The 13th annual Pangos All-American Camp was held again this past weekend, Friday-Sunday May 29-31, 2015 @ Cal State Dominguez Hills in Carson, CA. This national camp has served as a "coming out" party for many top past and current HS all-americans, and also has showcased many national "sleeper" prospects.
Past camp standouts have included such superstars as James Harden (Arizona State/Houston Rockets/2009 NBA Draft #3 pick), Brandon Jennings (Detroit Pistons/2009 NBA Draft #10 pick), John Wall (2008 Rivals.com #1 player/Kentucky/Washington Wizards/#1 pick of the 2010 NBA Draft), Harrison Barnes (Scout.com & ESPN.com's #1 2010 player/North Carolina/Golden State Warriors lottery pick), Shabazz Muhammad (consensus #1 in 2012/UCLA/Minnesota Timberwolves), Stanley Johnson (NBN #1 player/projected Top 5 pick in 2015 NBA Draft), the nation's #1 2011 prospect Anthony Davis(Kentucky/New Orleans Pelicans), Brad Beal (Florida/Washington Wizards), Andre Drummond (UConn/Detroit Pistons) and Anthony Bennett (UNLV/#1 pick of the 2013 NBA Draft/Cleveland Cavaliers).
This event is an invitation-only event and only top nationally ranked players have consistently been invited in year's past. Unfortunately for the state of Arizona, many of our top-rated prospects have not been invited annually or have not participated. While I have spoken about this a lot in year's past, I will not address this issue anymore - it is what it is.
This year, such top-rated Arizona prospects as Gilbert Christian HS 6-foot-9 rising senior Mitch Lightfoot, Corona Del Sol HS 6-foot-1 rising junior guard Alex Barcello and 6-foot-11 rising sophomore post Marvin Bagley Jr. each declined their offers to participate in the camp.
Former Arizona top-rated prospects Markus Howard and Marcus Shavers no longer represent the state of Arizona, as Howard moved to the state of Nevada (Findlay Prep), and Shavers moved to the state of Texas (Prime Prep). Howard spent this weekend at the 16U USA Trials in Colorado, while Shavers participated in the Pangos AA Camp.
Instead, for this exciting camp, Dysart HS 6-foot-10 rising senior post Malik Ondigo and Sunrise Mountain HS 6-foot-5 rising senior wing prospect Elijah Thomas were the only two Arizona prospects both invited that attended this weekend's amazing camp. Ondigo has been injured (tendinitis in knee) for a few weeks, so he did not participate in the camp this weekend. Thomas did participate in the weekend's activities, and so he was the lone Arizona prospect that was in action this weekend for the prestigious Pangos All-American Camp.
With Elijah Thomas being the only Arizona prospect in action this weekend, he really helped himself with a solid performance. While Thomas was not a stand-out in the camp, by any means, he did prove that the can play at the elite level with elite-level prospects and showed that he belonged on the court - adding to his reputation as a strong, mid-major division-I prospect and even possibly higher. Thomas has really helped himself this spring, thus far, with consistent strong performances and has raised his recruiting stock as much as any prospect in the state - regardless of class.
With the frame of a receiver, Thomas knows how to use his body to his advantage on the offensive and defensive sides of the basketball. Thomas is at his best when he uses his high-level motor in transition to spot up for the open 3, or slash to the basket and convert or draw a foul. Thomas is a consistent 3-point shooter, but is much better when he is driving the ball to the hoop. Thomas also has very quick feet on the defensive end, and, uses his football-like frame to keep defenders from going where they want to go. Thomas is a very nice athletic talent that has the attention of numerous college coaches. He currently holds offers from Grand Canyon University and Cal State Fullerton, but I look for this yougn man to begin bringing in numerous scholarship offers for himself this summer.