Future stars in the making - Beach Ball Classic - Day 3
Wendell Moore, Jr.
These are some of the NBA stars that have played in the Beach Ball Classic as high schoolers: Kevin Garnett-Jason Kidd-Kobe Bryant-Grant Hill-Kenny Anderson-Rasheed Wallace-Vince Carter-Baron Davis-Danny Green-Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
Current G-Leaguer (Maine Red Claws), L. J. Peak and his then-teammate, Jahlil Okafor, both of Whitney Young High, took home the Beach Ball Championship in 2012. Below is a video of Peak winning the BBC slam dunk contest as he bowls over his teammates:
There are 16 teams from across the nation in this tournament, and today I will focus on some of the players, including underclassmen, who have received offers from college basketball hot spots. Wendell Moore, Jr. is a 6'6", 210-pound junior from Cox Mill. He has offers from UNC, Duke and Kansas. His team is now in the semi-finals and he tops all scorers with 61 total points in two games. Moore's talented teammate, 6'8" Rechon "Leaky" Black will play at UNC net year. Black transferred from Montverde to Cox Mill, and I can't begin to imagine how powerful Montverde would have been had he stayed.
R. J. Barrett
R. J. Barrett, a 6'6" senior from Montverde Academy, is currently rated the number one high schooler in the nation. His team has also advanced to the semi-finals and, as expected, he has dominated. Barrett has committed to playing at Duke University next year. He is often slotted as the first pick in 2019 NBA mock drafts.
Monverde is a powerhouse, and two of Barrett's teammates are also in many top-100 rankings for high school basketball players. Andrew Nembhard and Michael Devoe are both 6'4" seniors. Nembhard is heading to Florida and Devoe will play at Georgia Tech.
Zion Williamson is a 6'7", 270-lb. senior from Spartanburg Day. He has offers from UCLA, USC, Kentucky, Kansas and Duke. This kid carries a lot of weight but seems to handle it well on the court.
Like Charles Barkley, no one is totally sure of what Zion's potential or position would be in the NBA, but he is rated as a potential high-lottery pick in the 2019 draft. He has not played in the BBC because of an injury.
Jamal Bey's team, Bishop Gorman, is not in the semi-finals but he has displayed his talent and versatility at the BBC. Bey is a 6'6" senior who has committed to the University of Washington. He can play and defend three positions at the college level, and he showed his toughness at the Myrtle Beach tournament, with multiple defenders constantly on him.
There are two more days of competition, and the games thus far have been thrilling. The players, coaches and families often travel long distances from all over the country to get here, and they stay for roughly one week. The games are serious, as are the players. The intensity of play is through the roof.
Follow Tom at @TomLaneHC
Moore photo via James Nix/Independent Tribune
Barrett photo via Guillermo Martinez/News-Leader
Williamson photo via Gregory Payan/AP
Bey photo via Chase Stevens/Las Vegas Review-Journal