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Hoop Group AC Jam Fest Day One Standouts (July 5, 2023)

07/06/2023, 10:15am EDT
By Owen McCue & Antonello Baggi

Owen McCue (@Owen_McCue) &
Antonello Baggi (@AntonelloBaggi)

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — The Hoop Group helped kick off the July live periods with the start of the AC Jam Fest on Wednesday. A couple hundred teams and a couple thousand players filled the 26 courts at the Atlantic City City Convention Center throughout the day in front of coaches from the Division II and III levels with DI coaches allowed to observe later this weekend.

The CoBL staff was on hand throughout the day to take in some of the action. Here are our standouts from Day 1 in AC:

Naeem Colston, 2024 Mt. Pleasant Bulldogs

Naeem Colston (2024 | Mount Pleasant Bulldogs 17U) 
You will rarely see the 6-5 wing play iso or dribble the ball a ton. But he is efficient and does a lot of the unseen things that help the team win and that the college coaches love. Colston contests shots, he is solid defensively, sprints in transition and understands the game. The wing, who plays for Samuel Fels, scored 21 points and added 2 assists in a 61-54 win against Team Choo. A lot of these points came from a back-door cut timed perfectly. He was able to be in the best position to get easy layups and use his athleticism. Colston is also a good passer and can dominate on the boards defensively and offensively.

Shane Crissman (2025 | VA Premier HGSL 16U)
Crissman put on a pretty special shooting display in one of the best games played in AC on Wednesday. The 6-foot-6 guard/wing torched the nets with seven triples to help his VA team pull out an OT win over Philly Pride Select. VA used Crissman as an on-ball screener, picking and popping to the wing where he knocked down shots a few feet beyond the arc. Even when he was finally identified as a lethal 3-point threat, Crissman showed off a natural feel to float to open space beyond the arc and be ready to fire away. Needing five points to win in the Elam ending in overtime, his triple was a big one to the stage for Wade Bland’s game-winner.

Alex Hermann (2024 | Eastern PA Elite 17U)
With the Eastern PA Elite team playing unselfishly and with so much balance, it was hard to identify a standout from the group. However, Hermann’s ability to impact the game in multiple ways seems to always find a way to distinguish itself on the floor. At times Wednesday, it was his fearless ability attacking the basket, or using the Manu Ginobili-like euro step the 6-foot-3 wing likes to go to. Other times he was dishing to teammates, like a beautiful transition sequence with another tall, talented passer Max Lebisky. He’s a threat defensively both on and off the ball with his athleticism and length as well and uses those traits combined with his competitiveness to make an impact on the glass as well.

Jaice Martabano (2025 | NorthStar Naturals 17U) 
The rising Junior had an incredible scoring performance and that wasn’t enough for him. With 10 seconds left on the clock and his team down 1 against Philly Pride Aces, he wanted the ball and without being hesitant he attacked the defender and scored the game-winner layup. He ended with 28 points out of his team’s 48 and 2 threes. The 6-2 point guard could not be stopped at the end of the game as he scored in any way he wanted, even while he was falling on the ground, and went on the line 3 times in the final minutes. Martabano, who plays for John Jay East Fishkill in NY, plays with tons of confidence, is strong and his crossover is elite. 

Gary McLane, 2024 Hoop Roots

Gary McLane (2024 | Hoop Roots 17U)
McLane, a 6-4 guard/wing/forward, put up an eye-catching performance in a win against Philly Pride Bucks. He started out the game showing off some crafty finishing ability around the basket, whether that was awkward turnarounds, a spin move in traffic or putting some wicked English on the ball to get a contested look to go at an almost impossible angle. As the game progressed, he started to display his athleticism more, throwing down a few monster slams. He used his physical traits to impact the defensive end as well, whether that was grabbing rebounds or hopping into passing lanes. Though not a true point, he did show off an ability to drive and dish, and make good reads with the ball in his hands for a few assists.

C.J. Miller (2025 | Philly Pride Select 16U)
Miller, who will play at Camden Eastside next season, is a lanky 6-5 forward who plays really tough inside. He had two huge buckets late against VA Premier that tied the game in the final moments of regulation and sent it to OT — sneaking in behind his many for an easy hoop off the assist from Asim Hardy to beat the buzzer. He got a quite a few open looks for himself by screening and rolling/slipping or taking the help defense’s place in the lane. Miller is a lot stronger than his frame suggests and came up with numerous offensive rebounds to keep possessions alive. He had a monster performance on the defensive end as a rim protector as well, swatting away shot after shot.

Antonio Morris (2024 | Philly Pride Bucks 17U)
Philly Pride Bucks ultimately came up short against a strong Hoop Roots team, but Morris did his best to keep his team tight. He made tough finish after tough finish down the stretch to match Roots on the other end and ensure Pride stayed within arms’ reach until the end. Morris, a 5-11 guard from Bensalem, can really change his speeds to beat his man and is adept at finishing contested looks when he gets to the hoop. He definitely has some type of intangible quality that pops up in those big moments to make big plays as well

Khalid Ousmane (2025 | Team Final Red EYBL 16U)
While the rest of Team Final Red is filled with familiar faces, some watching the EYBL squad rip through Rise Above Basketball may have been wondering who No. 13 is. That would be Osumane, a 6-foot-7 forward with an offer from LIU-Brooklyn heading into his second season playing hoops in the U.S. and just fourth season overall. Offensively, most of his damage Wednesday came on runs and rolls to the rim. He’s very coordinated for a player so new to the sport and has good hands, which showed up on the glass as well as he went up with two hands to vacuum misses. Defensively he showed off impressive shot blocking ability and some versatility due to his ability to move his feet.

