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Hoop Group Summer Jam Fest: Day Two Notebook (July 10, 2022)

07/11/2022, 11:15am EDT
By Owen McCue

Owen McCue (@Owen_McCue)

MANHEIM, Pa. — The 2022 Hoop Group Summer League (HGSL) wrapped up its championship tournament on Sunday with the conclusion of the HG Summer Jam Fest, which saw several hundred of teams still in action spread across the various 14U-17U brackets. 

We were on hand to check out some of the championship games in the main 16U and 17U brackets, as well as some other local teams and talented underclassmen in action at Spooky Nook.

Here’s a catch up of two eye-catching prospects and a roundup of some of the Sunday's on-court action:


More coverage of Hoop Group Summer Jam: Day One Standouts | Day One Notebook | Day Two Standouts


Macon Emory (2023 | Team Loaded 434 | Blue Ridge School, Va.)

Macon Emory followed his older brother Houston from Conestoga to the Blue Ridge School in St. George, Va. back in 2020.

Two years later, Macon is hoping to follow Houston again — this time to the Division I level.

Macon Emory, a Devon native, has played at Blue Ridge in Virginia the past two seasons. (Photo: Owen McCue/CoBL)

Houston will play at Delaware next season, while Macon finishes up his high school career at Blue Ridge still searching for the next stop in his basketball career.

“It was kind of a brotherly thing I guess,” Macon said of the move to Blue Ridge. “It’s been really helpful. It definitely improved my grades, all my academics as well as my skill in basketball. I have a lot more time to play, a lot more time to get better and we play a really hard schedule, really tough schedule. It’s definitely helped me improve a lot.”

The Emory family still lives in Devon, Pa.

Houston spent his freshman year at Conestoga before transferring to Blue Ridge in 2018 and re-classifying. He won four state championships in his four seasons at Blue Ridge.

Macon followed a similar path, spending a year at ‘Stoga before joining Houston in Virginia in 2020. 

The brothers played two seasons together at Blue Ridge in 2020-21 and 2021-22, winning two VISAA DII State Championships together.

“It was really fun,” Macon said. “It’s a lot of fun being out there with my brother. I really enjoyed the time. He’s like a role model to me.”

Just because Macon looks up to his brother doesn’t mean he modeled his game after him. Macon described Houston (6-10) as a more traditional post player. He plays more out on the perimeter as a 6-7 wing. He said there’s a chance that stems from having to find ways to beat his older, bigger brother in driveway pick-up games growing up.

Macon has a pretty looking jump shot and some skills out on the perimeter.

His shooting ability at that size is one thing that has college coaches interested.

“They like my shot,” Macon said. “They think I work really hard and hustle a lot. Being able to shoot, being able to score, having a high motor all of that.”

Macon earned a Division I offer from Radford during last year’s live period. That is his lone offer at the D1 level to date.

Schools have shown interest, however, and a couple were on hand this weekend to see him play at Spooky Nook. Lafayette, American and Delaware are programs keeping tabs on him, while Dartmouth and Princeton are others who have been in touch. Longwood, located about two hours south of St. George, is the school that’s been in contact the most.

“It’s going pretty good. I’ve had a lot of mid-major D1s (reach out),” Macon said. “I think I’ve been really getting a lot of attention. I’m just proud of myself for that, all that hard work.”

Having a brother recently go through the recruiting process is an asset Macon has taken lightly. College coaches are familiar with his face. He even went on Houston’s unofficial visit to Delaware with him.

Macon said there’s a strong chance he will re-classify later this summer and delay joining his brother in the college ranks. There’s plenty of work he still hopes to put in before his next big move.

“I’m just working on a lot of trying to get to the rim more and finish in the paint, all that stuff,” Macon said. “Just try to improve my guard skills a little bit as well as just shooting shots, going to the 3-pointer, that’s my speciality.”

Dominic Commisso (2023 | Young & Reckless | The Skill Factory, Ga.)

Young & Reckless' Dominic Commisso throws down a dunk in traffic. (Photo: Owen McCue/CoBL)

It would be hard for anyone who watched Sunday’s 17U championship game to believe that No. 33 in the black wasn’t a Division I recruit.

Commisso, a 6-9 center with a seven-foot wingspan, threw down monster dunk after monster dunk in the first half and then added an alley-oop in transition as part of a 16-point, 12-rebound, three-block game.

The Hononegah High product said D1s Southern Utah and Chicago State had talks with him about coming to their programs on partial scholarships after senior season. He had also offers from Division II programs Minnesota-Crookston and Frostburg State, but as someone young for his grade (just recently turning 18) Commisso decided to bet on himself and take a prep year at The Skill Factory in Woodstock, Ga.

He said about 15 Division I programs have reached out in the past few months.

“It’s actually been pretty cool,” Commisso said. “Now, I’m just waiting to see if I can get some offers.”

University of Illinois Chicago and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee are the two programs Commisso said he’s had the most contact with. He noted Tulsa reached out recently as well.

Along with being young for his grade, Commisso said another reason he thought he could benefit from a prep year is he’s still pretty new to the front court position.

Commisso came into high school at 6-feet tall then hit a growth spurt and grew to about 6-5. He’s added four more inches since.

The big man didn’t get to show off many of his guard skills on Sunday besides bringing the ball up in transition a few times. That’s fine with him as he’s trying to round out his game down low this summer.

“I’ve always been a guard and a shooter, and I’m just starting to now learn the post and around the rim area. I’m starting to develop that,” Commisso said. “Traditionally, I’m a guard. Like at school I play guard. I don’t get to show it here, but at the same time whatever school gets me, they’re going to be like ‘Holy crap, this kid can shoot.’ I’m just trying to get better, get all of it down.”

