Pangos Frosh/Soph Midwest Camp 2023 Wrap-up!!!!
LISLE, ILLINOIS: Pangos Frosh/Soph Midwest Camp had a site change, previous site is having construction on their parking lot (which is a good thing). I'd like to thank Dinos Trigonis and his staff for once again putting on a great event. This was the first year I received a ballot to pick the Cream of the Crop Top 30 and Top 60 All-Star games. We had a lot of good players in the event could have had 100 players for those 60 spots. Lots of big time smaller guards here along with a few wings. Here are some of the top performers and under the radar talents. Here we go:
EJ HAZELETT, 6'7" wing, Class of 2026, Franklin Central (Indianapolis, IN): The lefty seemed to be dunking on everyone both days. Two handed, one handed, in the open court, and ended some lives (dunking on people). He showed an outstanding handle, outside shooting, and turning the corner and attacking the basket. Hit the glass on both ends of the court. His consistent play over the weekend deserved the MVP. He played well in a matchup against the other MVP of the camp.
STEPHEN BROWN, 6'7" wing, Class of 2026, Marist (Chicago): This young man played well in spite of having some rust as he's still playing football for the Redhawks. He's a wide receiver and a division one prospect in that sport as well. He showed some nice slashing ability from the wing, turning the corner, touching the paint, and had some explosive dunks. Has a smooth looking jump shot from three and was hitting the mid range jump shot. Can create for himself and others. Hit the glass on both ends of the court.
TOP 30 ALL STAR GAME MVP's:
This was a Whitney Young (Chicago) pool party as both MVP's were from that Chicago powerhouse.
NASIR RANKIN, 6'1" combo guard, Class of 2026: He's also an outstanding football player as a wide receiver, but he did not look like he had any rust. King of Bounce who showed it in the all star game with a variety of dunks rising off the floor like a volcano erupting. He hit a bunch of mid range jump shots off the bounce. Can get to the basket with quickness and hang time to finish with layups as well as dunks. He did these things all weekend and was very consistent. Had a 32 point game in pool play. Quick hands to get steals long with quick feet to stay in front of offensive players.
RICOANTONIO DALESSANDRO, 6'4" wing, Class of 2026: Another outstanding football player who brought his basketball talent to this setting. He was hitting threes, slashing to the basket and scoring with strong finishes at the rim. Big bodied wing uses it well to get space to get shots off at the rim. Gets out well in transition on the wing, and is outstanding of the bounce. He did these things not only in the All-Star game but all weekend. Another consistent performer playing to his strengths.
OTHER TOP 30 PERFORMERS:
This will be my name for them as long as they keep playing basketball. Likely the top three players in Class of 2027 and all showed out in different ways here. All are special.
JAXSON DAVIS, 6'1" point guard, Warren Township (Gurnee): A mozart with the ball in his hands, was mostly making great passes in this setting. Lefty makes passes from seemingly impossible angles, has eyes in the back of his head finding teammates. Anyone would love to play with this young man as he will get you the rock. He sees plays three or four plays ahead. His three point shot was not falling, but gets where he wants on the court and is an excellent finisher at the rim with a variety of layup packages. Up and under, Euro step, keeping his body between him and his defender to draw fouls and get and ones. He can score either with his strong (left) hand or off hand. Defends with quick hands and gets steals on the ball and off the ball. Clutch as he scored the game winning basket in one of the games.
DEVIN CLEVELAND, 6'2" combo guard, Kenwood Academy (Chicago): Big time scorer on all three levels and makes it look easy. Basketball intelligence beyond his years. He made a move on the baseline when he acted like he was dribbling back out to perimeter, but turned the corner and made an easy layup. He defends like a hawk getting into opposing guards, getting steals on the ball, and jumping passing lanes to get a possession for his team. He's one of those combo guards who can play full time point guard as he has good vision to set up teammates. Hits threes off the dribble or off the catch.
DAVION THOMPSON, 6'2" combo guard, Bolingbrook: Young man is another one who can play full time point guard, or play off the ball and hit threes like they are layups. He can hit them off the catch or off the dribble. Pure shooter from deep range out to 25 feet. He can also get to the rack off the dribble and score at the rim either with his strong (left) hand, or his off hand. He defends opposing guards like a hawk and loves to be a shut down defender. Handles the ball like a string and rarely turns it over. Had some nice dunks driving to the rim.
