2023 Marquee Hoops DC Jumpoff Standouts
Mid Atlantic forward Favor Okigweh (Winchendon Prep) with a reverse dunk in transition
The 2023 Marquee Hoops DC Jump off kicked off in the heart of the nations capitol at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Fielding some of the top grassroots programs in the country over three days, this showcase was highly competitive and grueling for all involved. I had the chance to make my rounds to check out the action on hand. Here are some prospects that caught my eye…..
Ben Bradford/ Mid Atlantic Select/Lommis Chafee School/ 6’4/ Guard 2024:
First Team All Met played well managing both guard spots throughout the weekend. He was very poised and made good decisions when opposing teams pressed full court. Bradford scored from all three levels, shot from the free throw line well and was deadly scoring in transition. He also did a good job of defending one through the four and at times, the five depending on who was out on the floor. Intriguing thing about Bradford is he has another level or two he can reach.
Mazari Brown/ Team Melo MD23/ Mount Carmel/ 6’4/ Forward/ 2027: Brown was hampered by a sprained ankle which he suffered at a recent showcase. Yet, he showed his toughness by putting on a brace and suiting up. With that said, Brown still made an impact on both ends. He knocked down jumpers from mid range, finished inside and found open shooters while battling bigs inside and more than holding his own defending on the perimeter. Brown also changed ends well. Eager to see how he progresses.
Yancarlos Cueto/ Rhode Island Elite/ Central Point Christian Academy/ 6’4/ Guard/2025:
Cueto was one of the best knockdown shooters on hand. He can fill it up. Cueto is automatic shooting as a trailer in transition, coming off screens and off the bounce. He’s also a willing impactful defender who loves to pressure opposing guards full court. It’s easy to see that numerous offers is in his near future.
Evan Edwards/ Team Melo MD23 14U/ Georgetown Prep/ 5’8/ Guard/ 2027:
Edwards is a throwback floor general that can go back and forth between being a reliable scorer from all three levels and an ideal playmaker. His I.Q., skill, toughness and poise is what makes him standout and it was full on full display all weekend long. Once Edwards improves at finishing amongst the trees inside a little bit, it will get scary.
Terrance “TJ” Jones/ Team Melo MD23 14U/ St Frances/ 6’1/ Guard/ 2027: Jones Is a one man fast break. A scoring machine in transition and slashing to the basket. Jones displayed the ability to run point guard, hit 3-pointers with consistency, and defend well on and off the ball. Jones was GREAT at baiting opposing guards into making routine passes, only for those passes to be stolen by Jones. St Frances is getting a good one.
Jacob Moore/ Team Takeover National 16U/ Paul VI/ 6’6/ Forward/ 2025: High motor, athletic forward that dunks and blocks everything. Moore is an extremely gifted scorer inside, elite rebounder and versatile defender. Expect the buzz to get louder regarding Moore soon.
Marquis Newson/ Philly Pride 302 14U/ 6’4/ G-F/2027:
Special special talent. Newson point forward skillset is one, eye opening to see up close for such a young player and two, creates a mismatch for opponents pretty much every time he steps on the floor. Newson is a three level scorer, good passer, rebounder and complete defender already. He’s strong defensively on the ball and is very active as a help-side defender. The sky is truly the limit for Newson.
Favor Okigweh/ Mid Atlantic Select/ Winchendon Prep/ 6’5/ Forward/ 2024:
Okigweh is only 6’5, yet with his motor, length, toughness and athleticism, he plays and makes an impact equivalent to that of a 6’10 player. He was one of the best rim protectors, rebounders and defenders overall in the Marquee Hoops DC Jump Off showcase. He scores well in transition, rolling/ slipping to the basket, on offensive put backs and from lob plays. Becoming more of a threat on the perimeter and being able to knock down jumpers with 3-point range is the next step for Okigweh.
Matt Shelton/ Mid Atlantic Select/ Evergreen Christian/ 6’5/ Guard/ 2024:
One of the more talented guards on hand due to his combination of size, athleticism and skill. It’s rare to see a next level athlete be a knockdown shooter with range, but that’s what you get with Shelton. He had a few tough dunks in transition, showed he is a capable playmaker, got after it on defense and he shot well from the perimeter…especially coming off screens. Shelton, has multiple DI offers on the table as it stands today.
Devin Thomas/ Mid Atlantic Select/ CMIT North/ 6’0/ Guard/ 2025:
Knockdown shooter AND capable scorer. Understand that doesn’t come along very often in a player. Usually, most players are or the other, however. Thomas blends both. Despite being 6’0, he didn’t have any problems getting his shot off against bigger more athletic defenders, he shot efficiently from 3-point range and midrange while keeping the defense honest by breaking defenders down off the dribble to score inside. With his shooting ability and decent ball handling, he floated between both guard spots, sometimes running point guard and other times, getting it done at the two. Improving as a playmaker and defense will make him the complete package and a more attractive prospect for college programs.
Jake Williams/ District Basketball Club/ Sidwell Friends/ 6’4/ Guard/ 2024:
Smart, crafty guard with good size who can hit shots from anywhere on the floor. Williams understanding of moving without the ball and utilizing screens to be a threat as a scorer is tailored made for the college level. His efficiency as a shooter throughout the showcase and being a solid defender, are valuable traits many college programs could use.