The inaugural iBall with Terry Drake Basketball Elite Skills Camp exceeded all attendees’ expectations. The camp was run as though it was in its 10th year of existence, even though it was the first, which will surely be a stapler…
The inaugural iBall with Terry Drake Basketball Elite Skills Camp exceeded all attendees’ expectations. The camp was run as though it was in its 10th year of existence, even though it was the first, which will surely be a stapler in the state for years to come. We will review all the players that attended, and here is the first wave…
Joe Wimberly Joe Wimberly 6'0" | PG Pelham | 2024 State AL (6’0/PG/’24)
It has been a while since I have laid eyes on Joe. I was highly impressed with how much he has grown as a person on and off the court, as he brought a lot of energy and effort to camp and was one of the hardest-working guys during the morning drills. In the 5v5 action, he showed his willingness and desire to play both ends of the floor. He is hands down a traditional PG in the sense that he is a coach on the floor. He is a trustworthy ballhandler that knows how to get his teammates involved, keep his turnovers at a minimum, and can score when opportunities are there for him to take. Hands down, his greatest impact during camp was on the defensive end of the floor as he was a pest and made ballhandlers work for every inch on the court. He does not have a lot of size and will need to continue to stay in the weight room, but he is the type of player that other players want to go to war with, as he is going to give everything that he has to help his team come out on top. Even though he is small, he cannot be punked, and he is the ultimate competitor with a warrior mentality at the lead guard spot.
Hands down, his greatest impact during camp was on the defensive end of the floor as he was a pest and made ballhandlers work for every inch on the court.Terry J. Drake
Adam Barksdale Adam Barksdale 6'3" | PG Vestavia Hills | 2025 State AL (6’4/PG/’25)
Vestavia Hills HS
Adam continues to show improvement every time I see him, which tells me that he stays in the lab working on his craft. The last two times I have seen Adam, I have been thoroughly impressed with his aggressiveness with the ball in his hands. Early on, Adam was hesitant about taking advantage of scoring opportunities. After several conversations with him, I discovered he did not want to be labeled a ball hog. I respect that as he does have the mentality of a floor general and has shown that he knows how to orchestrate. For some time, he stifled his scoring skillset in an attempt to keep teammates happy with him, but he is now finding a balance between scoring and facilitating. He is no longer hesitant about pulling the trigger in c&s opportunities; he is aggressive off the bounce, and in camp, he had the gear in score mode. He should find his way on the floor at the varsity level at Vestavia this year, but the system will require him to facilitate more, but he will be able to score the rock when needed. He has to continue to get faster, work on his lateral quickness, and finishing thru contact. He is already drawing D1 attention, and his stock continues to rise.
The last two times I have seen Adam, I have been thoroughly impressed with his aggressiveness with the ball in his hands.Terry J. Drake
Ray Ray McCants (6’4/Wing/’25)
Pinson Valley HS
One word that kept coming to mind as I watched Ray Ray in camp was confidence. Often when you have seen players, and you know what they are capable of doing, you begin looking to see how a player is developing their weaknesses, and this is the posture that I took while watching Ray Ray play. It was apparent immediately that the one thing that had grown in Ray’s game was his confidence. I saw him throughout his freshman year work thru the challenges of finding his place in the Pinson Valley program, and it was as though he was seeking to prove he belonged instead of just enjoying the journey of his freshman year. As they say, what a difference a year makes, and this is true with Ray as he is known as a sniper, and he was shooting the rock with the kind of swagger that was saying he knew he was the best shooter at the camp. His game off the bounce is developing as he showed his ability and willingness to put the ball on the floor and get to the paint. He was attacking downhill, getting to the paint, and using that 6’4 frame and long wingspan to shoot over defenders and finish strong at the rim. He still has to work on his handles, finishing through contact, and getting stronger, but he is on a trajectory to continue to emerge as one of the best scorers in the ’25 class.