Whitney Young (Chicago) continued:
Two others made the Top 30 All-Star game and performed well all weekend.
MARQUIS CLARK, 6'3" point guard, Class of 2026: He showed his true point guard tendencies all weekend as he consistently set up teammates for baskets. He did it in transition, off penetration to the rim, and in the half court. Oh and he scored on all three levels with timely three pointers, attacks to the basket and finishing strong. Made a few pull-up mid range jump shots. Defended the opposing guard using his strength to keep him from penetrating to the basket.
HOWARD WILLIAMS, 6'5" wing, Class of 2027: Hit 4 threes in a row in one game I saw. Strength is slashing to the basket and finishing at the rim. He also showed a nice pull-up mid range shot from the wings. Long armed defender made things hard for the opposing offensive player that he was guarding on the ball. Had some nice dunks getting out in transition.
OTHER TOP 30 STANDOUTS:
ANDRE TYLER, 6'4" combo guard, Class of 2026, Simeon Career Academy (Chicago): An explosive scorer who had a 31 point game in pool play. Offensive arsenal is expansive as he can hit threes off the catch, off the dribble, is a strong explosive finisher at the rim. He'll dunk on you with a one hand or two handed dunk. Professional scorer who'll spin you like a top with some of his moves to get space to score.
GABRIEL SULARKSI, 6'6" combo guard, Class of 2026, Benet Academy (Lisle): Another versatile professional scorer who showed it all weekend. First day he was scoring on drives and finishes in the lane with right and left hand, also nice Euro step finishes at the cup. Threw in some nice two handed dunks in transition. Second and final day he was hitting threes like they were layups whether off transition passes, or off the dribble creating shots. #1 player in the class and has a plethora of high major division one offers.
WESLEY RAHN, 6'6" combo guard, Class of 2026, Lakeside Lutheran (Lake Mills,WI): Did not play in All-Star game but showed out all weekend, Hits threes on the wing, either catch and shoot, or off the dribble. Attacked the basket off the wing and finished at the rim. with either hand.
BEN AKORO, 6'7" wing, Class of 2026, Principia, St Louis (MO): Showed some nice wing skills hitting threes, attacking the basket off the bounce and finishing at the rim. Hit the glass very well on both ends of the court.
JUSTIN CURRY II, 6'3" combo guard, Class of 2026, Noblesville, IN: Nice all-around game for a guard as he can hit threes off the bounce, off the catch, set up teammates with slick passes, and has the ball on a string as a ball handler. Makes nice athletic finishes at the rim. Runs either the point or can play off the ball.
SEKOU CISSE, 6'9" forward, Class of 2027, Principia, St Louis, MO: Patrols the paint. Rim protects on defense, Runs the floor and finishes off catches at the rim or offensive rebounds and put backs. He'll either dunk it or score on a layup.
BRUCE WEGRZYN, 6'7" wing, Libertyville: Can score off catch and shoot threes, or posts in the paint area. Runs the floor well in transition and hits the glass whether offensive or defensive. Can handle the ball by getting the rebound and pushing it up the court.
PABLO RODRIGUEZ, 6'9" forward, Class of 2026, Chi Prep Academy (Chicago): Changes ends well, and can step out to hit threes off the catch. Makes nice passes out of the post and can turn over either shoulder and score in the paint.
PLAYER WHO INTRODUCED HIMSELF TO THE STATE:
JAALI LOVE, 6'7" wing, Class of 2026, Manley (Chicago): Only gym rats knew about this young man before the event. Everyone knows about him now. He played in the Chicago Public League Blue West last year. He filled the stat sheet and had some triple doubles, and a few quadruple doubles. This division is persona non grata in the Chicago Area. He played mostly in the paint as they won the title and moved up to the White West Division for this season. People will be stopping by to watch this young man. He ran point most of the weekend and did a good job. Showed he could hit threes, off the dribble, off the catch, in transition. Did not matter. He also did his usual stat sheet stuffing by getting rebounds, blocking shots, throwing some nice assists off the bounce in half court or transition. He did it all. Plays hard all the time and received his first division one offer after the event. Look for a lot more in the future.
