Published by Jason Gairey on August 1, 2010
This summer’s AAU circuit gave many Canadian kids an opportunity to showcase their talent during the open period for NCAA coaches.
Over 300 coaches were in attendance in both Las Vegas, Nevada and Orlando, Florida where basketball and the summer sun was shining bright in with several huge AAU events going on in both cities for the week of July 22 to 26.
At these various events some of the top NCAA coaches were in attendance to get a glimpse of what their future may hold.
The Canadian scene was definitely buzzing as some of the great white north’s top AAU programs such as Grassroots Canada and Team Takeover Canada were well represented at the major showcases.
Grassroots demonstrated their skills in Sin City at the inaugural Fab 48 Showcase and Team Takeover put their talents on display Super Showcase in Orlando.
Besides than Grassroots and Team Takeover there was much Canadian contented peppered around the rest of the AAU circuit.
Other Canadian AAU programs got involved ending out the summer at the Super 64 Tournament in Vegas, with up-and-coming Canadian AAU team Northern Kings getting their first taste of action along with other teams such as BJCC (Ont.), Ottawa Guardsman (Ont.), Whitby Saints (Ont.), Basketball BC, Drive Elite (B.C.), Calgary’s CYDC (Albt.) and Edmonton’s Red Storm (Albt.) to name a few.
Quebec also had a strong showing at the Super Showcase with Brookwood Elite turning many a head in Disneyworld.
2010 has been special a special year in Canadian high school hoops, having more than 35 Canadian kids signing letters of intents to play for D1 NCAA schools next year – a record high.
Let’s take a peak at the future of Canadian basketball and see who was making a big splash on the circuit this summer.
Class of their own:
Myck Kabongo – 6’1” PG, Toronto, ON/Findlay Prep, NV, Grassroots Canada, Class 2011
Kabongo has shown all summer why he is ranked in the Top 10 in every scouting service in America.
The lightening quick point guard has had a phenomenal summer on both the international scene, leading Canada’s U18 Team to a bronze finish at the FIBA Americas in San Antonio, winning MVP both at the All Canada Classic and Pangos All-American Camp, and also had stellar performances at the LBJ Skills Academy and NBA Top 100 Camps.
He has also showed his dominance all summer from all the top AAU tournaments on the circuit from Arkansas to Minnesota. Vegas proved no different for Kabongo as he continued to impress with his quickness and strength, but even more so with his leadership and true point guard abilities.
The future is bright for this top prospect who has already committed to University of Texas and continues to stay hungry.
Kyle Wiltjer, 6’9” F, Portland, OR,Jesuit HS, Drew Gooden Soldiers, 2011
If anybody saw their stock rise this summer Kyle Wiltjer’s name was easily one of them. The 6’9” forward showed his versatility all summer, being the top scorer for the bronze medal winning U18 Canada Jr. National Team in San Antonio this summer.
He displayed his shooting range from in and beyond the three-point arc but also impressed with his ability to bang at the LBJ Skills Academy and in the inaugural Nike EYBL.
With his AAU team, the Drew Gooden Soldiers, which is based out of Oakland, his ability to score both in and out has many scouts drooling for a taste of Wiltjer’s skills and he topped it off in Vegas.
He was even more physical and aggressive at the Fab 48 with his team, dispelling the notion of him being “too soft” out the window.
He was a key contributor all week as the Soldiers won the chip at the Fab 48 making them the undisputed AAU champs after winning at the Peach Jam for the EYBL title.
Many scouts have Kyle as one of the top players coming out of the West region and has even cracked the top 25 in some recruiting/scouting services.
Kevin Thomas, 6’7” F, Christian Faith Center, NC/Grassroots Canada, 2011
Thomas has had a breakthrough summer and was able to open many eyes during the AAU circuit as well as playing a key role for Canada’s U18 National Team at the FIBA America’s this summer.
A highly athletic forward who uses his length well to get to the basket and is showing steady improvement on his perimeter game.
He has had big AAU performances at the Best Buy Classic in Minnesota and The Rock in Arkansas and has continued to captivate many college coaches’ attention with his solid performance in Vegas at the Fab 48 despite an earlier than expected exit for his team.
He has put himself on the radar and with a stellar season this year at CFA, he will be a lock at a mid major to high major NCAA D1 school.
Khem Birch, 6’9” PF, Quebec City, QC, Notre Dame Prep, Mass, Xpressions AAU, 2010
The tall, lanky kid just doesn’t give up. A trait that was very apparent with his relentless play in the post this summer for Canada’s U18 squad.
He took that experience with him to the LBJ Skills Academy and drew a lot of attention from the basketball gurus.
