The Elevate Capital Hoop Fest was held in Washington D.C. as some of the best talent in the D.M.V. region came to compete in the event. Here are five standouts.
Che Evans (Class of 2020 | Team Melo)
The 6-foot-6 freshmen was nothing but sensational all throughout this weekend. Evans used his overall size and length to grab rebounds and finish over smaller defenders inside the paint. Offensively, he seemed to be at his best from the mid-range and in but as time goes, he will naturally be a three-level scorer. Defensively, he showed signs of having great instincts and is a smart on-ball defender. As Evans is one of the top freshmen in the country, he claimed offers from TCU, Georgia Tech, UNLV, and St. John’s while he stated he has interest from UCLA, Indiana, Kentucky, Purdue, California, Arizona State, and Maryland.
Jerome Hunter (Class of 2018 | OH-NOVA – Tillman)
Hunter may have been the best overall player in the event. At 6-foot-7, he consistently shot the ball at a very high level throughout the weekend. Offensively, he has a solid IQ, which leads to his underrated passing ability and his decision-making. He took advantages of mismatches inside the paint as he used his exceptional footwork, upper body strength and his athleticism to finish through contact. Defensively, he has great hands and is quick laterally. As his career goes on, he will need to improve on off the dribble shooting. In an interview, Hunter stated Pittsburgh, Xavier, Michigan, and Butler were making him a priority.
Brendan Adams (Class of 2018 | Team Melo)
One of the most exciting guards in the event, Adams, displayed why he will have a big upcoming summer. The 6-foot-4 four-star junior was outstanding on offensive as he constantly knocked down both open and contested shots. In transition, he consistently used his pull-up jumper and his change of pace to catch his defenders off guard. Going forward, the younger brother of Jaylen Adams (St. Bonaventure), will need to work on attacking the basket from different angles instead of straight lines drives but that will come along as he continue to improve and expand his game. When it comes to his recruitment, he has offers from the likes of Kansas State, Minnesota, St. Bonaventure, Stanford, St. Joseph’s and he carries interest from Maryland, VCU, Florida, Dayton, and Cincinnati.
Marial Mading (Class of 2019 | Team Thrill)
The younger brother of Daniel Mading (Texas Tech), Marial, was the most intriguing prospect that attended the event. He showed solid timing around the basket as he grabbed rebounds and collected many second chance points. The 6-foot-8 forward stretched the floor by displaying his ability to score on three levels, as he shooting is solid but can be more consistent. Defensively, he used his length to fill the passing lanes inside as well as grabbing rebounds on both ends.
RJ Blakney (Class of 2019 | Team Melo)
The 6-foot-5 athletic wing is a prospect that will have a big upcoming summer and was a challenging mismatch on offense. The Maryland native showed his quick first-step as he would blow by defenders and finish at the basket using his strong upper body. Blakney also took advantages down low and he would use is overall big frame to score over smaller defenders. Defensively, he is very versatile as he guarded multiple positions on the floor. He also used his great awareness and instincts to pick off and tip passes. In terms of his recruitment, the honor roll student carries offers from UMBC and St. Bonaventure while having interest from the Big East, CAA, Big 10, A-10, and a few other conferences.
Justin Lewis (Class of 2020 | Team Melo)
At 6-foot-7 and currently weighing around 215lbs, Lewis was a nightmare for his opponents as he was dominating down low all weekend. While having soft touch around the rim, he showed his ability to use his size to his advantage by using post moves inside and showing signs of consistently knocking down a mid-range shot. The potential three-level scorer was extremely smart defensively as depended on his size to contest and block shots. The freshman currently has scholarships from Georgia Tech, St. John's, and UNLV. He has interest from the likes of UNC, NC State, Stanford, Maryland, Kansas State, Temple, Wake Forest, Indiana, and Seton Hall.