Basketball season never stops. A month after crowning state champions, local programs are back at it, getting ready for the 2023-24 season. The Spring Valley Spring League pits several 4A and 5A programs against each other, giving me a way…
Basketball season never stops. A month after crowning state champions, local programs are back at it, getting ready for the 2023-24 season. The Spring Valley Spring League pits several 4A and 5A programs against each other, giving me a way too early look at some potential high school star performers. I also got a sneak peak at some future high school stars, and several middle school hotshots played up, competing against Varsity competition. Here’s a look at the ones that caught my eye.
Kirkland just kept making plays. He first caught my eye with his defensive intellegence, as he kept anticipating correctly, jumping into passing lanes to get steals. He was a terror once getting interceptions, as the wing quickly turned defense into offense, showing the ability to convert on the other end.
Let’s go with 6’5 for the height on Broxie, if for no other reason than the fact that he playes like he’s six five. A tough physical player that set some bonecrushing screens, Broxie showed decent agility, rolling to the rim a few times as well as catching some passes on the run. He’s improved his explosiveness, as he got off the ground rather quickly to block a couple of shots, highlighting his value as a rim protector.
I never intended to watch as much of his game as I did, but the lefty forced me to watch. I would get up to move to another court, and he would knock down a three. I look down to scribble in my notebook and he would be finishing a drive. He was highly productive, while showing the ability to be both a tempo changing, and floor spacing guard.
Popoola did more than hold his own against older competition. He was effective scoring the basketball, using a nice in between game, hitting some short jumpers, runners and floaters. Has a good combination of instincts and quickness as he was first to almost every 50/50 ball he went after.
Willacey was playing way up, but did a good job of holding his own. He played the PG position with confidence, showing a strong handle along with some effective driving ability. He was able to score off a few jumpers, and finished a tough transition bucket in the game that I watched.
I remember Imperial from his time playing in my middle school combine. He showed that he learned a lot. The PG plays with advanced pace, making some nice passes to teammates, not only on the break but during half court sets as well. He plays with good ball speed, and controlled the tempo in the game I watched.