Northwest Ohio Showcase

September 15, 2015


By Ethan Knoop


To say the first ever Northwest Ohio Boys Basketball Showcase and Combine was anything less than a complete success would be doing the event a complete injustice; it was a weekend to remember for a long time to come. With virtually all of the top talent in Toledo and beyond in attendance, with the exception of a few players missing, it was truly something special to have everyone in the gym together. There was plenty of fun, competitive, spirited, high-energy, high-effort basketball from everyone who participated. A special shoutout needs to be given to guys like Zeek Hill, Ant Singleton, Jeremy Green, and Cornelius Hester for all of their time and effort in making the first annual event a great success and a good time had by all!
Many of the young fellas participated and deserve recognition for their efforts and strong play throughout the weekend:
'16 G Daijour 'DayDay' Whittington (Woodward) - Whittington could very easily be worthy of the event's MVP award as he maintained spectacular play both Saturday night and all throughout Sunday afternoon. A versatile and athletic wing, Whittington can slash to the basket with ease, and is consistent from the outside. He can be something special in transition, and has bounce, as he was the Slam Dunk Champion for the event. The one thing that separated him from virtually the rest of the field all weekend was his ability to make everyone else around him better, as he did that time and time again.
'16 F Montrece Collins (Whitmer) - Collins has been rising up recruiting boards for many of the area D2 programs as he now holds three offers. With a mature and physical build that leads you to believe he can already compete at the collegiate level, he was a bully down in the paint. One particular play he used a big time drop step and put a defender in the rim along with the ball in what was arguably the play of the weekend. Collins also has a pretty jump shot extending out to three point range that he showed off throughout the weekend. With offers from Urbana, Ferris State, and Ohio Valley, Collins plans to take visits to Grand Valley State and Ferris State over the next few weekends. One could argue Collins is the best college prospect Toledo has to offer in the 2016 class.
'16 G Sam Hickey (Whitmer) - Hickey was another one who had a stellar weekend and could be in consideration for an MVP award. Hickey is well known as a knock down perimeter scorer and he proved that time and time again all weekend and on into the Three Point Competition where he was crowned the Champion. He is absolutely lethal knocking down shots coming off of screens moving either direction. With a will to win and a high motor that never 'shuts off' Hickey is always a joy to watch. Two things that impressed with Hickey's play in the event was his rebounding and knack to attack the basket. Hickey was in the paint more times than not fighting for rebounds and leading fast breaks. Hickey would be a great fit at the D2 level, and schools need to hop on board with his recruitment quick.
'20 Zeb Jackson (Maumee Valley MS) - Jackson will be the next in line behind guys like William Buford, Marc Loving, and Nigel Hayes before him. Playing up in the High School division Jackson was the best player on the floor in many of the games. Flashy, with spectacular ball-handling, a consistent three point shot out to NBA range, a quickly developing high IQ, and a true passion for competition are just a few things that Jackson possesses. Jackson simply 'gets it' and is a true floor general even in the 8th grade. Playing for the King James AAU organization, Jackson is a virtual lock to land with a high-major college program in the coming years if everything continues to develop according to plan.
'16 F TJ Munn (Start) - An intriguing prospect, Munn was impressive throughout play on Sunday afternoon. He can score from all levels, is an active and creative wing with bounce and athleticism. Lets his play do the talking. Will be one to keep an eye on in City League play this season.
'17 Alontay Gould (Scott) - One who is never too shy to talk and have fun on the court, he backed it up more times than not all weekend. Scoring from all over the floor, he showed a real knack for transition scoring that was special. Gould is always engaged defensively as well which is something that stood out in the showcase format throughout the weekend. He should be a real 'X-Factor' for Scott High School this season as he will find himself in the starting lineup.
'16 F Kameron Singleton (Defiance) - Always fundamentally sound, Singleton showed more of the same this weekend. He has really picked up his scoring, and built upon his solid play in the State Tournament. Good size and length make him a difficult matchup for opponents, especially out on the perimeter where he possesses an improved jump shot. Deceptive footwork makes him an active and effective defender. Doing the little things well and continuing to improve he is rounding out into a nice D2/D3 college prospect.
