GameChangers At Prep Hoops NEXT Midwest Melee
This content series is sponsored by GameChanger – The Official Scorekeeping, Stats, Team Management & Technology Partner of Prep Hoops Next. This past weekend was my first time this season having the privilege of scouting for Prep Hoops Next and let me…
This content series is sponsored by GameChanger – The Official Scorekeeping, Stats, Team Management & Technology Partner of Prep Hoops Next.
This past weekend was my first time this season having the privilege of scouting for Prep Hoops Next and let me tell you something. Our future is so BRIGHT! The size, strength, and gamesmanship I witness this weekend was next level all across the board. Below are 5 athletes that embodied what it means to be a GameChanger on the court for their teams, enjoy!
Blake Choice headlines our GameChangers of the weekend at the PH NEXT Midwest Melee event. Choice, a 5’10 guard, could only be described as a GameChanger with how he impacts any game that he participates in. A player with size, speed, length, and a lot of coordination. Not including that he has an elite handle with solid vision, a bag of offensive weapons to score with, and some real knowledge of the game when it comes to big situations in the closing moments. Remember the name Blake Choice cause he is going to turn into something special over the next few years out of the state of Illinois. His promise and ceiling are next level.
Alphonso McDonald Jr
Alphonso McDonald Jr
Alphonso McDonald Jr was a pivotal playmaker all weekend long for his College Bound Elite 2028 team. When I first had the chance to sit down and watch this group play, they seem to check off a a lot of boxes. They press right off of the tip, play as a team, and always look to make the extra pass when given the opportunity. Their leader being McDonald. At this moment, for his age McDonald could play a number of positions. He did really well as the head of his teams press as well as being a versatile playmaker on the offensive side of things. He is bigger then most kids his age, plays with a guard skill set, and has a very good ability when it comes to getting his open teammates the ball. This College Bound Elite program came all the way from Colorado to show out this weekend and they did just that, McDonald especially.
The Indiana Game 2028 team came in this weekend and took care of business, posting an undefeated record of 4-0 with a +22.5 point differential in those games. This team is led by a few different players but the guy that gets them to go is Jawaun Johnson. Johnson is a 5’9 point guard with a shifty handle and smooth dribble when coming down the floor. He was easily one of the best handling guards this weekend I saw compete. Other than his handle he has a next level layup package with some ability to pass the ball. If a coach were to make a list of the qualities they want their ideal point guard to have, Johnson would possess a decent amount of them and he is only 13. In the next few years everyone is going to know Johnsons name in his home state of Indiana as one of the top ball handlers around, there is no doubt in my mind. This weekend he really showed what it means to be a GameChanger.
Noah Dudek is a player that changes the outcome of whatever game he plays in because of his size, strength, and fundamentals. Dudek is a 5’11 point guard with a big body. He is strong, plays off of two feet, and is always balanced when coming to a stop. This weekend on a number of occasions he showed that he was the best guard on the floor at dishing out assists, making things easier for others, and running his team. In some close contests he really showed that he can control the tempo of a game and make it “his own” in a sense. Looking toward the future the promise on Dudek is high. He needs to keep his same guard skill set while growing in size physically. If he can do that, he is going to be a handful to guard coming down the floor in the years to come.
If you want to talk about modern day guards who can hit shots from the parking lot, you better mention Gary Thorpe of Mil-Town Hoopers 2027. Thorpe is a quick twitch point guard who is smooth off the dribble with the ability to consistently blow by his defender, getting all the way to the rim for a basket or assist. I would say Thorpe’s best ability is shooting the ball. He is a sniper from anywhere deep and I mean DEEP. He was pulling up before the volleyball line at a consistent rate this weekend and knowing down shots for his team, eventually keeping them in it at the end of some of their contests. I don’t know if Thorpe was the best, most uniformed shooter I saw this weekend but he was definitely the player with the most consistent shot from the greatest distance, especially in big moments. Lastly, when his team lost, he was really torn up about it. He displayed that no matter what, above all, he just wants his team to succeed and I think that’s important to take note of.