CoBL Staff (@hooplove215)
The first of two weekends at the Philly Live event wrapped up on Sunday, with seven sets of games to close out the three-day affair at St. Joe’s Prep.
Here’s who played well in front of the CoBL staff during Sunday’s games:
St. Augustine Prep (N.J.) rising sophomore Elijah Brown was one of many standouts on Sunday. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)
Elijah Brown (2024 | St. Augustine Prep, N.J.)
A 6-3 wing guard, Brown had a strong outing in a one-point win for the Hermits over Father Judge during the afternoon sets. A slasher with advanced physicality for his age, Brown is adept at getting to the hoop through traffic, and he’s not afraid of contact, but he’s also got a nice mid-range game as well. He also showed that he’s expanding his game to be more comfortable on the perimeter, hitting a smooth step-back pull-up 3-pointer. Brown finished with 15 points, nine rebounds and two assists in the winning effort, shooting 6-of-12 from the floor and hitting both of his foul shots. As his game continues to match his frame and athleticism, the ceiling will continue to rise.
Jaden Colzie (2024 | Plymouth-Whitemarsh, Pa.)
Last season, Colzie impressed as a freshman starter on a Plymouth-Whitemarsh team that needed a lead scoring guard. This upcoming season, Colzie will be a leader as his team seeks to compete at a high level in the Suburban One League and PIAA District 1. The talented 5-11 prospect was a bright spot during PW’s up and down weekend. His speed and deep bag of dribble moves impressed in all three of PW’s games against some of the best squads the area has to offer. He is also an underrated distributor and has a good situational understanding of when he needs to score and when he needs to set up his teammates. During PW’s season, Colzie picked up his first scholarship to North Texas, Sunday afternoon he earned his second to Saint Bonaventure.
Carson Howard (2023 | Archbishop Wood, Pa.)
Howard, a new face on Archbishop Wood’s team, made his presence known all weekend long. Sunday afternoon he finished with 11 points, 8 rebounds and a pair of blocks in an impressive all-around effort for the 6-8 rising junior. He showcased soft touch around the glass, a solid understanding of defensive positioning in the paint, and nice footwork. This past week he received a DI scholarship to Saint Peters and should continue to see his recruiting interest increase with Wood this upcoming season.
Paul King (2023 | Father Judge, Pa.)
As a sophomore at now-closed Bishop McDevitt last year, King scored a grand total of three points on the varsity level. It looks like he’s in for a big step up in production now as a member of the Crusaders, as he looked every bit the part of a scholarship-level guard in a 20-point outing for Judge in a one-point loss to St. Augustine Prep. A 6-3, 185-pound combo guard, King is a strong outside shooter, as he showed in knocking down a trio of triples, but he also can get to the hoop and score in traffic, with a couple and-ones and another trip to the foul line, plus some mid-range action as well. Definitely a player to watch for new Judge head coach Chris Roantree moving forward.
Basil Laster (2023 | Archbishop Wood, Pa.)
Saint Peters and Rider are the first two schools to contact rising junior Basil Laster out of Archbishop Wood. Laster is ready for an expanded role this upcoming season, where the Vikings will have to replace all five starters while also seeking to stay competitive in the ever challenging Philadelphia Catholic League. The long wing stands at about 6-4, is not afraid of contact while driving in the paint and also showed off his 3-point range during Sunday’s win. He finished the game with 13 points and several steals, showcasing his prowess on both ends of the floor. Laster is an intriguing prospect going forward as he continues to add and expand upon his promising guard skills.
Demetrius Lilley (2022 | Lower Merion, Pa.)
When Demetrius Lilley takes the floor, he dominates. That was especially true during Sunday’s action, where he stood out by showing off his rare blend of athleticism, length, ability to stretch the floor and impact on defense as an anchor in the paint. He led Lower Merion to a convincing win over an uber-talented West Catholic team that features six players that hold active Division I scholarships. Saint Joe’s, La Salle, and Penn State are those most involved on the recruiting trail with the 6-10 forward. In the coming weeks he will have visited all three schools. A monster senior season is due for Lilley as he and his Lower Merion team vie to compete for a PIAA State Championship.
Justin Moore (2022 | Archbishop Wood, Pa.)
After Bishop McDevitt (Wyncote, Pa.) closed its doors permanently this June, Moore had a choice to make. What high school would he attend next? It seems he’s found a new home in Warminster with the Archbishop Wood Vikings and he’s picked up right where he left off after a stellar junior season. Sunday, Moore led a young, but talented Vikings team to a solid win over Elizabeth HS. Moore finished the game with 21 points, while also dishing out five assists. This weekend he’s seen his recruiting take a small leap at Philly Live I. Saint Francis (Pa.) and Rider are the latest schools to extend scholarships to the 6-1 rising senior, who also holds offers from Central Connecticut State and Drexel.
Khaafiq Myers (2024 | Neumann-Goretti, Pa.)
The usual stories about Neumann often focus on their outstanding guards, well this one is no different. ‘Fiq is often an overlooked prospect on Neumann’s talented roster, he’s a smaller sized kid, only standing about 5-9, though he’d rather let his game do the talking rather than be concerned with things he can’t control. He’s a classic example of the oft repeated “heart over height” montra that former Neumann standout Hakim Byrd (UMBC) lived by during his high school career. Myers is a natural playmaker with growing confidence in his ability to drive and finish or find open teammates on the wing. Khaafiq plays on the EYBL circuit with the NJ Scholars, where he’ll have plenty of opportunity to further prove himself against high level competition.
