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West Coast Elite 25 Club Basketball Founder

Open Gym WCE25 Superstar Camp Recap

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Recap Written by Aaron Burgin

Some of the top youth basketball players in Southern California – and in one player’s case, Atlanta, GA – converged on the American Sports Center over the weekend for the Open Gym WCE25 Superstar Camp. The two-day camp, co-sponsored Open Gym, West Coast Elite and Ryan Silver’s Pangos Basketball organization, featured high-level training and entertaining games with about 45 of the brightest young stars in their respective age groups. Here’s a brief recap of the players who attended the camp:

 

Kyle Gray, 11th Grade – The Bonita High rising junior was the oldest camper, and set the tone for the older group. A solid athlete, great slasher and solid perimeter shooter, what stood out about Kyle was his leadership skills. Kyle is primed for a big campaign for Bonita, which last year went 25-6 and won the Hacienda League.

Alexander Mishaw, 7th Grade- The wiry guard showed solid handles in the ball handling drill, as well as a decent jumpshot from distance. He’s a very good kid too and a hard worker.

Joseph Markham, 9th Grade- the Atlanta product wins the award for farthest distance travelled to camp. Joseph is a very solid ball handler who knows how to get to the rim and score through contact, as well as drop off the pass to shooters and cutters. A little on the short side, his frame looks like it’s nowhere near filling out, which bodes well for his future at Westlake High.

Kevin Hurlic, 9th Grade- Blessed with an incredibly high basketball IQ, Kevin is simply a playmaker. Smooth handle, great shooter and excellent competitor. With improved conditioning, he could develop into a solid guard for St. Bernard.

Ziaire Williams, 7th Grade- Wiry and very shifty slasher and scorer. Ziaire handles the ball exceptionally well on the wing, and shoots it well, too. He also really gets after it on the defensive end, where his length allows him to keep his man in front of him. His upside is immense.

Elijah McCullough, 8th Grade- Elijah entered camp with a big-time reputation because of his play on his I-10 Celtics travel team, and did not disappoint. A high-level athlete, he makes the game look really easy. Elijah can fill it up in a hurry, and his tenacity on both ends is infectious. Definitely one of the camp’s brightest stars.

Bryce Zephir, 8th Grade- The Cal Supreme product was one of the top guards on hand in the older group. Very gifted passer and ball handler who at this stage projects to be a top-level guard in Southern California when he gets to high school.

Ernest Jackson, 7th Grade- “EJ” at this stage is one of the best ball handlers I’ve seen. He is an absolute wizard with the rock, able to maneuver through double and triple teams and make it look easy. His array of moves is pretty phenomenal for a kid his age. It will be interesting to see how he develops because his body (he’s built like a high-school tailback) looks mature, but for now, he’s one of the more dynamic point guards you’ll see at his age group.

Tyrese Willis, 7th Grade- One of my personal favorites at camp, this diminutive point guard is a high-level talent. An incredible ball handler, he did some moves in the drills and games that were nothing short of spectacular. He also is blessed with the ability to see things on the court before they happen, dropping assists of the home-run variety. Very special player.

Jamal Hartwell, 9th Grade- Jamal might have been the most consistent performer all camp. Brought it every single drill and game. He’s a bouncy athlete with a tremendous jump shot, but is also a very high-IQ passer who puts his teammates in positions to thrive as well. Jamal is also a solid defender. He could have a impact very soon in his high school career at Fairfax.

Dylan Andrews, 6th Grade – Gifted ball handler and exceptional floor leader for a kid his age. Dynamic passer, and a capable shooter.  He played up during the final camp games and had a great showing. Arguably the top player in his age group all camp.

Demetrius Jackson, 8th Grade- Jackson is one of several players with the long, wiry build that you see in prototypical guards at this stage who still have ton of growing to do. His game at this stage is very advanced. He’s not a flashy, but very skilled ball handler and a solid shooter who knocked down jumpers consistently in the drills. He’ll be one to watch.

