Sleeper Alert: Most underrated point guard in America: Introducing Aaron Claytor!!
I first saw Aaron Claytor play two years ago in The Circuit Championships in Las Vegas. He was playing 16U for San Francisco Rebels. He was about 5'11" then, but had the cerebral point guard skills even then. He has grown to 6'3" and has gotten stronger. He's the consummate floor general, Here we go:
AARON CLAYTOR, Salesian (Richmond, CA), Class of 2024 6'3" 175 pound point guard.
Played for Jalen Green Elite on the Adidas 3SSB Circuit. Was first team All-Circuit in first session in Iowa. Flat out the best passer in America for high school basketball. Took his high school team to the CIF Northern Section Semifinals in his first year there. He played his first two years at Iolani (Hawaii), so has been under the radar his entire high school career. He averaged 7.4 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists a game in a deliberate offense. He's considered the top point guard in Northern California, and top 5 player in that area. Some will ask with a low scoring average, why the writeup? Reason is he's a true floor general that is a pass first player, and only shoots when needed. He was the only player on his high school team that could get where he wanted off the dribble. He's a winner and unselfish to a fault. Here's the breakdown:
OFFENSE: He's the best passer in America in my opinion. High IQ, hits teammates in their passing pocket so they are ready to shoot. Teammates do not need to waste their motion from his pinpoint passes. Plays at his own pace. He finds passing angles that others don't. Makes almost impossible passes with two hands, one hand, off the dribble, and off the catch. He's a true old school point guard that passes first, second, and third. His strength and exquisite ball handling helps him get where he wants on the court. You can't trap him because he's good at splitting the defense and finding the open man from any angle on the court. He's great in the break and very good in the half court. Now the elephant in the room. He does need to look to shoot more, it's not that he can't shoot, he just loves making his teammates better. He can score on all three levels with a nice pull-up jumper in the lane. He can finish with either hand at the rim. Above average athleticism helps him finish strong at the rim and will dunk on you. Weakness could be his three point shot, but he shot 48% from three on the Adidas circuit.
DEFENSE: Has good instincts on and off the ball. Uses his intelligence to make timely traps of offensive players. Wingspan is 6'7". He uses his strength and lateral movement to pressure opposing guards on the ball. Plays good angles to cut off the dribble from getting straight line drives to the basket. Has quick hands to get timely deflections on and off the ball. Can guard all three perimeter positions effectively. Hits the defensive boards hard and can push the ball and put pressure on the defense. Has the athleticism to block shots off the ball and dig down for deflections and steals. He sometimes can get lost playing off the ball by turning his head away from the ball. Communicates well on defense to put his teammates where they should be.
CONCLUSION: Fundamentally sound young man on both ends of the court. Uses his long wingspan on both ends of the court. This young man has been missed by the national analysts. He holds 14 scholarships from mid majors, and has no star on his name. Yes a ZERO STAR!!!! I feel this is because he played half his high school career in Hawaii, an area that gets no respect for basketball in America. He came over to California and put his name out there in Northern California. He hasn't caught on nationally though he played on Adidas 3SSB Circuit and was one of the top 5 players in Session One. He also played for Independent San Francisco Rebels for two years. He played up an age level both years. This young man is one of the best passers I've seen in a number of years on the high school level. He needs to be a little more aggressive looking for his offense, because he has the tool box to score more, Great leader and high academic young man. The sky is the limit and to me has a career trajectory similar to Jason Preston of the Los Angeles Clippers. Check out his story when you have time. Aaron Claytor could end up in the Association one day. High majors are missing out on a high level point guard.
SCHOOL LIST: He has cut his school list to 7, Radford, South Carolina Upstate, Sacred Heart, Hawaii, North Carolina A & T, Seattle, and Sam Houston State.