The final day of the Ganon Baker/Elev8 Junior National Skills Academy all invite elite camp in Delray Beach, Florida was just as intense with skill work & training as the first two days and provided some exciting game/tournament action as well. The highlight of the day was when rising 8th grader Jacob Labonte from Ontario, Canada hit a runner at the horn to advance the Mavericks into the final, which they would later win, prompting Coach Baker, Coach Drake, and the entire Mavs roster to chase Jacob around the gym exhibiting that youthful enthusiasm that no player should ever lose.
The nation’s top middle school aged players were invited to attend this camp and players turned out from as far west as California, Arizona, and Texas, as well as kids from Alabama, North Carolina, Virginia, Indiana, Florida, and New York, and even players from outside the USA including Canada and Puerto Rico.
The Mavericks, coached by Anthony Passalacqua of New York, won the overall team title going undefeated. This group of kids completely bought into the philosophy of the camp which was TEAM PLAY, just like the NBA Champion San Antonio Spurs! Baker
showed the players a lot of NBA video but stressed the player and ball movement that makes the Spurs so hard to defend. Typically at an all-star camp you’d see a lot of 1-on-1 play and bad shots. There was certainly some of that but the Mavs shared the ball and had very balanced scoring throughout the event so it was somewhat fitting that they won the championship.
This was a great camp experience for these youngsters as they were pushed to the max and trained by excellent coaches but also had the opportunity to see an NBA Pre-Draft workout featuring Florida’s Scottie Wilbekin and Baylor’s Brady Heslip among others.
For more on this workout and the first two days of camp:
Ganon Baker, Terry Drake, Cody Toppert of Elev8 basketball,and the rest of the crew teach you, they work you, and challenge you to improve. Visit his site or youtube channel to learn about Ganon Baker Basketball Camps.
Please visit our friends at MiddleSchoolElite.com who are great in their coverage of the best young basketball players in the country. They are writing reports on every player in this camp, shooting video, and taking photos. You can also follow them on Twitter for live updates!
Here are few of the players who jumped out to us during skill sessions and game action. It must be said that these are all young players who have a long way to go as they chase their dreams of playing High School or even College basketball. They, like all young players, must take what they’ve learned at this camp and apply it at home but putting in the work.
Kenny Dye – 5’7 G – Camp Lejeune, NC: One of the best athletes in camp, quick and fast with the ball, best in open court and off the dribble. Needs to work on his shooting and range as well as setting up teammates by drawing defenders and kicking to the open man. Work on moving without the ball as well.
Lyndon Brandon – 6’4 P – Fredericksburg, VA: Physical specimen, long! Young for his grade and if he continues to grow will certainly have a chance but needs to work on skill level regardless of position. Struggled with cramping and injuries due to heat/humidity in Florida but talent is obvious.
Clinton Harris – 5’10 G – Birmingham, AL: One of the more physically mature kids at the camp, good athletically. Could develop into a solid shooter although he needs work. Good off the dribble and worked very hard in skill sessions. Keep it up!
Joshua Dean – 5’7 F – Humble, TX: Big, strong wing forward. One of the more unselfish combination players there as he has a nice shot, can power through smaller kids and is a willing passer. However, that size advantage may not last so it would behove him to work on his skill level, speed drills and jump rope.
Alex Mummert – 5’7 G/F – Pennington, NJ: Lefty who was a key contributor to the champion Mavs. Solid looking shot form from medium range and good in the open court getting to the basket. Plays pretty hard defensively. Needs to work on guard skills, handle and passing ability.
Esteban Guerra – 5’8 F – Laredo, TX: Competitive nature, plays hard and works defensively. Did most of his damage inside and around the basket, should work on perimeter shooting ability but love his work ethic.
Tristan Bufkin – 6’1 F – Center Grove, IN: One of the top players at the camp regardless of age and member of Mavs. Grew six inches last year so he has played guard most of his life which is why his ball handling and passing skill is better than most ‘bigs’ his age. Kid who loves to play and it shows on the court.
Corbin Franco – 5’7 F – Burleson, TX: Strong kid who shoots set shot well and can drive it with physical strength and maturity for a kid his age. Needs to continue to develop his overall game and guard skills for the future.
Tyren Montgomery – 5’3 G – The Woodlands, TX: a nice open court player both offensively and defensively, reads passing lanes well and had a couple of nice shooting games while his Maverick teammate Nathan Adcox – 5’8 G/F – Burleson, TX is a Lefty shooter. Primarily drove it to his left and made open shots from the perimeter, should work on passing ability and use of R hand.
Seneca Willoughby Jr. – 5’4 G – Bear, DE: Another nice shooter from this class. Played PG showed the ability to hit some 3’s.
Christian Bridgewater – 5’6 G – Birmingham, AL & Jahari Bryant – 5’6 G – Locust Grove, VA were two physically gifted rising 8th graders that used speed to shine in driving the ball to the basket. They’ll need to continue to develop in all phases to reach their future potential but did a nice job in camp.
The 2020 class was dominated by its guard play but featured two big kids who showed some promise. Josh Lahn – 5’10 F – Ontario, Canada and Hunter Ruck – 5’10 F – Scottsdale, AZ were two kids who’ve spurted early and have some decent hand skills.
The top guards in the group were Ricky Goode-Wright – 5’2 PG – Spotsylvania, VA who worked very hard in the skill sessions and displayed some good ball handling and shooting skills along with Nash Golaszewski – 5’5 G – The Woodlands, TX who shot the ball well and has some versatility as a ball handler and passer. Maverick teammates from the 2020 class Quinn Denker – 5’2 G – San Jose, CA and Jaxson Jameson – 4’9 PG – Harrisonburg, VA were key contributors to their squad’s championship run. Jameson is a gym rat who did an excellent job in the skill sessions. He had attended a Ganon Baker camp before and it showed as he’s clearly worked on his skills and spent time in a gym, keep it up Jaxson! Denker displayed good passing skills and (along with Jameson and Montgomery) played very good full court defense. He was also good in the many ‘Basketball IQ mental sessions’ where Baker asks pop quiz questions of campers in front of the entire group and was singled out for a ‘money shot’ by Coach Baker during video study for his observations. Another good young guard, Brett Hardt – 5’4 G – Scottsdale, AZ he was one of the top 2021 kids displaying a nice shot. The lefty plays hard and competed well against older guys at camp.
Check MiddleSchoolElite.com for full write-ups on all campers along with some good photos. Special thanks to Ganon, Terry, Cody, and the entire Elev8 team for having NetScouts Basketball to their event, it was a quality camp and one that we’d recommend to all youngsters looking to WORK HARD AND GET BETTER!
Any international players interested in coming to the USA to play in college, prep school or high school can contact us here.