Even as a 6-foot freshman, Commisso had the leaping ability to throw down dunks. For a short period this offseason, however, he had to take a break from rattling rims.

Due to knee problems, Commisso didn’t get to play during the June live period. 

The rest has him in full form, even ditching his typical knee brace. Now fully healthy he’s had the opportunity to show his bounce to college coaches in July and hopes to throw down quite a few more jams before the summer is over.

“I used to be in my front yard doing jumping drills like six hours a day and eventually I just got it down,” Commisso said. “I’m close to a 40-inch vertical now when I’m at my peak because I’ve been having some really bad knee problems and I just fixed them. … I got a whole rest period and my bounce is almost completely back.”


Now to the action ...

— The Hoop Group crowned quite a few champions during Sunday’s final day of the Summer Jam Fest, but the 17U championship game was the main event and absolutely delivered.

Michigan Basketball Academy (Grand Rapids, Mi.) and Young & Reckless (Chicago) were two of the programs with the longest journeys to Spooky Nook and the two squads matched up in the championship game.

Y&R’s Ahmad Henderson (Brother Rice, Ill.) crowned his team champion when he banked in a halfcourt shot at the buzzer. Henderson, who led his team with 25 points, put his team up just moments before with an acrobatic finish through contact. MBA’s Harrison Sorelle (2023 | Grand Haven, Mich.) drove to the hoop to tie the game with 3.2 seconds left.

After a timeout, Henderson took about four dribbles to get to halfcourt then converted the miracle shot despite defensive pressure. It was quite the finish to a terrific weekend for Henderson, who picked up an offer from Canisius on Saturday adding to scholarship offers from Niagara and Wright State last month.

Bashir Neely (2023 | Grand Haven, Mich.) scored 18 points to lead MBA, scoring 12 points on four consecutive possessions for his team during a stretch in the second half. Sorrellee had 13.

The Young & Reckless 16U team also won the HGSL championship on a buzzer beater when Gianni Cobb (2024 | Perspective Charter, Ill.) drove to the basket as time expired (though a kettle corn machine caught fire and forced this reporter and most of the other spectator to evacuate before the end of that one).

— The 15U HGGSL 1 tournament matched up two Philly-area teams in its final. Philly Revolution’s 2025 group took down Team Final’s 2025s 51-49 when Kevair Kennedy (2025 | Father Judge) knocked down a three in overtime. The tournament used the Elam Ending for its overtime games, meaning the first team to five won in OT.

Revolution got off to a slow start, falling behind by double digits early, but Kennedy (16 points) sparked them with his defense, coming away with a couple steals and a block. Deuce Maxey (2025 | Archbishop Wood) scored 19 points for Final, including his team’s final six points of regulation to force overtime.

Final’s Judah Hidalgo (2025 | Paul VI, N.J.) started off the overtime period with a three off a feed from Maxey, who looked really good at the point with Jake West (2025 | Archbishop Carroll) sidelined, but Revolution kept them off the board the rest of the game.

Kennedy found Kasey Fleming (2025 | La Salle), who scored 11 points, in transition for Revolution’s first points of OT. After another defensive stop, Kennedy pulled up from the top of the key for the walk-off 3-point shot.

East Coast Power's Micah Hill holds the championship trophy. (Photo: Submitted)

— East Coast Power-Richards concluded a wild weekend with some hardware of its own. ECP defeated TNBA Ohio, 56-43, in the HGSL 3 16U championship game behind a 20-point outing from Micah Hill 2024 | Downingtown East), but the path to get there was much more stressful.

After finishing off the AC Jam Fest on Friday with a buzzer beater by Nyle Ralph-Beyer (2024 | W.C. Henderson), coach Mike Richards’ group played three more thrillers to reach the championship game. 

Connor Fleet’s (2024 | W.C. Henderson) free throw with 11 seconds left gave ECP a 42-41 win over Rising Stars NY in the opening round. Harris’ putback in OT finished off a 35-33 win over Role Models Elite in the quarters. Ralph-Beyer was the hero again early Sunday when he hit an overtime three for a 71-69 semifinal win over Eastern PA Elite. Fleet (W.C. Henderson) scored his team’s last nine points of regulation during a 30-point outing in the semifinal win.

In the title game, Charlie Kammeier (2024 | Unionville) chipped in 10 points and Su-Meer Alleyne (2024 | Archbishop Carrol) had seven assists to help avoid giving Richards’ heart rest a little bit after a wild weekend.

— 610 City was another local program to win a title on Sunday. After rolling past U2 Elite and Above Max on Saturday, 610 earned a 66-64 win over NJ Shoreshots - Black and a 59-55 championship win over TRIBE STARZ in Sunday’s title game. 

Joey Suarez (2023 | Downingtown West) carried over a strong showing in AC to Spooky Nook. The backcourt duo of high school teammates Kmari Smith (2024 | Collegium Charter) and Dinero Washington (2023 | Collegium Charter) were also a driving force. Smith went 8-for-11 from the floor with 22 points in the championship win.

— Some of the Philadelphia area's next wave of talent was on display in the HGSL 2 championship when Team Final's 14U team took down NY Lightning's 14 U group, 61-39. RJ’ Smith (2026 | Imhotep Charter) was a standout on both ends, and Anthony Smith (2026 | Salesianum, Del.)Patrese Feamster (2026 | SCH Academy), and Stephon Ashley-Wright (2026 | Neumann-Goretti) were among the others who impressed for the group.

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