OTHER 2026 TOP 60 STANDOUTS:
KARSON THOMAS, 6'3" combo guard, Lincoln Way East (Frankfort): King of Bounce who can explode to the rack and embarrass an unsuspecting defender. Goes off vertical and dunks with two hands. Big time athlete, but one with basketball skills. He can get his offense off the bounce, and either score from mid range, or on three point shots. He hit threes off the bounce and off the catch. Finished at the rim with hang time and using contact to bump off defenders and score. Will be a division one prospect.
CHRIS KIRKPATRICK, 6'3" point guard, New Trier (Winnetka): All around guard who can score on all three levels. Can get where he wants on the court, touches the paint and makes good decisions in there. He'll make the right read whether it's a pass to a cutting teammate, kick out for the three, or shot a mid rage jumper. Plays with pace, stop and starts on drives to the basket. Makes good decisions in transition and a knockdown three point shooter.
ADAM ANWAR, 6'7" wing, McHenry: He can score from three or off the bounce in transition. Scores around the paint area, and is a good passer in the post or in transition. Hits the glass on both ends of the court. Hits a nice turnaround jump shot in the mid range.
CAEL LAFRENTZ, 6'9" forward, Decorah, IA: Son of former NBA player Raef LaFrentz he showed he nice a nice lefty jump hook over his right shoulder. Changes ends very well, hits the glass, has nice touch in the post on his shots. Rim protects and hits the boards. A young deer who's best game is ahead of him.
CAMERON MERCER, 6'2" combo guard, Riverside Brookfield: Son of former NBA player Ron Mercer. Shoots the outside shot better than his Dad. He has a strap for a three point shot and was hitting them from 25 feet and in. Shoots them off the bounce or off the catch. He can also run the point and made some nice passes from that position. Gets into opposing guards and makes them work for their shots.
SYNCEARE SIMONS, 6'3" Wing, United Township (East Moline): King of Bounce who tries to dunk everything within miles of the rim. Slashes to the basket off the wing with bad intentions for the rim and the defender trying to stop him. Loves to get out on the wing, receive a pass and attack. Hits the boards on both ends when not out in transition.
MASEN JOHNSON, 6'2" combo guard, Jacksonville
JORDAN WILLIAMS, 6'4" wing, Fremd, Palatine
OTHER 2027 TOP 60 STANDOUTS:
MARKESE PEOPLES, 6'1" combo guard, St Laurence (Burbank): Slasher extraordinaire. He almost ended a life on first day. Strong bodied athletic slasher who can create for himself and others on the move. He finishes at the basket with either hand, lefty uses his body to play through contact. Makes some nice passes in traffic.
HAYDEN SCHROEDER, 6'5" wing, Academy (Wheaton): Versatile scorer who is good with back to the basket finishing with turnaround jumpers and athletic finishes dunking the ball. He can step out and hit threes as well as crash the glass on both ends.
DAMARI STEVENS, 6'4" wing, Kenwood Academy (Chicago): Big bodied guard who uses it well to get dribble penetration and finish through contact. Nice handle and uses his body to keep defenders at bay. Nice passer off the break hitting teammates cutting to the basket. Showed a nice mid range touch both days.
LUKAS TASKUNAS, 6'4" combo guard, North (Downers Grove): Lefty is a knockdown three point shooter whether off the bounce or off the catch. He can attack off the bounce from the wing position.
NOAH EMMANUEL, 6'9" forward, Whitney Young (Chicago)
EDVARDAS STASYS, 6'4" wing, Benet Academy (Lisle)
PERRY TCHIEGNE, 5'11" point guard, Class of 2027, Benet Academy (Lisle): Another guard from Benet who plays very well with pace. Lefty can score on nice drives to the paint, knows how to slow his body down and take his time in the paint. Has a nice pull-up jump shot from three. Didn't make any All-Star game over the weekend.
ETHAN VAHL, 6'0" point guard, Class of 2028, Thompson Jr High (Oswego): Didn't see much of him but he hit some long threes, made some nice passes, and pinned two shots on the glass.
STEVEN DIXON, JR, 5'7" point guard, Class of 2028, Chi Prep Middle School (Chicago): Nice point guard who was setting up teammates for baskets, hitting threes, and scoring on penetration at the rim. Hit a couple of step back mid range jump shots.
ROOSEVELT THOMAS, 6'3" combo guard, Class of 2028, St Sabina Middle School (Chicago): Strong bodied guard who had some nice finishes through contact, and hit some mid range jumpers.