This weekend Fort Wayne played host to the annual Brawl For The Ball Tournament, normally played in Grand Rapids, Michigan. With the current state of the Midwest and our country, the event was moved to Fort Wayne and all of their wonderful facilities. On Friday, we checked in on numerous programs and prospects from Northwest Ohio, here is who stood out:
2023 G Chico Johnson (Toledo Central Catholic/C2K Elite) – His stock is sure to rise among media outlets and scouts alike after a tremendous showing, particularly on Friday. Johnson although still young, is so smooth and polished already. Has great feel and a high understanding out on the floor. He’s smart, gets down and defends, is a great communicator, and has length that he uses to his advantage. Can score it in a multitude of ways, and is careful in picking his spots. He really impressed with his C2K Elite team, and his name is one you will be hearing more and more about.
2021 G/F Jamiya Neal (Rogers/Hopson Elite-Scarlet) – Neal was the best talent on the floor in two different viewings on Friday. Has been bringing in numerous mid-major offers over the past few weeks and its easy to see why. Is a tremendous athlete, and was able to get to the rim at ease on the offensive end. Was active on the glass on both ends, ripping down boards and leading the break. Shot the ball well from the perimeter and the foul line throughout the day. The area he impressed most was his ability to move the basketball and make plays with the ball in his hands. Would have really benefited from a more ‘normal’ spring and summer on the AAU circuit, but that shouldn’t stop him from being one of the most sought after seniors in Ohio.
2021 G Jhaiden Wilson (Cardinal Stritch/Gym Rats 2021) – His speed, quickness, and shifty play he is known for was certainly on display on Friday, as it didn’t take long for him to make his presence felt in the gym and with a new team. Has the distinct ability to stop on a dime and knock down shots. Knocked down multiple triples from the outside, including the go-ahead on the way to his team’s win Friday morning. Gets his shot off quick, and is always ready to let it fly; feels like it has a chance every time he puts it up. Really gets down and competes on the defensive end of the floor. Better ball handler than he gets credit for. A surefire scholarship level talent, with a current offer from Fairmont State and certainly more to come.
2023 PG C.J Hornbeak (Toledo St. John’s/Maumee Bay Turf) – Continues to prove why he is such a special talent and a legitimate DI prospect in the future. Plays with such maturity, pace, and was going at a different speed than those he shared the floor with on Friday. Made plays seemingly everywhere, anticipating and out-smarting the opponent. Can create for himself and teammates off the dribble. Growing physically and in his game with every viewing of him. Not at all afraid to compete, battle for loose balls, and bang around the glass from his guard position.
2021 G Feisal Crumby (Toledo St. Francis/Hopson Elite-Scarlet) – Crumby did a nice job of running his Hopson Elite team from the lead guard position on Friday. Made a point of getting downhill and to the rim which was nice to see on the offensive end. Didn’t settle around the perimeter as can tend to happen at times, made himself a real threat off the bounce. Finished around the rim, through contact on multiple occasions. Brought leadership, poise, and a positive attitude to his club at crucial times, playing a key role in their 2-0 performance on the day. Always seems to find his way around the ball, and flies all over the floor defensively, creating havoc for opponents. Solid showing from him throughout the day.
2023 G Justyn Toler (Toledo St. John’s/Maumee Bay Turf) – Wasn’t necessarily on my radar heading into the day, but you can believe he is now. Not sure we saw anyone play harder than him from start to finish in a game on Friday. He’s unselfish, poised and composed, and flat out plays his tail off on both ends of the floor. Has some swagger and flare to his game. Performed well in transition, finishing around the rim. Certainly one to keep an eye on in the years to come.
2021 C/PF Ross Thompson (Cardinal Stritch/Gym Rats 2021) – His development was easy to see in Friday’s play. Ran the floor well, was really good in ball screen action, and anchored the paint for his team on the defensive end. Showed the ability to score it from the block, and does a nice job of kicking the ball out of the post to open shooters. Was a key in his team’s winning efforts on the day.
2023 PF Cayden Jacoby (Pettisville/C2K Elite) – Still a little raw as a talent as he continues to grow into his 6’8″ frame, but showed on Friday that the potential is certainly there. Did a nice job of running the floor and filling the lanes. Has good touch and can finish around the rim. Rebounds his area well and contests shots on the defensive end. Has a chance to have a very bright future.
Others who stood out on Friday: Stephen Coleman (Rogers/Hopson Elite-Scarlet), Matt Watkins (Perrysburg/C2K Elite), Cole Anderson (Ottawa Hills/C2K Elite), Jake Morrison (Rossford/Maumee Bay Turf).
Non-Northwest Ohio guys who stood out: Sean Black (Warren Central (IN)/Gym Rats 2021), Malachi Archey (Park Tudor (IN)/Indy Ice-Thompson).