’19 Open Gym #2

25 Aug

Rayvon Griffith

Building upon the success of Session #1, both in terms of the quality and quantity of top prospects in attendance, Session #2 of Triple Double Prospects/275 Hoops Elite Open Gym attracted the majority of the best young players from Southwest Ohio to Cincinnati Walnut Hills HS on Saturday. While the senior class produced some impressive performances, it was the depth of talent among the underclassmen in attendance that had folks buzzing as they left the gym following the final games. Here’s a rundown of some top individual showings among attendees….

Leroy Walker – ’20 SF Cincinnati Taft: Through three years of high school basketball Walker might have hidden just slightly under the radar; but don’t expect things to remain that way heading into his senior year, as the 6’3 senior wing made a major statement on Saturday, playing above the rim from start to finish. A ridiculously bouncy athlete, Walker can finish with crowd-pleasing dunks, but was also more effective then he’s been in the past at finishing through or around contact off of drives. While he’s not a pure shooter, Walker can make the three-point ball with his feet set, and will be counted on to provide a scoring punch for potential State Championship contenders Cincinnati Taft this winter, after transferring in this summer from Winton Woods.

Greg Stewart – ’20 SG Cincinnati Aiken: Despite missing most of his junior season at Aiken due to OHSAA transfer rules, Falcons coaches have raved about Stewart and the strides he’s made. The hype matched his play on Saturday, as the 6’3 scoring wing was aggressive in knocking down three-point shots, attacking off of the dribble for smooth finishes and finishing above the rim in transition with dunks. A pure scoring minded guard with length and athleticism, Stewart could be a breakout player in the Cincinnati City League this winter, playing alongside some other really talented perimeter prospects.

Alex Williams – ’21 SF/PF Cincinnati Moeller: While Williams is not a player who we would consider a “big”, open gym settings usually aren’t ideal for players of his build; as they often turn into guard-oriented up-tempo style games. All of that being said, Williams made sure his teammates got him touches early and often on Saturday, scoring the ball from all three levels and showcasing his elite strength to score around the rim through contact. An active defender and rebounder with a motor and toughness, Williams is a pure winner anytime he steps on the court, and his combination of strength and touch make him nearly unguardable at the high school level as a walking mismatch, part of the reason why the junior already holds NCAA D1 scholarship offers.

Isaiah Walker – ’21 SG/SF Wyoming: Always known in Cincinnati as a top young prospect, Walker looks like he’s ready to take the leap from promising young player to productive veteran this winter, as the 6’5 wing put together his second straight impressive performance at Walnut Hills. After just missing the cut for a write up in Session #1, Walker was a no-brainer for this list, as he showed a smooth and fluid game in the open court, with the ability to attack off the dribble, make plays for teammates and defend with his length and mobility. The big jump that Walker has made from last year to this year, in our eyes, is the form and consistency of his shooting, as Walker is not only making the three at a much better clip but also getting the shot off faster. As he makes up one half of one of Cincinnati’s most dynamic duos on the high school scene, look for Walker to garner more NCAA D1 interest as the winter progresses.

Walker Horn – ’22 SG Covington Catholic/KY: A new name to the scene since moving to Greater Cincinnati from Austin (TX), Horn, the son of new Northern Kentucky University men’s basketball coach Darrin Horn, is going to be a name basketball fans will hear a lot of over the next few years. A high IQ guard with a polished skill-set and smooth feel for the game, Horn makes the game fun to watch, as he’s an adept passer who also can craftily score around the rim or consistently step out and stroke the three point shot. With solid size and mobility at 6’2 to go along with a defensive motor and defined all-around offensive game, Horn is going to be an instant impact player at Covington Catholic; a team loaded with future NCAA D1 prospects, especially in the younger grades.

Rayvon Griffith – ’23 SG/SF Cincinnati Taft: For the second straight write-up at least one rising freshman makes this write-up, as Griffith, a 6’5 pogo-stick athlete out of Cincinnati Taft, lived up to the immense hype that followed him throughout his junior high career, with a couple of high scoring outings on Saturday at Walnut Hills. A big time finisher with size and length who plays above the rim, Griffith is a blur with the ball in transition and can score around contact, especially driving to his left hand. Already being billed by many as one of the top prospects in his class on a national scale, Griffith has every athletic tool that NCAA D1 programs covet, and, as his skill-set continues to improve, he’ll have a chance to be one of the most talked about and successful players to come through Greater Cincinnati in some time.

Chandler Starks – ’23 PF/C Covington Catholic/KY: Another rising freshman who has created a name for himself off the travel circuit, Starks stood out as well on Saturday. As we mentioned earlier, open gym is not always an ideal setting for young big men; however, Starks found ways to get involved in the offense at Walnut Hills, as the 6’5 forward stroked shots from three-point land, scored around the paint on rebounds and showed a willingness to both mix it up physically on the glass as well as defend on the perimeter against wings. With big men we usually see a slower progression, so, the fact that Starks can hold his own against older competition at this stage reflects favorably on his upside, as Starks shows a frame which could easily spurt another few inches over the next couple of years.

Honorable Mention: Ed Abernathy (’20 Cincinnati Walnut Hills), Michael Grant (’20 Cincinnati Walnut Hills), Nic Smith (’20 Cincinnati Walnut Hills), Davion Mace (’20 Cincinnati Woodward), Michael McCants (’20 Cincinnati Gamble), Josiah McGee (’20 Cincinnati Roger Bacon), Aaron Ward (’20 Winton Woods), AJ Braun (’21 Middletown Bishop Fenwick), Greg Johnson (’21 Princeton), Skyler Schmidt (’21 Clermont Northeastern), Brayden Sipple (’21 Blanchester), Patrick Ivory (’21 Northmont), Chanze Amerson (’21 Dayton Thurgood Marshall), Montev Ware (’21 Cincinnati Woodward), Tom House (’22 Centerville), Max Poynter (’22 Cincinnati Walnut Hills), Chance Davis (’22 Cincinnati Aiken), Sellers Little (’22 Trotwood), Jacob Conner (’22 Kettering Alter), Aboucar Cisse (’22 Cincinnati West High), Kollin Tolbert (’22 Mount Healthy), Alexander Parks (’23 Covington Catholic/KY), Jack Kronauge (’23 Cincinnati St. Xavier), Gabe Cupps (’23 Centerville)

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