Olin Chamberlain Jr. (2025 | St. Joe’s Prep, Pa.)
In his second year at the helm, Jason Harrigan has revamped his entire roster at St. Joe’s Prep. The team is young, but features many talented prospects to keep an eye on moving forward. One of them being Olin Chamberlain Jr. who is also the grand-nephew of Wilt Chamberlain. The young standout led SJP to three convincing wins at Philly Live I, and is the unquestioned vocal leader of the team. He is an unselfish playmaker that thrives at getting his teammates involved. Another impressive facet of his game is his aggressiveness. Chamberlain Jr. is unrelenting at the point of attack and forces his way to his comfortable spots on the floor, where he had great success, particularly with his mid-range jumper.
Imhotep senior Naji Reid (above) knocked down eight 3-pointers against Centerville (Ohio). (Photo: Mark Jordan/CoBL)
Naji Reid (2022 | Imhotep Charter, Pa.)
Reid was lights out from beyond the arc in the Panthers 56-43 loss to Centerville (Ohio) Sunday morning. In the first half alone, Reid was red hot, as he had six triples in the opening 20 minutes which accounted for 18 of ‘Tep’s 26 at the half. In the second half, Reid continued to have the hot hand as he added two more triples to give him eight for the game. Despite the loss, Reid paced the Panthers on offense and showcased his strong ability to knock down shots consistently from deep with a hand in his face. A 6-1, 175-pound guard, Reid currently has an offer from Damien Blair and staff at West Chester, but it wouldn’t be surprising if he got a few more calls after that showing.
Rich Rolf (2022 | Centerville, Ohio)
Part of a terrific Centerville squad that competed with (and beat) some of the best squads around, Rolf really shined as the Elk beat Imhotep Charter 56-43 on Sunday morning. A 6-7 wing forward, Rolf is a mobile combo forward with good length, a strong 3-point shooter in catch and shoot situations who also showed the ability to hit a one-dribble pull-up and work off screens in the mid-range game; he also battled hard on the boards and had a couple second-chance opportunities amongst his 17 points. He picked up his first Division I offer, from Radford, last month.
Mike Sharavjamts (2022 | Centerville, Ohio)
Another member of that Centerville bunch was Sharavjamts, a native of Mongolia who’s still getting adjusted to his new teammates after previously being at Prolific Prep (Cali.). A 6-8, 190-pound wing, Sharavjamts is a lanky, fluid athlete who did a little bit of everything out on the court, a hint to his experience playing 3-on-3 ball back home. Sharavjamts did well working in the lane, coming up with a few second-chance opportunities, and also hit several shots on the move in the key, while also finishing with both hands; he also knocked down some 3-pointers over the course of the weekend, though that wasn’t something he did Sunday. Eastern Washington has offered; several others are interested.
Thomas Sorber (2024 | Archbishop Ryan, Pa.)
Ryan’s reloading process seems like a success so far after graduating the very successful Class of 2021 that reached the PIAA 5A state title game; Sorber’s certainly a very important part of the reload, and he shined this weekend as Ryan went 3-0 in impressive fashion. A 6-9 post player, Sorber contributed 16 points, 12 rebounds, and two blocks in Ryan’s first of two wins on Sunday afternoon over St. Thomas Aquinas. The young forward still has plenty to add to his game, particularly when it comes to developing his footwork and expanding his offensive game outside the paint. Right now, he’s a great piece on a young Ryan team, but the plan for Ryan is much larger. If they can keep their core of talented 2024’s together they are sure to make noise in the Philadelphia Catholic League when the time is right.
Nix Varano (2022 | La Salle College HS, Pa.)
One of the Catholic League’s top 3-point shooters last season (37-of-94, 39.4%), Varano is really starting to expand his game, which he showed with a 20-point outing against Elizabeth (N.J.) in a 48-29 win. Varano still did plenty of 3-point shooting, going 3-of-8 in the win, but he got his other three buckets with aggressive takes to the rim, creating out of the Explorers’ half-court motion offense and getting around defenders to get to the rim, where he also drew contact and was 5-of-6 from the foul line. Varano’s showing he can finish with both hands and also gives great effort defensively, and he’s learning how to find teammates when he’s creating offense. D-Is have been sniffing around, and his play this weekend won’t dissuade them as he moves into clear scholarship territory.
Shawn Battle (2023 | Neumann-Goretti, Pa.), Jalil Bethea (2024 | Archbishop Wood, Pa.), Semaj Bethea (2024 | St. Augustine Prep, N.J.), Aaron Bradshaw (2023 | Camden, N.J.), Caleb Bryant (2023 | La Salle College HS, Pa.), Tom House (2022 | Centerville, Ohio), D.J. Jackson (2022 | First Love Christian, Pa.), Mike ‘Deuce’ Jones (2024 | Archbishop Ryan, Pa.), Jaden Murray (2024 | Archbishop Ryan, Pa.), Fray Nguimbi (2022 | First Love Christian, Pa.), Michael ‘Zaire’ Paris (2023 | Archbishop Ryan, Pa.), Horace Simmons (2023 | La Salle College HS, Pa.), Tyson Thomas (2022 | Allentown Central Catholic, Pa.), D.J. Wagner Jr. (2023 | Camden, N.J.)