Bryce Perkins, 2026 East Coast Power

Bryce Perkins (2026 | East Coast Power HGSL 15U)
Quite a few ECP players put together strong busts in a runaway win over SHA Elite, but Perkins made a consistent impact during his time on the floor. The long 6-foot-3 guard/wing was in constant motion on the court, always looking for some way to stay involved. He bothered smaller defenders to force a few steals and liked to get out and run in transition where he showed off his speed and was rewarded with a couple of fastbreak looks. Perkins didn’t play with the ball in his hands a lot on offense, most often trying to work to space in the middle of the defense or lane or freeing someone else with a screen, but he took advantage of his opportunities when they came.

Tavian Pullock (2023 | All In Beasts HGSL 17U)
The 6-5 wing is playing at his best this summer and it looks he can compete at the next level. Against the York Ballers, he scored 13 points and helped his teams in many ways. Pullock, who played for Immaculate Conception, can find the end of the net in multiple ways with his athleticism and strength. He is always aggressive and knows how to use the contact to his advantage to get a bucket when he attacks the rim. The wing doesn’t only bring the energy offensively, but with outstanding footwork he can get defensive stops and steals. More college coaches may want to take another  look at him. 

Nyle Ralph-Beyer (2024 | East Coast Power HGSL 17U)
Ralph-Beyer continued where he left off at Philly Live, tapping into his scoring potential with another outing of 20+. The bouncy and wiry 6-foot-4 guard loves to pump and pull up to hit tough shots in the midrange or let it fly beyond the arc. It was nice to see him work off the ball for a couple buckets too, cutting into the lane where he can use his length and athleticism to finish. It’s fun to watch Ralph-Beyer elevate for rebounds as well. On defense, he stays low to stay in front of shiftier guards.

Josh Reed (2024 | Philly Revolution HGSL 17U)
In a rough start for his team, Reed took control of the game in the first half and made sure the Revolution ended their first game with a comeback win against a very talented Team Richmond. After getting the attention of a lot of D1 coaches at Philly Live, the Archbishop Wood guard is playing with a ton of confidence and is dominating the AAU courts. He ended the game with 27 points and 5 rebounds, but most impressively he was sent to the foul line 8 times. His efficiency at the FT line at the end of the game was necessary for Revolution to take home the win. Fouling him was the only way to step the 6-3 guard. His quick first step helps him to go by defenders and conclude with multiple finishes around the rim. He also got 3 dunks in the game to show his power and athleticism. His skills mixed to his footwork and court vision will help succeed as a senior to help Jalil Bethea and Archbishop Wood win a lot of games next year. 

Jake West (2025 | Team Final Red EYBL 16U)
West, who recently transferred to George School, hasn’t played much in front of the CoBL staff since the end of the high school season. His passing ability was exquisite per usual on Wednesday, as he used multiple angles and passageways on the floor to find open teammates for easy looks after carving up the defense with penetration. He said he’s about 6-2 now, which certainly can’t hurt his vision. It’s clear West is maturing physically as well. Teammates encouraged him to test his leaping ability with alley oop dishes, and while he wasn’t able to connect, a two-hand slam later on showed what he can do. He competed well on the defensive end as well, and that side should continue to improve as he gets stronger.

Honorable Mention

Wade Bland (2025 | VA Premier HGSL 16U), Javon Brooks (2025 | Team Richmond HGSL 17U),  Elisha Brown (2024 | United NJ 17U), Ronald Brown (2024 | Philly Revolution HGSL 17U), Asim Burton (2024 | East Coast Power HGSL 17U), Timothy Civello (2025 | Rise Above Basketball), Milan Dean (2025 | Team Final Red EYBL 16U) Elijah Espinosa (2024 | York Ballers HGSL 17U), Connor Fleet (2024 | East Coast Power HGSL 17U),  Langston Foster (2025 | Philly Pride Select 16U), Sebastian Henson (2024 | York Ballers HGSL 17U), Trent Hughes (2024 | Hoop Roots 17U), Jonathan Jennings (2025 | VA Premier HGSL 16U), Casey-Lee JuhTaegus (2025 | Team Choo 17U),  Anthony Lilly (2024 | Mount Pleasant Bulldogs 17U), Christian Matos (2026 | East Coast Power HGSL 15U), Mason Pulliam (2024 | Team Richmond HGSL 17U), Brayden Ryan (2024 | Philly Pride Aces 17U),   Billy Sackor (2024 | Philly Pride Aces 17U),  Nate Townsend (2024 | Mount Pleasant Bulldogs 17U), Jahrel Vigo (2025 | Team Final Red EYBL 16U), Caleb Zavertnik (2024 | Eastern PA Elite 17U)

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