Sankofa Freedom's Scott Spann (above) was one of the standouts from Sunday's CoBL College Exposure Camp. (Photo: Mark Jordan/CoBL)
CoBL Staff (@hooplove215)
The first CoBL College Exposure Camp of 2018 took place on Sunday at Friends’ Central School, with over 100 high school rising juniors and seniors -- and a few current seniors -- getting out in front of several dozen Division II and Division III coaches for a morning of drills and an afternoon of game action.
Here are the staff picks for standouts:
Khai Champion (2020/Shipley School)
Champion has been playing behind Shipley’s senior star Sam Sessoms the past two years, but will be turned to next year to play a bigger part in the Gators’ offensive attack. At 6-foot-tall, Champion’s strongest attribute is his jumper -- just like his older brother, Loyola (Md.) guard Chuck Champion -- while his skills in the paint and around the hoop are still improving. A rising junior, Champion has some of the most upside of all the players at camp, and don’t be shocked to see his name in the mix as a scholarship level player, perhaps right around where his brother ended up out of Friends’ Central two years ago.
Zyon Grant (2019/SCH Academy)
A 6-3 forward, Grant was certainly one of the more versatile players all day long. Though he embraces his role as a “big man” despite certainly not being one of the bigger forwards out there, getting after it on the glass and doing the dirty work inside, he’s also got smooth range out to the 3-point arc, which he displayed on several occasions during the game sets. Like many others in this standouts list, Grant also kept his energy level high all day long, getting up and down the court easily, and taking advantage of that to get several run-out layups, even through traffic.
Tyler Henry (2019/TBD)
Headed for a prep year after his time at Stroudsburg HS, Henry showcased his abilities as one of the top floor generals at camp. With good ball skills and basketball IQ, the 6-3 point guard is able to pick out teammates for buckets and create plenty of chances of his own, scoring 54 combined points over three games using numerous jumpers and drives. As a vocal player who hustles all over the court, Henry will make some college coach very happy with his versatile skill set and on-court leadership -- and he picked up an offer from Lincoln U before the night was done.
Justin Heidig (2018/Penncrest)
After playing off the ball this year at Penncrest -- teammate Tyler Norwood consumed the point guard duties -- Heidig showed his ability to handle the ball and run the offense on Sunday. The 5-10 guard even nailed a few mid-range jumpers, showing an offensive arsenal that wasn’t needed for Penncrest last season, as Heidig was one of the go-to lockdown defenders for a Lions squad that was arguably the best in the area on that end of the court this season. And he certainly brought that tenacity to Friends’ Central as well, where he was one of the tougher on-ball defenders and stronger rebounding guards all day long.
Tariq Kalim (2019/Downingtown East)
While several players at the camp put together 20-point scoring outings in one of their teams' games, Kalim was the only one to do it twice. The 6-3 wing guard emerged as a big-time scoring threat for the Cougars this past season, and it looks like he'll be one of the leading scorers in the Ches-Mont as a senior if he keeps up this pace. He's a three-level scorer who can hit tough shots off the bounce, even if he's not in a typical spot, and he's got long arms that make him an effective defender as well. As he continues to fill out his frame and tighten his handle, he could be a real problem as a senior.
Jordan Livingston (2019/Burlington Twp., N.J.)
A 6-3 point guard, Livingston was one of the more athletic wings at the camp, with a wiry-but-strong frame and a terrific first step, with the handles to cross over (or spin by) a defender, get into the lane and make things happen. While he certainly had plenty of opportunities to make things happen in the open court, where he was at his best, Livingston was by no means silent in the half-court either, whether that meant finding his own shot or getting the defense moving to create an open look for someone else.
Aseem Luckey (2019/Lincoln)
The first game set was punctuated early and often by a series of screams, all of which came out of the mouth of the Lincoln big man, who couldn’t help but punctuate buckets and blocks -- whether his or his teammates -- with an excited yell; even when he was on the bench, Luckey didn’t stop his vocalizations, flexing as his teammates scored and encouraging from the bench. That type of energy proved contagious, and the 6-7, 220-pound forward proved to be a load to handle as he gave everything he had for all three games. Though he’s still far from a polished product, his physical nature and high-energy attack certainly put Luckey in scholarship territory for next year, and he’s got good hands and the ability to get the ball in the hoop within 10 feet in a variety of ways; it might not always look pretty, but he’s productive.
Amir Pettiford (above) was one of the top available seniors at the camp. (Photo: Mark Jordan/CoBL)
Amir Pettiford (2018/Ridgeview Academy)
With his high school career in the rearview, Pettiford made the most of his opportunity to play in front of college coaches on Sunday. The 6-4 guard showed his ability to facilitate an offense with some gaudy passes to set his teammates up with baskets. Pettiford also drove to the basket for himself numerous times with success and was aggressive when attacking the boards.
Gabe Perez (2019/Roman Catholic)
After not being involved in the rotation during his junior year at Roman Catholic, there’s reason to believe Perez will become a consistent contributor next season. The 6-3 guard showed signs of a polished offensive game with a nice jumper to compliment his ability to slash to the basket, and he was able to create with both hands. Perez was very active defensively and was a nuisance for opponents to deal with especially due to his length and quickness.
Conor Regan (2019/Gloucester Catholic, N.J.)
