Zion Harmon, Boo Williams 17U
UPPER MARLBORO - Last weekend’s DMVelite Live Period Warmup provided teams with a good opportunity to prepare for the end of April live session, and featured high-quality competition at Wise High School, Bishop McNamara High School and Crossland High School.
Here’s a look at some of the weekend’s biggest takeaways:
HARMON, MOHAMMED STAR IN RETURNS
Maryland native Zion Harmon moved away from the area in middle school and has developed into a bonafide Division I prospect. He returned and put on a show with Boo Williams EYBL 17U, leading the team to a pair of victories.
“It’s good just being back in Maryland,” he said. “Just anywhere playing basketball is fun for me.”
Harmon had 16 points and shot 4-of-7 from 3-point range - including a pair of NBA-length ones - while tallying 4 assists, 3 rebounds and 2 steals in an 81-77 win over Team Thrill UA. He followed that with 15 points on 6-fo-10 shooting - including 3-of-5 from deep - with 4 assists and a steal in a 76-71 win over We R1 UA.
Harmon currently holds offers from Auburn, Creighton, St. Louis, Tennessee and Vanderbilt.
“I mean, it’s a joy to know that everybody wants to watch me,” he said, “but then it’s also pressure to know you’ve still got to perform every game. But if you put the work in - which I do - and you love the game, ain’t no pressure in performing, because it’s what you want to do.”
Harmon wasn’t the only Boo Williams standout with a local tie to return Saturday, as former Archbishop Carroll star wing Aminu Mohammed starred as well.
Mohammed transferred to Missouri - his older brother, former National Christian guard Kabir Mohammed, plays at Missouri State - and dominated as a sophomore, averaging 34 points and 17.5 rebounds per game while leading Greenwood Laboratory School to a state championship. He was named Missouri’s Gatorade State Player Of The Year.
“It’s been really good,” Mohammed said of the move. “I never thought we were going to win a championship and we did, and I think that’s great for the program, not being known as a big-time school. I think next year we’re going to be better.”
The 6-foot-4, 180-pound Mohammed had a team-high 18 points to go with 8 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals in an 81-77 win over Team Thrill UA. His jumper looked more refined.
“In the past year I think I’ve developed my jump shot and it’s getting better day by day,” he said. “I think that has been the major key aspect of my game that I’ve been working on.”
Mohammed currently holds offers from Florida, Seton hall and Towson.
“I feel good about how my recruiting is going,” he said. “Everybody ain’t going to be the first one getting all the offers, but it’s going to come.”
GRAY GOES OFF FOR THRILL
Lake Clifton (Md.) 2020 guard Michael Gray had a breakout junior season to lead the Lakers to their second straight Maryland state championship, and he’s carried that momentum into the spring.
After a strong outing for Team Thrill UA 17U in the Under Armor Association two weeks ago, he shined in Thrill’s 81-77 loss to Boo Williams EYBL, going for a game-high 30 points. Gray finished 9-of-17 from the field and 11-of-12 from the free throw line while also tallying 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals.
On Tuesday, Gray - who is also a standout football player at Lake Clifton - received his first Division I basketball offer from UMass-Lowell.
St. Frances 2020 forward Jamal West also had a strong outing for Thrill, scoring 18 points on 8-of-13 shooting and grabbing 13 rebounds.
TEAM DURANT EYBL ACES EARLY TEST
Sunday was the first opportunity many in the area had to check out the new-look Team Durant 17U squad, which will make its debut on the EYBL’s top circuit. They looked as good as advertised, seizing an early lead and pulling away for a 78-59 win over District Basketball Club.
“We’re coming together well,” 2020 guard Earl Timberlake said, “we’ve just got to keep jelling and we should be ready for next week. Coach [Osman Bangura] just preaches defense - if you play your tail off on defense he’ll give you freedom on offense.”
That defensive intensity was on full display Sunday, as Durant’s guards make life tough for The District’s ball handlers from the beginning.
The 6-foot-5, 215-pound Timberlake scored a team-high 19 points on 7-of-10 shooting, including 5-of-6 from 3-point range. 6-foot-2, 180-pound St. John’s 2020 guard Ishmael Leggett finished with 18 points on 6-of-7 shooting with 5 assists and 2 steals.
“I definitely feel like we have a strong core and a strong foundation,” Leggett said, “and I think we can go pretty far down Peach [Jam] when we get there - ’cause I feel pretty confident that we will get there. Everything’s coming along as planned.”
HAIRSTON SHINES FOR THE DISTRICT
His team struggled in a 78-59 loss to Team Durant EYBL, but District Basketball Club guard Jordan Hairston never backed down, finishing with a game-high 29 points. The Flint Hill product finished 10-of-17 from the field, including 6-of-11 from 3-point range and was the only District player to reach double figures.
A senior, Hairston has considered doing a prep school year and holds several offers for 2020. He said he’d revisit his situation more closely after the Pitt Jam Fest.
