“The Platform” held it’s final session in Virginia Beach last weekend, featuring some of the top AAU programs on the east coast. The event had teams ranging from sixth to eighth grade, and was a great preview to the AAU…
“The Platform” held it’s final session in Virginia Beach last weekend, featuring some of the top AAU programs on the east coast. The event had teams ranging from sixth to eighth grade, and was a great preview to the AAU season and what teams will look like this spring.
There were so many standouts ranging from Virginia to Georgia and everywhere in between. There are still two more sessions, with one happening at U-Turn in Richmond on March 5 and 6, and one at the Virginia Beach Sportscenter April 15 and 16.
Here’s a look at part one of the standouts, looking at some of the top kids in the DMV area.
Mike Jones | Team Loaded VA 14U
The MVP of the championship game in “The 8,” Jones is a dynamic guard to keep an eye on as he continues to grow as he already has a terrific skillset to go along with his shifty quickness and natural ability to make plays off the bounce. He can get in the lane where he’s an athletic and crafty finisher around the rim and he can make plays for others, he can knock down shots from deep off the catch and off the bounce and he has great instincts on both ends of the floors. He simply made plays that you don’t see many guards his age able to do on both ends of the floor.
Latrell Almond | Team Loaded VA 14U
Almond was named the MVP of the entire session as he was the most consistent player on the championship team and arguably the most consistent and top prospect we saw at all three sessions of the The Platform. The 6’8” big man moves so well for a young player his size as he gets up and down the floor well, he moves laterally well defensively and he can change directions well getting downhill and he is explosive off his feet as a finisher and a rim protector. Throw in the fact that he can shoot the ball from deep and in the midrange, and he has a lot of room to develop into a special talent in the high school realm and beyond.
AJ Washington | Team Loaded VA 14U
Washington stepped up in a big way for Loaded VA in their run to The 8 Championship, as he was critical for them off the bench and provided a mismatch at his size with his skillset and motor. He was productive across the board as he rebounded well on both ends of the floor, he showed he can make shots from multiple levels and he guards and plays multiple positions for the group. It will be interesting to see how he continues to develop and grow as he gets older.
Aiden Smalls | Team Loaded VA 14U
Smalls usually plays up on the TLVA 15U group, but with no tournament for the 15U group and a major tournament championship he made the trip to VB and joined an already stacked team and showed why he’s able to play up and make an impact already at his age. He has a quick first step and is shifty with his change of speeds and directions, he’s strong when he attacks the rim and is able to play through contact and he gets in the paint at will where he can finish and make plays for others. He’s tracking to be a very good player at the high school level and beyond moving forward.
Neiko Mundy | New World 14U
Mundy was terrific throughout all three sessions of The Platform and showed that he’ll be one of the top players in the DMV area for years to come. He’s a natural scorer with a strong frame that gets more athletic by the day, and he showed a knack for being able to make tough shots from multiple levels and simply knows how to score the basketball. He has tons of talent moving forward and is productive already with a chance to continue to grow and improve.
Jalyn Collingworth | New World 14U
Collingsworth is a very intriguing prospect heading into high school, as the 6’5” forward already has good size and is likely growing and he’s already a big time athlete for his age. He gets up and down the floor with ease and is able to rise up and play above the rim, he rebounds well and can handle the rock in transition and he brings good energy defensively too. He has a lot of room to improve moving forward and will be an exciting player to watch grow in the DMV.
Eric Wedge | New World 14U
Wedge was a new addition for New World from the last two sessions and he stepped up in a huge way for them throughout the event in helping them make the championship game. He’s the traditional two guard with good size as he can knock down shots from deep, has good strength attacking the basket and he has a good motor and produces as a scorer and playmaker consistently.