Coach: Kelvin Mills
#66: 5’5 ’24 Damon Thompson (Homeschool)
Starting things off, we look at a player that stood out nicely with his blue-collar approach, Damon Thompson. He’s a young, team-first point guard prospect with excellent quickness, footwork, and vision. Thompson plays with a nonstop motor, which is especially evident on defense, where he consistently got back in transition and forced turnovers by jumping into passing lanes. Next in his development process is working on the use of his off-hand, as it would make him a more lethal offensive threat. Coach Mills on Thompson: “Damon is a young player that works very hard. He rebounds well from the guard position. Damon has a high basketball IQ and is solid on defense. He has quick footwork and fast hands. Damon was one of the hardest workers at camp and moves well without the ball.” Thompson did a lot of things well, especially for his age, and will be a player to watch grow over the coming years.
#68: 5’6 ’24 Kai Logan (Roanoke)
Next, we look at a player that made a strong impression with his vision and overall playmaking sense, Kai Logan. He’s a big, strong-bodied guard prospect with excellent two-way IQ, especially for his age. Logan is very crafty and able to create at a nonstop rate for himself and others. He’s always looking to make the smartest possible play but knows how to take advantage of easy scoring opportunities from all three levels. Next in his development process is working on his consistency as a three-point shooter, as it would take his offensive game to an entirely new level. Coach Mills on Logan: “Kai is a playmaker. He’s very fast and has outstanding ball-handling skills. He can shoot off the dribble and has a nasty midrange pull-up. Kai is a bucket-getter. His quickness makes him a solid defender.” Logan knows how to make his presence felt in a variety of different ways and should have an extremely productive eighth-grade season, especially given his ability to make his teammates better.
#70: 5’7 ’23 Christian Smith (Forest Park)
Moving onto a player that was easily among the most impressive young prospects at camp, Christian Smith. He’s a long, wiry guard prospect that can thrive with or without the ball in his hands, given his quality off-ball cutting and defensive abilities. Smith is a great ball-handler with sharp vision and the ability to set up others quite frequently. Next in his development process is working to add strength, as it allow him to become a more physical defender. Coach Mills on Smith: “Christian is a highly-skilled, big-time guard. He has a natural feel for the game. He can play with or without the ball in his hands. Christian is a good passer with outstanding court vision. He has a good off-hand, which makes him hard to defend. He is excellent when it comes to moving without the ball. He gets a “solid” for his use of his off-hand, which is a performance rating that I don’t give away often.” Smith enjoyed a quality showing at camp and should be able to carve out a nice two-way role sooner than later for Forest Park.
#86: 5’10 ’21 Ryan Avila (Colonial Forge)
Continuing onto a player that was arguably the scrappiest two-way performer on this team, Ryan Avila. He’s an unselfish, high-motor guard prospect with a fairly well-rounded skillset and the ability to make a nice impact without necessarily requiring offensive touches. Avila looks to make hustle and fill in the gaps however possible on either end of the floor. Next in his development process is working on the use of his off-hand, as it would make him a more lethal offensive threat. Coach Mills on Avila: “Ryan is a young wing that is a threat whenever he has the ball in his hands. He has a strong build that should blossom in a college weight room. He scores the ball with the best of them. He’s strong when going to the rim and can knock down open jumpers from the perimeter. He’s an aggressive shooter that looks to score and will take the big shot.” Avila worked hard during his time at camp and could emerge as a leader sooner than later for Colonial Forge.
#87: 5’10 ’23 Nathan Baldovino (Thales Academy)
Next, we look at a player that was easily one of the most impressive young performers on display, Nathan Baldovino. He’s a smart, unselfish, high-motor guard prospect that simply creates havoc on both ends of the floor. Baldovino is a reliable passer, ball-handler, and three-level scorer that can thrive with or without the ball in his hands. He plays within himself and the team concept at all times, never forcing the action or trying to do too much. Baldovino is an excellent defender, especially for his age/size, and forces turnovers at an excellent rate. Next in his development process is working on the use of his off-hand, as it would make him an even craftier finisher around the basket. Coach Mills on Baldovino: “Nathan is a hybrid, as he can play the one, two, or three. He has a high motor with a high basketball IQ. As a passer, he is smart with the ball. He has a good-looking jumper and can shoot off the dribble. Nathan is a team player that makes all his teammates better. He can play with his either hand and also brings a super attitude to the game, one that will help him succeed at the next level.” Baldovino shined during camp and has the chance to be an immediate contributor during the upcoming season for Thales Academy.
#104: 6’3 ’21 Marcus Banks Jr. (Bethel)
Moving onto a player that was arguably the best three-point shooter in attendance, Marcus Banks Jr. He’s a smart, strong-bodied wing prospect with an extremely well-rounded skillset and the ability to be a major difference maker alongside any group of teammates. Banks handles the ball with care, able to create for himself and others quite nicely, but typically works as an off-ball threat. He moves exceptionally well to find open space and make his presence felt as an elite spot-up threat from beyond the arc. Banks is a fluid athlete with nice defensive versatility and rebounding prowess. Next in his development process is working on the use of his off-hand, as it would allow him to finish with improved craftiness around the basket. Coach Mills on Banks: “Marucs has an all-around game. He plays good team and transition defense. I loved the way he scores in transition. He’s a good passer with good court vision. As a wing, he is excellent at moving without the ball. Marcus is a solid rebounder that was able to finish with ten points and ten boards in each game.” Banks is a clear two-way asset to any team and will be a prospect for college coaches to monitor closely over these next two seasons.
#121: 6’11 ’20 Aleksandr Glushkov (Blue Ridge)
Finishing up, we look at a player that has the chance to be a breakout candidate sooner than later, Aleksandr Glushkov. He’s a long, wiry post prospect with an old-school game and the ability to control the two-way action from the low block. Glushkov displays phenomenal touch around the basket with either hand and is capable of finishing effectively over either shoulder. He has great positioning and utilizes his length very well to secure rebounds and alter shots. Glushkov knows how to locate a guard and run the floor hard in transition, which leads to a ton of baskets as the trail-man. He’s a pretty useful passer from the post and is capable of making some sharp assists with the ball in his hands. Next in his development process is working on adding strength, as it’ll only make him a more physically-imposing player on both ends of the floor. Coach Mills on Glushkov: “Aleksandr is a true center, a big man with a plethora of tools. He has great size and runs the floor well with long and fluid strides. He has very soft hands, which are an asset to him. Aleksandr has good footwork and knows the game. He is an excellent passer.” Glushkov brought a ton of intrigue with his performance at camp and should have the interest of college coaches throughout the upcoming season at Blue Ridge.