TNBA Ohio and Coach Gene Reddy make a statement in Chicago
Michel Bekelja 6'0 CG (TNBA Flash) 2019 - Solon head coach Tony Decesare has a trio of guards in the backcourt who each can impact the game, a problem most coaches would love to have. But when Sincere Carry tweaked his ankle early on at the Youngstown State Shootout, it was Michael Bekelja who stepped up big. The rising junior proved that he can do much more than be a recipient for catch-and-shoot jumpers. This was on full-display over the weekend as he led an undermanned TNBA Flash 16U to a pair of wins in bracket play. Bekelja used his tight and crafty handle to penetrate and draw contact at the rim. His skillset and court savvy has caught the attention of several division two programs in the area, snagging offers from Fairmont State, Lake Erie, and Malone this summer.
Mason McMurray 6'7 PF (TNBA Ohio) 2018 - One word of advice for July: Find your niche. Stow senior Mason McMurray has done exactly that following a breakout junior season. Skilled bigs with the ability to stretch the floor are in high demand with the direction the game is going and that's what you're going to get with McMurray. He picked the best time to consistently shoot the basketball well and showcase the ability of being able to put the ball on the ground. His performance against Zion Griffin, one of Illinois' hottest prospects, and Hoopers Basketball Club (IL) was enough to garner the attention of some Division Two and Low Major programs in the region.
Mason Lydic 6'0 WG (Akron Bobcats) 2018 - You'd be hardpressed to find a better shotmaker in NEO's class of 2018 than Lydic. On a team that played the entire weekend without Pete Nance and Tony Hewitt, Lydic had no issue picking up the slack offensively as he found a balance of facilitating and picking his spots. He showed some potential point-guard flashes and was able to fire a number of pinpoint skip passes to corner shooters.
R.J. Sunahara 6'6 PF (TNBA Ohio) 2018 - The duo of McMurray and Sunahara was a handful all weekend long for opposing teams. The two bring something unique to the table and the inside-out game worked to a tee. Sunahara's athleticism and motor on the offensive glass has been noted but his ability to make plays on short rolls to the basket caught my eye. With his versatility on the defensive side of the ball and a skillset that will only get better, it should come to the surprise of no one that his name has continued to be a topic of discussion this summer.
Christian Szalay 5'10 PG (TNBA Ohio) 2018 - Szalay was the catalyst in TNBA Ohio's undefeated run. The lead guard out of Wadsworth put on display his innate ability to make plays and execute out of high pick-and-roll situations, resulting in easy opportunities for Sunahara. As unselfish of a distributor that you will come across in the area, Szalay is an under the radar guard who has seemed to hit his stride this summer following a junior season where he dealt with a lingering elbow injury. Good things happened when Szalay was running the show and I walked away impressed with how well he took care of the basketball.
Delshawn Jackson 5'11 CG (TNBA East) 2018 - With the exit of last year's starting point guard in Alex Heath, the door is open for Delshawn Jackson. Jackson has been one of the more consistent performers I've evaluated throughout the summer. A tough-nosed attacking guard, Jackson's basketball IQ and drive-and-kick game has improved as a result of reps.
Dyshawn Jackson 6'0 WG (TNBA East) 2018 - Playing hard is in Jackson's DNA. Never afraid to get his hands dirty defending the opposing team's top scoring threat, the CCC product has shown growth on the offensive end of the floor. Cutting hard without the ball and grabbing 50/50 balls amongst the trees, Jackson's effort and energy was enough to jump start TNBA's surge in a win over a Young & Reckless squad that featured a handful of Division One prospects.
Shaker Heights wing Christian Guess has begun to make a name for himself nationally with a strong showing at the adidas Gauntlet Finale. Neither Guess nor OBC got off to a hot start in the Spring but things have quickly changed in their last few appearances on the circuit.
In a matchup with the nation's number two recruit, check out how OBC was able to pull of a huge win with a standing room only crowd on hand.