’19 Open Gym #4

28 Sep

Ed Abernathy

As it gets later into the fall, and the high school season approaches, it becomes harder and harder to attract top talent to our open gym sessions. Having said that, we’re pleased to announce that our fall 2019 season came to a strong ending, as some of the top local talent from the Cincinnati/Dayton area attended Session #4 at Walnut Hills HS. As we look back at the events we held this fall, we’d like to thank all those who participated, with special thanks to 275Hoops for their partnership, and to Ricardo Hill of Walnut Hills HS for his hospitality. With that in mind, here are the standouts from Session #4….

Ed Abernathy – ’20 SG Cincinnati Walnut Hills: Abernathy made the standouts list last session and carried that momentum over to today’s final session, where the 6’2 shooting guard was electric as a scorer over the course of several consecutive wins on our winner’s court. After missing his junior season with a knee injury, Abernathy has finally returned to near 100%, and the results are showing as he’s fluid attacking the basket, smooth with the ball in his hand, and, above all else, a deadly shooter off the dribble from three-point land. On a Walnut Hills team loaded with senior talent, expect Abernathy to not only be the team’s leading scorer, but for him to attract major college interest by winters end.

Mark Wise – ’20 PG/SG Cincinnati Taft: After playing a scoring role for three years at Deer Park, Wise is focused on playing a distributing role at Taft this season as the team’s point guard. Wise gave attendees a preview of this playing style on Saturday, as the 6’3 combo guard spread the wealth in transition and worked the pick-and-roll for many assists. With his strong frame and touch around the rim, we still think Wise will score consistently for Taft this year, but his ability to move the ball on a team full of scorers could potentially turn a really talented Taft team into possible state title contenders.

Nic Smith – ’20 C Cincinnati Walnut Hills: Big men don’t always shine in up-and-down open gym settings, so Smith stacked the deck in his favor, selecting a team of mostly post-oriented players to allow Smith to step out on the wing some offensively. The results were overwhelmingly positive, as Smith made jumpers, showed good footwork in attacking the rim as well as instincts as a passer. Smith isn’t an above-the-rim highlight film, but he’s a really solid all-around basketball player who puts up consistent stats and helps in wins, which we believe will lead to scholarship offers before graduation.

Kahlil Davis – ’20 PG Cincinnati Princeton: A guard who has received plenty of hype on this site over the years, we love Davis’ combination of athleticism and shooting at the combo guard spot. Davis was able to both score and distribute today, playing primarily on the ball as opposed to at Princeton where they often play multiple point guards at the same time based on all of their perimeter talent. When Davis uses his athletic tools to be a sound defender there are few more equipped to shutdown opponents then he is, part of the reason why Davis has picked up multiple NAIA offers this fall.

Zion Reynolds – ’21 SG Cincinnati West High: One of the potential sleepers in Cincinnati in the 2021 class, Reynolds hasn’t received all the pub as some of his classmates have; however, he might have just as much long-term upside, as the 6’4 West High wing guard can make shots from the perimeter, is getting better at playing off of the dribble and is a solid athlete with length on the wing. West High’s trio of Reynolds, Demetrius Watkins and Aboucar Cisse showed chemistry in all four of our sessions, as we expect each member of this trio to have a big winter statistically.

Rich Rolf – ’22 PF Centerville: After missing his freshman season with an injury, we saw a somewhat hobbled version of the 6’7 post in July and came away intrigued. However, after playing multiple sessions this fall, including today where he had by far his best session yet, we’re convinced that Rolf (at or near 100% health) is one of the premiere 2022 front-court players in Ohio. With improved mobility to go along with a refined skill-set, touch and offensive feel, Rolf showed the ability to score in different ways from fifteen-feet and in; and, even though he’s still on the thinner side, a fearlessness in attacking contact at the rim. Making his true debut on the high school scene this winter, look for Rolf to make noise on a loaded Centerville front-court alongside Mo Njie.

Honorable Mention: Steve Gentry Jr. (’20 Deer Park), Demetrius Watkins (’20 West High), Mike Grant (’20 Walnut Hills), Kionte Thomas (’20 Hughes), Greg Stewart (’20 Aiken), Owen Spencer (’20 Turpin), Kelvin Turner (’21 Princeton), Kodee Holloway (’21 Finneytown), Greg Johnson (’21 Princeton), Trey Johnson (’21 Centerville)

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