The first annual BallasTv Showcase was held this past Saturday. The event was filled with the best talent from New England. The talent level varied from division three to some division one college prospects. Among those players we decided to highlight multiple below.
Jalen Adams - This one is obvious. Jalen Adams was by far the best player at the event. Adams is a 6'1" point guard heading to UConn after his upcoming senior year of high school at Brewster Academy. He can easily create off the dribble and also run an offense well. Adams won CO-MVP honors with his dominant performance in the all-star game. Adams caught alley-oops, dunked the ball, and dazzled the audience. He shoots the ball well, can attack the basket, play defense, and distribute the ball well. Jalen Adams could be the next Kemba Walker or Shabazz Napier for UCONN
Jermaine Samuels - Samuels was the second best performer at the showcase. He is a top 25 talent in the country for the class of 2017. He is only going into his sophomore year at Rivers Academy and stands at 6'6". Samuels is one of the most dominate high school players in New England. He had dunk after dunk that left fans and coaches with their jaws dropped. Considering he is only a sophomore he has an impressive build physically and uses it to his advantage. Jermaine Samuels will be an unstoppable player once his outside game catches up to his already impressive skill set.
Jordan Hardwick - The 6'7" power forward is a beast. Hardwick dominates the interior game with his athleticism and determination. He dunks the ball with ease also. He won the dunk contest, well sorta. Hardwick and Tyonne Malone were co-champions in the dunk contest. Hardwick showed off his hops by jumping over Jermaine Sameuls. Hardwick still has to improve his down-low game but he has high potential to be one of the most dominant big men in the class of 2017.
David Watkins - Watkins is a well rounded 6'7" forward. He won CO-MVP along with Jalen Adams in the all-star game. He can step out shoot the three, but he can also attack the basket and finish. Watkins can also run the break and post up inside. He's able to attack a defense any way he wants. Watkins is entering his junior season at Brimmer and May and has received interest from BU and Fairfield. His goal is to play in the ACC or A-10. College coaches will sure take notice this upcoming season. David Watkins is a well rounded forward who will make noise in the college game in his future.
Isaiah McLeod - McLeod wanted to prove he can play with the best. He proved his point on Saturday. The 6 foot 1 point guard played aggressive and got to the hoop. He also shoot the three. McLeod is going into his senior season at Cambridge Rindge and Latin. He is looking to have another great season. Last year Isaiah dropped 43 points against Everett High. McLeod just visited Stonehill College, and is receiving interest from some other schools. He will definitely receive a few offers to play at the college level. Isaiah McLeod is explosive and aggressive, which allows him to be one of the best guards in Massachusetts.
Isaiah Fontaine - The 6 foot 8 forward showed flashes of excellence during his play. Fontaine controls both ends of the floor. He can block anything that comes his way in the post and also finish with nice post moves on the offensive end. He is loaded with potential and a great body to do so. He could end up being a Nerlens Noel or Isaiah Austin type big man. He is a great rim protector like both of them. The only thing different about him is his offensive game. Fontaine can score the ball many ways. He has a series of turn around jump shots and quick moves on the block. Hopefully he will develop into his full potential. Watch out for Isaiah Fontaine's upcoming season at Williston Northampton.
Tyonne Malone - Malone was one of the most athletic and talented players at the showcase. He can blow pass defenders and finish with authority at the rim, or hit the outside shot behind the arc. Malone is only entering his Junior season at Putnam Vocational and has offers from BU, Manhattan, St. Peter's, and UMass. He is also receiving interest from BC and Providence. The multifaceted Malone has received interest from UConn, but still needs to earn a scholarship. He certainly would fit with a team like UConn. On Saturday, he and Jalen Adams were throwing alley-oops to each other and playing a nice two man game. Maybe we could see Malone and Adams throwing lobs to each other again in a few years, only they would be wearing a UConn Huskies uniform.
Dexter Thompson - Thompson was the breakout player of the day on Saturday. He got to the hoop with ease and finished off with multiple dunks. He played with a certain intensity that few showed. Every play he showed he wanted it more than anybody else on the floor. He plays with a Stanley Johnson or Jaylen Brown style. All three of them have a great motor and attack the rim with force. They all have college ready bodies and great athletic ability. He is only 6'3" but plays like a small forward. Thompson can cut to the basket and score inside with ease, but needs more of an outside game. Dexter seemed to be a few steps ahead of everyone on the court because of his great awareness and high basketball IQ. If Dexter Thompson plays with the same intensity he did Saturday during his senior campaign at the Hyde School, he should definitely have a scholarship or two to choose from at season's end.
Monytung Maker - Maker is a well rounded player who seemed to be everywhere on the court. Even if he didn't have the ball in his hands, he was affecting the game around him. He has a great athletic ability and can rebound the ball well. Maker is a player that is always grabbing loose balls and cleaning up the glass. Due to his hustle he would play a great role on a college team. Watch out as Monytung Maker is entering his junior season at Manchester West HS.
Chris Baldwin - The 6 foot 7 big man knows how to dominate opponents in the paint. Baldwin dunked almost every time he got the ball. He plays an athletic forward style and excels doing so. He has received an offer from UMass and received from interest from Boston College. Hopefully Baldwin can develop into a well polished big during his senior season at Springfield Central. He has a certain rawness within his play that could help him develop into a monstrous big man.
Geo Baker - Baker is a 6 foot 2 point guard. He has impressive quickness and handles by his side. He used them multiple times to show up defenders. He is only entering his sophomore season at Pinkerton Academy. If he can develop an outside game and grow a little, Baker will be a great guard. He already has a great knack for the game and some awesome handles. Geo Baker will be a fun player to watch develop over his next three years of high school.