With very few Arizona club programs performing at a high level during the final evaluation period of July, there were however a few teams that made Arizona very proud with their performances in a colossal Vegas event. The Arizona Magic 16U - Passion coached by Arizona Magic Director of Operations Justin Allen would finish as runner-up champions of the Las Vegas Fab 48 16U Diamond Division - the bracket just under the invite-only division.
The Arizona Magic 16U - Passion has had a strong past two weeks of July. The team would win the 16U tournament championship last week in the Great American Shootout in Dallas, Texas - a major basketball event that is attended by many college programs, scouts and media. They would then travel to Las Vegas, Nevada where they would turn in another consecutive top-rated performance. The Magic would lose in the championship game.
This team of very talented prospects has been led all spring and summer by the play of Brophy Prep 6-foot-3 rising junior guard Beau Brunkhorst. Brunkhorst has proven that he is an elite level guard for the future, and is among the very best 2016 prospects in the state. Even though Brunkhorst's numbers were modest last high school season, this young man raised his overall level of play throughout the club season. Brunkhorst began the spring while leading this same team to the 16U tournament title in this year's top Arizona club tournament - the Southwest Showcase Main Event. The son of former University of Arizona star player Brock Brunkhorst, also an NCAA Division-I assistant coach, the younger Brunkhorst made a name for himself this club season - shooting the basketball at a very high clip and providing quality leadership from the point position.
Westview HS 6-foot-1 rising junior guard Kendell Barnes proved why he is considered among the top point guard prospects in the class, as he raised his play a great deal and was consistent in his play all summer. Barnes missed the entire spring evaluation period with an injury.
Desert Vista High School 6-foot-3 rising junior guard DJ Hamilton came up big this summer - ranking among the top scorers for this Magic group all spring and summer. Hamilton was very effective with the basketball in his hands and made plays for himself and others. Gilbert HS 6-foot-5 rising junior forward Jacob Nicolds was instrumental in the team's success, as he provided tough, hardnosed defense and rebounding, which gave the team added toughness.
Hamilton HS 6-foot-6 rising junior forward James Scroggins consistently made perimeter shots for this team, while also providing strong rebounding and interior depth. Scrobbins has developed into a strong sleeper prospect for the 2016 class. Pinnacle HS 6-foot-8 rising junior forward Nick Mains is one of the state's top developing talents. His length and skill level are glaring attributesthat will develop a great deal over the next year as he matures physically.
With Pinnacle HS 6-foot-7 rising junior post A.J. Elliot out with an injury for most of the July evaluation period, the Magic would rely on the play of Shadow Ridge HS 6-foot tough rising junior guard Ty LaMagna. LaMagna plays much bigger than his size suggests, and he plays hard on both ends of the floor. His ability to compete and defend the opposing team's top players is valuable to this team.
Westview HS 6-foot-5 rising sophomore forward Justice Sueing, a member of the 2017 class, played his best basketball of his young career for this team. Amidst much older competition, Sueing showed why he is considered among the elite-level prospects in the class.
This group will return next club season and should develop into a very strong club team on next year's 2015 spring and summer club circuit.