The Prep Hoops NEXT Midwest Melee is one of Prep Hoops biggest NEXT events of the spring season and it also happens to be my first time covering the Middle School side of things for Prep Hoops. When I walked…
The Prep Hoops NEXT Midwest Melee is one of Prep Hoops biggest NEXT events of the spring season and it also happens to be my first time covering the Middle School side of things for Prep Hoops. When I walked into the gym I was amazed by the size and length of some of these teams. If you didn’t know any better you would say that they are in high school by the looks of it. Below I am going to list just some of the players who put together nice games on Saturday, helping their teams to an overall successful day.
Alphonso McDonald JR is a player that jumps off the screen at you when you watch him play live. He brings energy, positive, and a whole lot of skill to the floor. This skill was on full display Saturday for McDonald’s College Bound Elite 2028 team. He was diving into the stands, distributing to his teammates, and racking up points in waves to help lead his team to some dominating victories. For his age he has great size and coordination while getting up and down the floor at a quick but efficient pace. Today he showed that the sky is the limit if he keeps on working and stays dedicated. He is the type of player that I could see getting into high school and really changing a program for the better moving forward.
I don’t want to get to much into Blake Choice and his game because he is going to be featured in a later article this weekend but what I will say now is that ceiling and promise on this kid is the highest I have seen all weekend. A player that is the definition of a hooper while stacking up some major numbers in every category you can think of for his teams. He is the strongest rebounder on the floor, the strongest scorer on the floor, and overall the strongest player on the floor. For now that’s all I am going to say but this young man is SPECIAL, so remember the name.
Jawaun Johnson was easily one of the shiftiest and smoothest handling guards that I have seen all day while covering this event. A point guard who understands how to control the game and play it at the speed him/his coaches desire. To go along with his handle he also has fantastic vision with a nice passing ability in the open court. He understands that he is going to beat his initial defender on the regular, helping him set up the teammates around him for an easy bucket when their defender over-helps. In the game I was able to watch of Johnson he did everything right for the most part. He played his position, kept his team in line, and they ended up winning by 20 in the end with him being probably the biggest reason for that. The State of Indiana has some shifty handlers at the high school level and Johnson will be added to that list once he gets there.
Champs Spears is a player who has “it” and he knows it. When I had the chance to watch Spears warm up he just had a swag about himself. The way he walks arounds, the way he carries himself, its just different then everyone else around him. When it comes to the game of basketball he is really solid. A skinner guard who can shoot, create, and can really pass in tight spaces against some solid defenders. Defensively, he flies around the court and works really hard to stay in front of his man or get a tip/deflection for his team. He is good at using any motion he does efficiently and not wasting time or steps. Lastly, I would add that for how good he is overall, he is unselfish. He wouldn’t mind scoring 2 points and having 20 assists as long as his team wins and his teammates are happy. That last sentence tells you everything you need to know about him and his game.
Denym Wallace is an interesting prospect. A player that stands about 6’2 currently at the 12U level with a great head on his shoulders along with coordination and good hands. Usually when you see tall players at this young of an age they are just trying to figure it out. In this case its a little different as Wallace does need to figure some things out and grow as a player but where he currently sits is in a great spot. He seems to understand his body and size compared to everyone around him while being knowledgeable on what offense and defense his team is running. Once he grows some more and he uses some aggression in the post, he is going to be a nightmare to defend, just wait.