He is tenacious on the boards as well as blocking shots and using is length to clog the lane defensively. Still raw on the offensive end, Birch still shows that he is willing to learn and will soon be a dominant force in the low post and perhaps the perimeter with continued hard work.
Tremendous upside for this kid, and an even bigger heart, showed his worth in several AAU tournaments, especially at the West Virginia Jamfest.
Kemy Osse, 6’3”, SG, Bishop Carroll H.S, D.C, Brookwood Elite, QC
Solid summer for Osse. He also ran with Team Takeover Canada and showed why he belongs with the elite forces. Will need to continue putting in work during the school season down south. Getting the looks from several D1 NCAA schools.
Dylan Ennis, 6’0”, PG, Lake Forest Academy, IL, Team Takeover Canada, 2011
Had a great AAU summer showing his ability to take it to the rack and put some impressive numbers up. Looking to have a breakthrough year in his final season.
David Wagner, 6’8” PF, South Kamloops H.S, Basketball B.C., 2011
Great experience playing this summer for the Junior Nats with additional experience from some AAU play in Vegas this summer in the Swoosh Challenge. Good size, and aggressive but needs to polish his game.
Kevin Pangos, 6’1” PG, Denison S.S, ON, Northern Kings, AAU
His first formal experience to AAU ball in Vegas and Pangos showed why he is a solid point guard prospect for any D1 coach/school. His solid play internationally with the Cadet team was key this summer.
Nikolas Stauskas, 6’6” SG, St Marks Prep, Mass, Miss, ON, Grassroots Canada, 2012
An incredible shooter, who has added more size and strength to his game that has helped him elevate it as well. Good all-around player who continues to stay hungry. Had a great summer at AAU events in Mass, Minn. and Vegas.
Best of the rest:
Anthony Bennett, 6’7” F, Mountain State Academy, WV. Brampton, ON, Team Takeover Canada, 2012
Braeden Anderson, 6’9” PF, CFA, NC, Calgary, AB. Grassroots Canada, 2011
Sim Bhullar, 7’4” C, Kiski School, Toronto, ON. Team Takeover Canada, 2012
Jean Pierre Charles, 6’7” F, Asbury College, Ottawa, ON. Ottawa Guardsman, 2011
Deshawn Pierre, 6’6” F, Anderson CVI, Whitby, ON. Whitby Wildcats, 2012
Lenny Austin, 6’2” SG, Vanier College, QC. Brookwood Elite, 2011
Negus Webster-Chan, 6’6” SG, Huntington Prep, WV, Scarborough, ON. Team Takeover Canada, 2012
Kevin Blake, 6’2” G, Oakwood C.I, Toronto, ON. BJC Magic, 2012
Keny Fred Chery, 6’0”, PG, Bishop Carroll H.S, D.C, Quebec City, QC. Brookwood Elite, 2011
Grandy Glaze, 6’6” F, Notre Dame Prep, Mass, Brampton, ON, 2011, Team Takeover Canada
Naz Long , 6’2 G, Montrose Christian, Team Takeover Canada
Up and coming:
Duane Notice, 6’2” G, 2013, BJC Magic
Micqueel Martin, 6’0” G, 2013, Grassroots Canada
Tevin Findlay, 6’2” G, 2013, Team Takeover Canada
Tyler Ennis , 6’1” PG, 2013, Team Takeover Canada
Olivier Hanlan, 6’2” PG, 2012, Ottawa Guardsman
Xavier Rathan-Mayes, 6’1” CG, 2013, Grassroots Canada
Richard Peters, 6’9” C/F, 2012, Team Takeover Canada
Kevin Zabo, 6’1” G, 2014, QC United/Grassroots Canada
Nick Mandray, 6’8”, 2013, Team Takeover Canada
Denny McDonald 6’6 F 2011, Team Takeover Canada
Olivier-Paul Betu, 6’1” PG, 2012. Brookwood Elite
Mikyle McIntosh, 6’6” F, 2013, Grassroots Canada
Matthew Ethewe, 6’8” C, 2013, Northern Kings
Trevor Andrews 6’7” F, 2012 Northern Kings
Aaron Best 6’4” SF, 2011 Northern Kings
Juwan Brescacin 6’6”, 2012 F Team Takeover Canada
Rohan Boney 6’5 SF, 2012 Northern Kings
Jarryn Skeete 6’2” PG, 2012 Team Takeover Canada.
There were many more players that had great summers as well. The numbers speak for themselves in regards to the verbal and final commits that happened over the summer and the AAU circuit.
Canadians continue to take advantage of the benefits and exposure that playing AAU ball can provide. The classes of 2011 and beyond will continue to show that the talent coming from the North is vast and flourishing.
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