The 2014 Camp Right Way - Southwest took place this weekend at Inspire Courts in Chandler with legendary former NBA player and head coach John Lucas directing a big-time event for middle school prospects in the state of Arizona. Lucas resides in Houston, Texas where he has built an empire in the state for aspiring young prospects and also pro players looking to develop in the off-season.
Camp Right Way Southwest promoted to their participants that there would be an invitation to the John Lucas International Middle School Combine (IMSC) for the top 8th and select 7th graders from the event. The camp was designed to enhance skill levels and allow a platform to showcase a player's talent in front of scouts and their staff - evaluating for college recruiting services and to give input on whether a player is IMSC ready.
Lucas and his staff created an excellent environment for their prospects in participation to compete at a high level against one another, and for the scouts and media in attendance to evaluate the student-athletes against while competing with one another. Lucas was very firm with the players in attendance, which was really nice to see, but he was able very approachable to the players and fans in attendance.
I was in attendance for much of this year's event on Saturday, and was able to watch the top prospects from this year's crop of prospects, led by the superb play of 5-foot-8, 170-pound 8th grader Lamelle Robinson from Avondale, Arizona. The future superstar guard prospect recently moved to the state of Arizona from Kansas, and now attends the up-and-coming state powerhouse Elite 1 Academy, a charter school and prep school located in Avondale. Robinson was the top overall player from this weekend's event, showcasing his ability to create off the dribble and finish strong at the basket with either hand - finishing and converting almost at will in the event. Robinson is very tough and physical with an elite-level body, combined with a high basketball IQ. He was the top overall player in this weekend's event.
The top overall prospect in this year's event was 6-foot-8, 165-pound 7th grader Tavvon Lathon from Redlands, CA. It is hard to believe that Lathon is a mere 7th grader, as he looks like that of a poor man's Marvin Bagley - very gifted with impresive size and loads of potential for the future. Lathon should grow at a nice pace physically over the next 3-4 years, making him a future elite-high major division-I prospect and a top-rated nationally ranked prospect. Lathon is very skilled with a long, rangy body - suggesting that he could develop into a Kevin Durant type in the future.
5-foot-9 8th grade guard Jovan Blackshear of Shea Middle School in Phoenix was among the elite players in this year's event. He scored almost at will and also played with superior confidence against everyone he played against. His match-up with Lamelle Robinson was the higlight of the tournament, as the event's top two performers went at it.
6-foot-3 8th grader Jihuan Westbrook of Columbia Middle School in California, was very impressive in the event. A long, thin and skilled wing prospect with a good overall feel for the game and an excellent ability to run the floor and score in transition. Resembles a young Chase Jeter, a 2014 commit to Duke University.
5-foot-8, 140-pound talented 7th grader Blaise Threatt of Mountain Trail Middle School in Scottsdale, AZ is the son of former NBA player Sedale Threatt. This youngster is very skilled and gifted with an excellent feel for the game combined with very sgood skills early. Has an excellent body and is able to score inside and out.
6-foot-5, 160 pound 8th grader Solomon Davis of Shivela in Murrieta, CA is a nice-sized and skilled stretch-four man prospect with a soft touch from the perimeter and an ability to score inside and out. A nice looking young prospect.
5-foot-7 8th grader Nico Mannion was a very skilled guard prospect with a tough scorer's mentality. A nice shooter of the basketball with good aggression.
5-foot-4 7th grader D'Areyon Davis of Amelia Earhart Middle School in Moreno Valley, CA was one of the quickest guards in the event. An electric, fast point guard prospect with a good ability to penetrate and finish in traffic.
5-foot-8 8th grader Jordan Mains of Mountain Trail Middle School in Scottsdale, AZ has the potential to develop into a nice shooting guard prospect over time. A very skilled and fundamentally sound guard prospect with an excellent shooting stroke.
6-foot-3, 185-pound 8th grader Kamrin Thorn of Dysart Elementary in El Mirage, AZ is a nice physicall specimen with an excellent body already, although he is still very raw offensively. Looks like a future top-rated prospect.
Other standouts from the event included 6-foot-2, 172-pound 8th grader Legend Stamps of Mosaica Online in Rancho Cucamonga, CA; 5-foot-7 8th grader Jaelen House of Shea Middle School in Phoenix; 5-foot-10 eighth grader Silas Pieper of Apple Valley, CA; 5-foot-7 8th grader Greg McGhee from Avondale, AZ; 5-foot-4 6th grader Jackie Johnson of Wichita, KS; 5-foot-10 7th grader Tommy Anderson III of Quest Middle School in Las Vegas, NV.