“After the the tournament next weekend, that’s when most of the 2019 and 2020 schools will come to look at me,” he said, “so after next weekend is probably when I’ll really weigh my decision and make it final.”
HYLAND LOOKING FOR A FIT
A week after taking part in the inaugural Nation’s Classic All-Star Game, St. George (DE) 2019 guard Nah’Shon “Bones” Hyland was back at Wise, this time with his We R1 17U squad.
Hyland missed the travel season last year due to a leg injury suffered during a tragic house fire. He recovered in time to put together a stellar high school season in which he averaged 26 points per game, putting him back firmly on the recruiting radar.
“It helped out a lot, because [college coaches] knew how I would bounce back,” he said, “and then that helped me lead into AAU and they knew I’d have a big AAU season. So, it’s all coming together right now.”
Michigan is one of the most high-profile programs to reach out to Hyland, who lists offers from Delaware, Hofstra, Rhode Island, San Diego State, Temple and VCU, among others.
“Right now it’s a whole load of high majors coming in, so that’s where I stand at right now and deciding what school I’m going to pick,” he said. “I’m just going to keep playing AAU right now and then all of the offers thats coming in and all of the interest from high majors, then we’ll find out from there.”
RICE AN EMERGING STAR
Rodney Rice Jr. enjoyed a highly productive freshman year at Bullis, and is looking to carry it over into the travel season.
“I mean, that’s something I worked for,” he said of his freshman success. “To contribute and do all that, I think I was ready.”
Now running with Team Durant 16U, Rice looks ready to pick up where he left off, scoring 15 points in a win over Cecil Kirk Team Puma 16U. He looked good shooting and made plays in the half court and in transition.
The 6-foot-3, 176-pound Rice currently holds scholarship offers from Howard, Illinois, IUPUI, Rhode Island, Penn State, Virginia Tech and Wyoming, and said Maryland has recently reached out.
“We just haven’t jelled yet,” he said of his Durant squad, “ but once we do that we’ll be dangerous and pretty good.”
SMD ALL-STARS GEARING UP
The Southern Maryland All-Stars have long been one of the area’s scrappiest non-sponsored 17U squads, and this year’s edition is no different.
“I feel like this is a special group,” Thomas Stone’s Gary Grant said. “I played against a lot of these guys during the season, so I know what each and every one of them can do. I feel like we can shock some teams if we play some really big names.”
Westlake 2020 guard Stanley Harley agreed.
“We’re hoping to just compete for real,” he said, “and get some college coaches to look at us, because we’re all juniors and seniors we’ve got one sophomore on our team. So we’re just trying to get some looks and we can shock some teams this year.”
Harley and Grant led the way in a 72-45 win over Team Rampage Black on Sunday at Crossland, with Harley going to 16 points and Grant 15. The All-Stars closed strong, which is something Harley said they haven’t done in some early games this spring.
“Every game we’ve lost, we couldn’t finish the game and we lost by, like, two points,” he said. “Every game we’ve lost, we’ve lost at the end, so we’ve just got to stick together and be able to win at the end of the games and not turn the ball over.”
The 5-foot-10, 140-pound Harley did a good job of helping with that Sunday, taking good care of the ball and never forcing the action. He kept his teammates involved and knocked down open shots when they appeared.
The 6-foot-3, 205-pound Grant is coming off a highly productive senior season in which he became the leading scorer in school history and guided his team to the Maryland state semifinals.
“It was big,” he said, “because my junior year I felt like I could have accomplished the same thing but a couple of injuries held me back and then I underperformed in our regional loss. So I felt like I had to get it back my senior year.”
Grant said he’s heard from D-2 Mansfield (Pa.) and several junior colleges, but is hoping to boost his stock this weekend.
“Honestly, with everything we do, I’m trying to win,” he said. “I’m trying to get a scholarship and get better every day.”
FREEMAN LOOKS TO LEAD LOADED
Bishop O’Connell 2021 guard Brayon Freeman enjoyed a nice sophomore season, abd he’s got high expectations for the spring and summer.
“I’m just trying to get a lot of wins for my team, basically,” he said. “I’m trying to definitely win the Gauntlet this year, and that’s about it. Just get a lot of wins under my belt and get ready for the high school season.”
The 2018 DMVelite 80 MVP, Freeman currently holds offers from Florida, George Washington, Howard, Massachusetts, Murray State, Oklahoma State and Wyoming, and said he feels good about where his recruitment stands at this stage.
He opened on Saturday with 15 points on 4-of-7 shooting with 6 assists and 5 rebounds in a 60-50 win over District Basketball Club, showcasing many of the characteristics that he feels have attracted college coaches.
“I think my different style of play,” he said. “I’m not the most athletic player, and not probably the strongest player, either. I’ve just got a heart and a dog in me that wants to compete every time I’m out there. I’m just a vocal guy - I like to win and I’m very competitive, and those things kind of stand out to college coaches a lot.”