It was apparent immediately that the one thing that had grown in Ray’s game was his confidence.Terry J. Drake
LG Williams (5’11/CG/’26)
Mountain Brook HS
LG missed a good bit of the morning session, but when he arrived and got actively going, you could tell he was on a mission to show why he is one of the bright young rising freshmen in the state. You can go ahead and throw his name in the hat with so many of the previous and current guards that have played and are playing for Mountain Brook, as he will surely evolve into a player that will be able to have the Spartans competing for championships in years to come. He is under the 6’0 height line, but he is not afraid of challenging the paint and creating for himself or his teammates. He showed a nice change of speed and slick handle, which he uses to get to his spots on the floor. He has vision, court awareness, and anticipates the movement of the defense, which by the time the defense has got into position, he has already countered what they are attempting to stop. He is listed as a CG but likes to play with the ball in his hands most of the time, so I would list him as a PG with a score-first mentality. He is going to fit nicely into what the Spartans have become known for, but he brings to the floor the ability to create his own shot off the bounce in case the Spartans need a bucket when things break down out of the flow of the offense. He has to continue working on his speed, lateral quickness, and strength. His PG IQ still needs attention because right now, he is small and will be looked upon to facilitate from the lead guard position.
He is listed as a CG but likes to play with the ball in his hands most of the time, so I would list him as a PG with a score-first mentality.Terry J. Drake
Tommy Tisdale Tommy Tisdale 6'2" | CG Keith | 2024 State AL , III (6’2/SG/’24)
A lot of excitement and questions surround T3’s game. He will go down as one of the best scorers that has played in the state based solely on the number of points that will be recorded by the end of his high school career. Despite that, you have critics that say his production is based on the fact that he is playing in a lower classification. Well, to those critics, I must first ask them if they have seen him while playing with his Alabama Fusion team during the spring and summer, and secondly, I would ask them whether they were in attendance at this camp. I won’t speak on his production during travel ball, but at the camp against highly formidable competition, he did what he is known to do, and that is he scored the rock. He was slow out the gate, but he was a nightmare for defenders once he got it going. He was unstoppable when he had it all going with the trey ball, the mid-range J, and finishing at the cup. He is an offensive assassin, and even if you try to overload your coverage to stop or contain him, he will find some way to make you pay. He was one of the best scorers at the camp, and while many are picking apart his game, I am saying to a college coach, T3 is not a player to pass on.
He was slow out the gate, but he was a nightmare for defenders once he got it going.Terry J. Drake
Henry Gregory (6’6/C/’25)
Spain Park HS
Henry is a lengthy young player who brought much effort to camp. He still has a lot of developing to do, but he showed his desire to work and get after it on the court. Right now, he is a player that seems to still be figuring it out. In most cases, he is considered an undersized post player and needs to develop his game beyond the paint. He posted hard in the paint and showed the ability to be a low-block scorer. His activity on the boards and physicality on defense highlighted his play. As I mentioned, he has to expand his game and continue to polish his skill set. Still, he is under an outstanding coach in Chris Lastsch at Spain Park, that knows how to develop players, and it is going to be interesting to watch Henry’s growth in the Jaguars program.
Henry is a lengthy young player who brought much effort to camp.Terry J. Drake
Earnest Alexander, IV (6’2/Wing/’26)
Earnest is coming off an injury that caused him to miss the Jay Bilas Skills Camp, but he came into camp at 100%, and it showed in his play. He is a soft-spoken guy that is not a vocal leader on the floor, but he leads with his energy and effort. He is an aggressive defender that is disruptive in his on-ball and help positions. Earnest is a talented incoming freshman that will get quality time on the 9th grade or JV team at Hoover and will grow into a player that could play a vital role in the future success of the Bucs, as many believe they will be competing for a state championship the next three years. Offensively he is still developing and has to continue to find what he wants to lay his hat on and be known for. He can attack off the bounce but has to continue working on his finishing moves, and as he adds a consistent three, he can emerge as a solid prospect for the next level.
He is a soft-spoken guy that is not a vocal leader on the floor, but he leads with his energy and effort.Terry J. Drake