Don’t let the baby face fool you -- Regan can play ball. The 6-4 wing, who’s grown five inches in the last year, is an intriguing prospect with a smooth 3-point shot, a strong ability to read passing lanes and get deflections if not outright steals, and some good athleticism, even if he’s not blessed with top-end foot speed. Regan was continually making good decisions all day long, whether that was pulling the trigger when open, getting into the teeth of the defense and then kicking out, or driving and dishing off to a teammate if a layup wasn’t available. His size, ability to stretch the floor and overall basketball IQ should have plenty schools on him before long.
Patrick Robinson (2018/Conwell-Egan)
When you lead the Philadelphia Catholic League in scoring, that’s a good indication that you can put the ball through the hoop easily. Robinson showed that ability at camp on Sunday, scoring at all three levels, most consistently around the rim, taking advantage of having one of the more impressive physical frames at the camp to get to the hoop over and over, something he did plenty of during his junior and senior years. The 6-3 lefty was impressive in drills, and during the games. Don’t be surprised to see Robinson get some scholarship looks at the D-II level.
Alex Salata III (2018/Boyertown)
After sitting out all of last season due to being ruled ineligible by the PIAA following a transfer from Pottsgrove, Salata showed no signs of rust on Sunday, dropping double digit points in two of his three games. A strong 6-1 point guard, Salata showed his hard work in the gym this season was paying off. Salata finished strong at the rim, and did a good job orchestrating the offense. He’s continued to get stronger, and the future looks bright for Salata, who’s headed to D-III Penn State-Abington in the fall.
Scott Spann (2019/Sankofa Freedom)
One of the major reasons that Sankofa won 18 games and made it into the second round of the PIAA Class A tournament, Spann is a do-it-all wing who stands 6-2 but plays more of a combo forward role for the Warriors, with his interior toughness and ability to get the ball through the hoop even through some rough contact his most marketable trait. That being said, he’s still plenty capable of putting the ball on the floor, and though he won’t blow by defenders off the rip, he knows how to use his body to work the ball into the paint, and he’s a capable 3-point shooter when open as well.
Charles Solomon (above) brought some serious playmaking skills to the wing at 6-5. (Photo: Mark Jordan/CoBL)
Charles Solomon (2019/St. Augustine Prep, N.J.)
Solomon was one of the top scorers at camp, going for double digits in each of his three games, thanks to his impressive physical tools and athleticism. Solomon’s offensive game features a mix of faceups, drives, and cuts, and could become lethal with the development of a more reliable outside game. His elite motor allows him to run the floor well, creating good chances in transition both at or above the rim. On D, these same traits make him a sturdy rim protector, able to ward off attackers with his strength and swat shots out of the air using his top-notch hops.
Zion Teague (2019/Atlantic City, N.J.)
One of the taller guys at camp, Teague showed his ability to alter opponent’s shots all day long. The 6-7 forward sent back shots with ease and was also able to put his height and athleticism to work on the offensive end with a solid finishing ability around the rim; on the offensive end, he also displayed good court vision and passing out of the post, with good hands and footwork as well as a 10-foot jumper he knocked down on a few occasions. If Teague is able to bulk up, he will be a force to be reckoned with in southern New Jersey.
Louis Wild (2019/Roman Catholic)
Wild was the sixth man for the PIAA 6A state champion Cahilites a year ago, and showed Sunday that he’s ready to make even more of an impact next year at Broad and Vine. A sturdy 6-1 guard, Wild nailed some deep threes and made some nifty moves around the rim, showing off the crafty finishes he’s picked up from several Division I-bound high school teammates, and generally playing at the right speed for the next level. While he still might not do a bunch of scoring for Roman next year, expect Wild to make his mark on the defensive end, as he also proved at camp that he can play on both ends of the floor, with a college-ready body.
Tyrone Williams (2019/Olney)
A long-armed wing, Williams stood out early in drills for his two-way abilities, getting plenty of stops and scooping up rebound after rebound in drills, and he kept that going right into games, getting into the thick of things on the glass and coming away with more than his fair share even when the 6-3 guard wasn’t typically the tallest amongst the trees. A skilled slashing wing on the offensive end, Williams was a competent finisher with both hands and even knocked down several 3-pointers over the course of three games.
Honorable Mention: Jason Cherry (2019/Plymouth-Whitemarsh), Vincent DeAngelo (2019/Sun Valley), Tyler Diggs (2018/Scotland Institute), Marvin Freeman (2019/Sun Valley), Luis Garcia (2019/Berks Catholic), Julian Hairston (2019/Lower Merion), Kyin Healey (2019/Cheltenham), Paris Hickman (2018/Concord, Del.), Tahji Hooks (2019/Pope John XXIII, N.J.), Matthew Ilodigwe (2018/Concord, Del), Kyle Koob (2019/Shore Regional), Ben Markowitz (2019/Central Bucks East), William Melson (2018/Dieruff), Marqui Mobley (2019/Mastery Shoemaker), Brandon Olivieri (2020/Pocono Mt. West), O’Koye Parker (2018/Caravel Prep, Del.), Julius Phillips (2019/Archbishop Wood), Myles Robinson (2019/Friends’ Central), Nick Roggio (2019/Central Bucks East), Jaymes Savage (2019/Sankofa Freedom), Charlie Trey-Masters (2019/George School), Zach Umar (2020/Nazareth) Greg Vlassopoulos (2019/Garnet Valley)