DC Premier UA 16U beat Boo Williams EYBL 16U in a thrilling 76-69 overtime contest behind a game-high 21 points from Wes Peterson (Bishop O’Connell) and 12 apiece from Kino Lilly (Landon) and Zakir Williamson (Rock Creek Christian). …Jersey Storm 16U guard Hasanur Freeman had 30 of his team’s 44 points in a loss to District WAWG UA, going 11-of-19 from the field, including 4-of-4 from 3-point range. … New World Basketball isn’t the program’s main 16U team, but its still got plenty of talent, and showed some impressive depth in a 65-47 win over District Basketball Club on Saturday at Wise. Sage Uwemedimo (Bishop Ireton) had 15 points to lead the team, while Elliott Black (Bishop McNamara) had 14 points and 11 rebounds, Mike Aiken (Thurgood Marshall) had 14 and Mark Aiken (Thurgood Marshall) added 13.
Josh Akers, South River Shooters 17U
Issa Baker, Jersey Storm 17U
Zacheus Blackwell, Team Thrill Black 17U
Jhamir Brickus, We R1 17U
Teriq Chapman, Jersey Storm 17U
Che Colbert, Team Renegade 17U
Henry Coleman, Team Loaded Va. 17U
Russell Dandridge, South River Shooters 17U
Jahilel Dango, DMV Stags 17U
Carlos Dunn, Maryland DFenders 17U
Kedrick Frink, South river Shooters 17U
TJ Gadsden, 6th Man Warriors 17U
Spencer Hatcher, VA Premier 17U
Jordan Hawkins, DMV Stags 17U
Caleb Johnson, Team Thrill Black 17U
Andrew King, We R1 17U
Jake Koverman, DMV Stags 17U
Coretez Lewis, Team NOVA 17U
Kywon McCray, Team Thrill Black 17U
Winston Moore, Maryland Movement 17U
Eddie O’Brian, Team Vito Select 17U
Brandon Pilgrim, Maryland Movement 17U
Cole Rhyne, Team Pa. Supernatural 17U
Teo Rice, 6th Man Warriors 17U
Omar Rowe, We R1 17U
Collin Smalls, Team Durant EYBL 17U
JT Thor, Boo Williams EYBL 17U
Cam Thomas, Boo Williams EYBL 17U
Devyn Toler, maryland DFenders 17U
Jordan Toles, Team Thrill UA 17U
Mark Williams, Boo Williams EYBL 17U
Terrell Williams, Team PA Supernatural 17U
Cephas Wilson-Bahun, Team NOVA 17U
Taquan Woodley, We R1 17U
Quian Anderson, DMV Impact 16U
William Brown, Edge Bulldogs 16U
Spencer Caverly, Edge Bulldogs 16U
Tyler Coleman, Team Takeover Orange 16U
Jaden Epps Boo Williams EYBL 16U
Perry Evans, Cecil Kirk Team Puma 16U
Baylin Groff, Maryland 3D Red 16U
Adric Howe, Higher Level Elite 16U
Saveon Jackson, New World 16U
James Jasper, Nova Cavs 16U
David Jones, Boo Williams EYBL 16U
Robbie Keith, Maryland 3D Red 16U
Kent King, Team Takeover Orange 16U
Aaron Lewis, Mid-Atlantic Select 16U
A. McGuthrie, Maryland Movement 16
Jalen Miller, Team Durant 16U
Josh Newland, DMV Impact 16U
Moussa Ngom, Team Durant 16U
Nigel Omotosho, Maryland 3D White 16UU
Eric Peeler, Team Nationals 16U
Ryan Prather, District Basketball Club 16U
Zion Russell, Team Durant 16U
Edward Simms, Higher Level Elite 16U
Nick Stacy, Maryland 3D White 16U
Maurice Tate, Team Hustle DMV 16U
Vince Tucker, Team Hustle DMV 16U
Jalen Warley, Team Durant 16U
Jordan Abessolo, Ball Above All 15U
Antonio Avery, Team Thrill 15U
Nasir Best, DC Evolution 15U
Kanye Clary, Boo Williams 15U
Amir Dade, New World 15U
Anthony Davis, Boo Williams 15U
JuJu Delarosa, DC Evolution 15U
Duron Howell, Team Takeover Orange 15U
Efrem Johnson, Boo William 15U
Evan Johnson, Team L.A.B. 15U
Lorenzo Nichols, Team Takeover Orange 15U
KC Onanuga, Team Vito Silver 15U
Mathani Paul-Swinson, Team Thril 15U
Wisdom Rogers, DC Premier 15U
Rico Warrick, Metro All-Stars 15U
Michael Williams, Team Thrill 15U
Zane Adnan, Team Takeover 14U
W. Amarie, Diamond City 14U
Thomas Batties, Team Takeover 14U
Terez Davis, Metro All-Stars 14U
James Larsen, Team Takeover 14U
Isaid Martinez, Diamond City 14U