EYBL Session 3 Recap
The third session of Nike’s Youth Basketball League was everything it was supposed to be and more. You had a ton of high school talent (and one middle schooler) all under one roof. What makes the EYBL so special is that every game is top talent going head to head, it really proves who the true players are because if you can do it in the EYBL, you can do it anywhere. The third session of the EYBL took place in Hampton, VA. There was a ton of talent in the building, but the players highlighted below left their mark this weekend:
Marvin Bagley III, 2018 (Phoenix Phamily)
Bagley could be the best High School player in the World right now, and he’s only a sophomore. Bagley is your 2k Created Player that you make 99 overall at every stat in the game for fun. He has very wide frame at 6’11” which allows him to be a force down low and on the boards. But, he can also handle the ball very well, which enables him to take his big defenders off the dribble, and he can also knock down pull up three’s… Yes I said he hits pull up three’s. Bagley already has offers from a ton of top schools (Duke, Kansas, Kentucky and many others) and when I asked him how he deals with the pressure of all these top schools watching his every move, he responded, “I don’t consider it pressure, I just need to go out there and play my game.” Marvin Bagley is certainly a name to remember, and is on the road to a very successful basketball career.
Michael Porter, 2017 (Mokan Elite)
The Mokan Elite forward continued to dominate the EYBL, Porter puts up double-doubles with ease. When I talked to Porter he told me he models him game after KD and that was on full display this weekend. Porter showed his ability to step out and hit the three ball and also converted a KD signature move multiple times throughout the weekend, by posting up smaller defenders and knocking down a turn around fade away jumper in their face. Porter is also an extremely athletic player and runs the floor really well, resulting in many rim-rattling alley-oops from Mokan teammate Trae Young. Porter’s father was just added to the University of Washington basketball staff as an assistant which resulted in his younger brother Jontay committing to the Huskies. He told me that, “People think it’s a done deal now, Washington is a great school, but it’s not a done deal for me.”
Zion Harmon, 2021 (We All Can Go)
No that is not a typo, yes that says class of 2021. Growing up the DMV, I used to play against Harmon all the time so I always knew how good he was, then he started to gain national attention from Middle School scouting services, but this past weekend the big league was introduced to Zion “The Lion” Harmon. When I talked to Harmon, I got the sense that he just goes out and does his thing. He told me he doesn’t listen to music before games, and when I asked him what it felt like to go head to head with WCAC player of the year, Chris Lykes in his first EYBL game, he said “I didn’t even know it was him until the end of the game,” and in no way was that a shot at Lykes. It was just that Harmon doesn’t rely on music to get him hyped and he doesn’t focus on the competition, he just goes out and plays his game. Harmon showed a ton of poise throughout the whole weekend, doing whatever he wanted against players multiple years older. He has in the gym range, a crazy handle and a basketball IQ that is off the charts, without a doubt, Zion Harmon is a name to remember.
Billy Preston, 2017 (Houston Hoops)
Preston is a very intriguing prospect– he is tall, lengthy, strong and extremely athletic. The 5-Star forward made NBA-caliber moves throughout the weekend, using his size to casually pull up over defenders and then using his strength to keep possessions with put backs and offensive rebounds. Preston is also one of those players that stats don’t show how much he impacted the game, he is a very good defender and alters tons of shots down low. When I talked to him about his relationship with fellow 5-star Terrence Ferguson (Both of them attended API this past year) he said, “he’s like a brother to me that’s how I can describe it.” He also told me that he can dance like Ferguson, but then later clarified that meant to say he dances better than Ferguson (https://twitter.com/nolimitbill/status/731842510948057089). Then Ferguson responded, challenging Preston (https://twitter.com/the2kferguson/status/731842933482082305). Preston is considering USC, Arizona, Maryland and Kansas.
Trae Young, 2017 (Mokan Elite)
The second half of the Mokan two-headed monster, but don’t let that fool you, Young is a star in his own right. When I was watching Young, he reminded me of Curry, in the sense that he was doing whatever he wanted on the floor, getting shots when he wanted, making the passes he wanted and completely controlling the game. After the game he told me that he tries to model his game off of players such as Steve Nash, Stephen Curry and Kyrie Irving. When I asked him how surreal it is that he is close to playing against those players, he added “It’s crazy, the goal is to play against my idols.” Young’s range is no range, and he is so quick with and without the ball which makes him near impossible to guard. He also has a certain swagger about him while playing. When Young nailed the 3-point dagger against Phoenix Phamily, he turned around and hushed the crowd, which drew an exciting reaction from everyone in attendance.
Kevin Knox, 2017 (E1T1 Elite)
The Florida native led his team (Each 1 Teach 1) to a big 4-0 weekend in Hampton this past session. Knox plays his game with a great combination of power and talent, he is able to get an inside bucket basically whenever he wants, (with his 6’8″ frame) and can also step outside and knock down the three ball which in turn makes him a defensive nightmare. Colleges are constantly banging on his door vying for his signature, a bunch of blue bloods have already offered Knox, such as UNC, Duke, Kentucky and others. When I asked Knox what he’s looking for in narrowing down his list he said, “I just have to take my time, and talk things over with my family.”
DJ Harvey, 2017 (Team Takeover)
Team Takeover had a tough weekend in Hampton going 1-3 and losing three close games. But, Harvey still managed to shine, through the Takeover struggles. Harvey put his NBA frame on display using it to pull up over defenders and use his strength to get easy buckets on smaller defenders. There will be more to come on the DeMatha star, as I am hoping to catch up with him at a DeMatha practice in the future.
Keep track of these stars. They will be dominating the game before you know it.