'16 PG Keith McClure Jr. (Toledo Christian) - McClure is the best point guard in Toledo you've never heard about. A coaches son, he sees the floor well and is an excellent distributor of the basketball. Can get creative to finish scoring opportunities around the rim, and has continued to work on his outside shooting where you could see the improvement over the weekend. Apt to beat defenders off the bounce, McClure is a highly skilled handler of the basketball as well. One can only hope he gets the credit and notoriety he deserves in this his upcoming senior season. A small college is going to get themselves a good one in McClure.
Cameron Copeland (Rogers) - With his play in the Saturday night games.
'16 Cameron Copeland (Rogers) - With his play in the Saturday night games he showed why he is the best point guard in Toledo in his respective class. He truly is exceptional and special to watch in transition when the basketball is in his hands. Continues to be a better scoring threat each time he steps on the floor. Doesn't get the credit he deserves for his defensive work as he can be an absolute pest. Has been plagued by ankle injuries and he aggravated it once again Saturday night which kept him out of play on Sunday. One thing I always appreciate about Copeland, he is always in the gym to watch others even when he isn't playing, so of course he was there on Sunday to watch.
'17 Jalen Elliott (Bowsher) - Can fill it up from deep, Elliott is one of the more lethal threats from the outside in the city. He possesses good size, but still has room to grow controlling his lengthy frame. Needs to have a more consistent motor, but when he wants he can bring plenty of energy to a game. Gets up and down the floor real well, but needs to improve his finishing around the basket. There will no doubt be games this season where Elliott scores in flurries. Should become a nice JUCO prospect.
'19 PG Payton Moyer (Toledo St. Johns) - Moyer is a very polished young point guard who is yet to play in a game at the High School level. Good competitor, with a pretty release from the outside that was virtually automatic from deep when his feet were set. Doesn't try to do too much, but finds his place to be effective in a game. Going to be a nice player at St. Johns for years to follow, should see some JV playing time this season on a team loaded with guards.
'18 PG Carl Banks (Scott) - Never shies from the competition, Banks took every matchup throughout the weekend personal, and outplayed his opponent more times than not. An above average deliverer of the basketball, he has superior ball handling, and is becoming a better and better scorer of the ball. Impressed with the improvement of his shot from the outside, and his energy on the defensive end, Banks was the Skills Competition Champion. Barring any surprises, Banks will be the starting point guard for Scott from Day 1 this season.
'16 F Samer Jabbo (Bedford, MI) - Showed out at times in Sunday's play, Jabbo has good size and was active in all areas of play when he's on the floor. A proven scorer at all levels, Jabbo is a heady kid that's a joy to watch. Should be one of the more complete players in Southeast Michigan this upcoming season.
'17 G TQ Belcher (Rogers) - Known for his outside shooting, Belcher was a bit off from his usual efficiency from deep. While he did knock down a handful of three pointers, Belcher was more impressive slashing to the basket and running out in transition. An above average defender, TQ brings energy and has a swagger about him out on the floor. Will be relied on upon heavily as a scorer for Rogers this season.
'17 G DJ Triplett (Whitmer) - He won't 'wow' you in any specific area of his game but he simply finds ways to quietly effect a game. Has one of the fundamentally sound shots from the outside when he's on he can score in bunches. Has deceptively good bounce as he had multiple dunks in transition that he made look effortless. An ok frame, but looks to have room left to grow. It may sound a bit cliché, but Triplett is the definition of a true 'glue guy.'
'18 G Josh Ellis (Toledo St. Francis) - Very streaky shooter that has the potential to score in bunches. Would like to see better shot selection and more control offensively, but plays and competes well on both ends. Had multiple high scoring games. Will need to distribute the ball better, but the skill and talent is there to potentially be a special player in the future. Will be relied upon heavily to do it all for St. Francis this season.
'16 F Alex Arellano (Paulding) - Has a tall sleek build that will make him a quality 3 or 4 at the D3 college level. His strength is his shot from outside as he has proven to be a very consistent scorer from there. Was active in the paint at times, will need to bulk up some and work on his quickness. All in all has a very well rounded skill set with above average basketball IQ.
* Deonte Henderon (Start) and Devon Beale (Whitmer) each had their moments throughout the weekend but their best may have come in the Combine portion of things as both tested extremely well in the max vertical jump. Henderson scored a 36" jump, while Beale registered a 35.5" jump.

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