ ability to rebound and his ability to defend off the ball and you’re talking about a very high-level prospect. After his 33 point outburst, Jones picked up offers from Maryland and Illinois.
6’ 2020 KD Johnson (Georgia)
Hargrave Military (VA) vs. Commonwealth Academy (MA) – Day 2
Johnson was a one-man wrecking ball, aggressively dictating the tempo on both ends of the floor. He plays with so much passion. He showcased the ability to knock down the 3-ball all weekend, and he hit 4 more on this one. Johnson spearheads an offense that is putting up over 100 points per game. He is explosive (monster dunks), he sees the game a step or two ahead with his understanding of angles and he defends for the length of the floor. Johnson showed here as he is one of the best PGs in the country.
7’2 2020 Kai Sotto
The Skills Factory (GA) vs. Massanutten (VA) – Day 2
The 7’2 lefty has such a unique skill set. He’s only been in the US since April, coming from the Philippines, a country that LOVES Basketball. Sotto is revered in his home country, known by all and fiercely followed (it’s a great story to follow up on at another time). In this game however, he showcased the entire offensive tool-kit. The lefty handled the ball, attacked the basket, pushed the break, show the 3 ball, but what really stood out was his ability to pass the ball. His vision in this game was the best in the field, with his ability to create for everyone. Sotto also showed some toughness, crashing the Boards hard, impressive as Massanutten front line is 6’10/6’11. Excited about Sotto’s future, moving forward.
6’3 2020 Matt Williams
Aspire Post Grad (KY) vs. Massanutten (VA) – Day 1
Williams is a player who has as much pedigree as anyone in the event. Two sisters and dad all played major college basketball, and one sister (Gabby) was drafted #4 in the WNBA Draft. Well Matt doesn’t fall from the family tree. The wing plays incredibly aggressively both defending the ball and on the Block. He is a tough rebounder, but also able to initiate offense and score the ball. His 32 Points came from each level, dunking on people, pull up jump shots or knocking in 3s. He was a power 5 high jump/hurdle recruit out of high school, but he chose to bet on himself to follow the family business. College should bet on him as well.
6’6 2022 Jalen Hood Schifino (Pittsburgh)
Combine Academy (NC) vs. Teay’s Valley (WV) – Day 1
Hood-Schifino has always had a high IQ with great pace. He still has that, but he pairs it with a college-ready frame and the ability to go out and get buckets. Hood-Schifino showed here his ability to move both on and off the ball, something that intrigues with his size and his vision. The step Hood-Schifino has taken over the last 6 months has been immense, he is ranked as a 5-Star and is a perennial Invitee to Team USA training camps. His development under Jeff McInnis this past year has been a huge step.