Last night Lavar Ball was caught on camera saying that “IMG knows they can’t compete with this…” The “this” in this sentence is his son Lamelo Ball’s Spire Academy team. Of course we all know Ball is known for his outlandish statements, falling back on “speak it into truth.” Well this one is one we aren’t sure will be possible to have come true.
IMG Academy, out of Brandenton, Florida, is just too loaded…they are simply too good. Of course Spire Sports Academy is loaded with talent as well. Rocket Watts is a 4-star point guard (who some consider one of the best PGs in the country) who is committed to Michigan State. Isaiah Jackson is a 5-star, 6’9″ hyper-active forward who is a unique defender with his ability to both move his feet and protect the rim. Then, of course, there is LaMelo Ball. The 6’6″ guard who is the younger brother of former number 2 draft pick of the LA Lakers (Lonzo) and a former professional player in Lithuania, who moved back to Ohio to compete on a national schedule for his senior year of high school.
IMG Academy has 5-stars throughout the roster. Their senior class is led by 6’9″ 10th ranked Jeremiah Robinson-Earl (Villanova), 6’6″ 11th ranked Josh Green (Arizona) and 6’10” 18th ranked Armando Bacot (UNC). Bacot is an elite level defender who protects the rim and is able to move his feet. Bacot is also able to score the ball with is back to the basket, he is the best true center in the country.
Jeremiah Robinson-Earl is a perfect Villanova guy, a glue big who knows his game and makes all the hustle/winning plays. Then we look at Josh Green who is a smooth scoring guard, able to finish at each level, while creating for himself in the half court or starting the break.
Their backcourt is led by the junior duo of 6’2″ 73 ranked Noah Farrakhan and 6’5″ 10th ranked Jaden Springer. Farrakhan is a tough and gritty guard who just makes plays. Springer is a smooth and effortless combo guard who will look to follow in the feet of his father, Gary, as a McDonald’s All-American.
Now looking at their bench, comes possibly the best prospect on the entire team, 6’8″ freshman Jarace Walker. The hyper-athletic freshman has all the tools as a 2-way, playmaking forward and will grow up as one of the Top 3 players in his class throughout school.
6’7″ junior'Mikael Brown-Jones is another long and hyper-explosive forward who defends the ball and the passing lanes well and switches from defense to offense quickly. He’s another sure fire Top 100 prospect who has already narrowed his list to the five Philadelphia schools.
6’10” sophomore Brandon Huntley-Hatfield is a long, rim protecting big man who is ranked 20th in the 2020 class. Their roster is rounded out by 6’5″ unsigned senior Tibor Palinkas who didn’t play AAU this last summer and is a dead-eye shooter with excellent vision.
Regardless, this team is absolutely loaded up, stacked with 2-way players who get after it on defense and play unselfishly on offense. They have shot finishes, shot makers and rim protectors galore. They are very well coached by head man Sean Mcaloon, who has a way about him that keeps them guys accountable. This team is the best team in the country, and in a game against Spire Academy would end up with a double figure victory.