Great ball handling was on display all weekend at the NEXT Midwest Kickoff in Kansas City. Numerous bigs showed off their ball skills, while more traditional guards flashed some great handles. Here are a few of the best to show…
Great ball handling was on display all weekend at the NEXT Midwest Kickoff in Kansas City. Numerous bigs showed off their ball skills, while more traditional guards flashed some great handles. Here are a few of the best to show off their abilities over the weekend (in alphabetical order):
Lamont Hamilton, 5-foot-8, 2026, CG, Wisconsin Elite:
Hamilton was the fiery leader of Wisconsin Elite, who had to endure some intense challenges from Team Teague, Triple Threat, and KC Prodigy. Hamilton was fantastic when he got the ball in his hands, demonstrating a number of moves, which he can make at full speed. He drives fearlessly through traffic in the open court, finds creases to drive in the lane, and is always moving faster than everyone else on the court.
Elijah Jones, 5-foot-1, and Wes Thompson, 4-foot-10, 2026, PGs, PBA Elite:
The two undersized guards of PBA were fantastic. They never back down from bigger opponents, and have brilliant command of the ball. They use spin moves and cross overs to evade a defender, and they split defenders with style, creating advantages when they push the ball up court. Jones demonstrated an ability to beat a defender on the perimeter and attack the lane, where he hits a nice runner. Thompson, meanwhile, is willing to launch from behind the arc, so defenders have to come out to guard him.
Jonny Jordan, 5-foot-10, 2026, CG, MPJ:
MPJ coach Pep Stanciel went out of his way to point out the play of Jordan, 5-foot-10 guard. With so many dominant bigs around him, Jordan can sort of go unnoticed. But Stanciel said Jordan is a 2026 who is playing a year up with the 14U club. The St. Louis guard is an intelligent player who stays in control despite bigger, older players on the court. He makes the right play for the team. His ball handling is impeccable, and he gets to where he wants on the court.
Adam Tanner, 2026, PG, KC Prodigy (featured image):
In the championship game, Tanner bounced back from a gash on the back of his head to handle most of the ball handling duties against the ferocious Wisconsin Elite pressure. The hard-working guard fights through pressure, and never loses his composure when attacked by multiple defenders. He pushes the pace with his head up, finding teammates up-court, on the wing and in the lane.
Tyus Thomas, 5-foot-8, 2026, PG, West Coast Select:
Thomas might have been the best ball handler in KC last weekend. Like, Jordan, Thomas is a 2026 playing a grade up. His effortless command of the ball is impressive, but what he gets done on the court is equally impressive. He fights through grabs and hand-checks to push the ball up the court or into the lane, showing a ton of poise with the ball in his hands. Able to penetrate at will, he can create his own shot, or dish to one of his talented teammates.
Xavier Wilson, 6-foot-4, 2006, SF, MPJ:
This list needs at least one big man. Wilson may not have the flashy moves of some of the point guards on this list, but it’s impressive to see one of the tallest men on the court confidently pushing the ball up the court, through traffic, and while closely guarded.