Maka Ellis, 8th Grade- Very versatile! Maka  is equally adept on the block and on the wing, where he uses a strong first step and his upper body strength to power through most of the kids at camp. A very special talent, with tremendous length and a huge wingspan.

Kris Smith, 7th Grade- Kris is a gifted athlete who has the length and frame of a high-school junior right now. Everything looks so effortless when Kris does it, whether it’s handling the ball or maneuvering through traffic on scoring drives. As Kris develops his killer instinct, he will be a special talent.

Andrew Quach, 7th Grade- Andrew is a very cerebral player who knows how to outthink his competitors. Love that he competes with a smile, but you can still tell that he is working hard to get better.

Tochi Ebo, 4th Grade- Tochi’s game mirrors many of the facets of his older brother. He’s a tough competitor.

Ben Scholtzberg, 5th Grade- Scoring guard really knows how to handle the rock, and makes the nifty pass in traffic. Ben also competes every play on both offense and defense.

Tylenn Meeks, 5th Grade- Tylen is a very physical competitor who really gets after it on defense.

Brandon Perez, 6th Grade- Very skilled player can handle the ball on the perimeter and play with his back to the basket. He’s got a great attitude and is a good teammate.

Jaylen Thomas, 5th Grade- Jaylen is a strong kid who loves to get after it on the boards. Jaylen got better with each drill.

Luke Thomas, 4th Grade – Luke was a kid who always worked really hard in each drill and did it with a smile. Great kid, just like his brother!

CJ Ebo, 5th Grade- The eldest Ebo brother can handle the ball and shoots it well. He’s got a bright future ahead!

Jacob Taylor, 5th Grade – Incredibly smooth player, great shooter, rebounds and competes at both ends. One of my favorite campers all weekend.

Justin Rochelin, 6th Grade- Very athletic and strong, Justin is sound in every facet of the game. He’s also got a non-stop motor, and doesn’t take plays off.

Preston Skands, 6th Grade- Fundamentally sound player doesn’t make a ton of mistakes, and is a dead-eye shooter to boot.

Payton Skands, 5th Grade- Payton has a very similar game to his brother, Preston. He shoots it with confidence and is very heady for a kid his age.

Camren VanVactor, 6th Grade- Loved the fact that Camren competed with lots of heart. Solid spot-up shooter worked hard during the camp.

AJ Burgin, 5th Grade- High-energy player is a ball hawk on the defensive end and is a very fundamentally sound passer.

Trevor Telson, 5th Grade- Very strong kid who has solid ball handling skills and great court awareness.

Amir Blakely, 6th Grade- Smallish in stature, Amir was big on heart. Loved how he competed on the boards with the bigger players.

Amun Collins, 5th Grade- Knockdown shooter is also a sneaky good ball handler, with a nifty crossover. Knocked down 5 threes in a camp game!

Cameron Sharif, 6th Grade- Very fundamentally sound player makes solid decisions with the pass and is a solid shooter.

Caden Sharif, 5th Grade- Caden was a very hard worker at camp, and was a pretty good shooter from midrange. Great work ethic!

Austin Yost, 5th Grade- Before tweaking his back, you could tell Austin is a really gifted player. Handles, passes and shoots it at a high level.

Vincent Satras, 5th Grade- Strong kid is a solid spot-up shooter and really likes to mix it up in the paint.

John Gallegos, 6th Grade- John played in the games on Saturday and played great defense and hit some deep threes.

David Mack, 3rd Grade- One of the youngest campers, David really shined during drills, working out with the older kids.

Jacob Ortega, 7th Grade- Heady Point Guard is a jack-of-all-trades type of player. A good decision maker, solid ball handler and a capable shooter. Understands the game well for a kid his age.

Dillon Chelsea, 2nd Grade- A coach’s son, Dillon loves the game and plays with tremendous enthusiasm. He’s a very hard worker and coachable.

EJ Banks, 3rd Grade- EJ was a hard worker and a great teammate during the games!

Chad Crisostomo, 3rd Grade- Shifty point guard can really handle and pass the ball.

Dylan Crisostomo, 1st Grade- Little Dylan was a blast to watch at camp! He’s got a bright future.

 

 

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