Kansas City, Missouri — The Prep Hoops NEXT Midwest Kickoff was the start of grassroots basketball for most teams in attendance. This two-day tournament consisted of teams coming from Oklahoma, Kansas, Wisconsin, Illinois, Nevada, Indiana, Ohio, Minnesota, and all over…
Kansas City, Missouri — The Prep Hoops NEXT Midwest Kickoff was the start of grassroots basketball for most teams in attendance. This two-day tournament consisted of teams coming from Oklahoma, Kansas, Wisconsin, Illinois, Nevada, Indiana, Ohio, Minnesota, and all over Missouri, from age groups of 11U all the way up to 14U. Several players stood out from each class due to their scoring, dribbling, and defensive abilities. Here we’ll take a look at some of those high-performing 8th-grade prospects that made major impacts on the floor for their respective teams.
Xavior Wilson | Mid-Missouri, MO | Class of 2025
PBA Elite combo guard, Xavior Wilson was one of the purest all-around basketball players in attendance. Such a cerebral baller, his IQ and understanding of the game were on another level, seeing things before they happen on both ends, it seemed like the game moved in slow motion for him at times. Wilson showed off his ability to get to the basket at will and finish through traffic. He played at his own speed and didn’t force anything. On the defensive end, his hands were very quick and active, if ball-handlers didn’t keep their space when guarded by Wilson that ball was going to be his. Even in the passing lanes, he was extremely deadly, nothing came easy with Wilson on defense. This elite guard proved to be a very well-rounded player that can change the outcome of a game in more ways than one.
Zak Abdalla | Henderson, NV | Class of 2025
6-foot-1-inch Zak Abdalla started the tournament out slow but came out of halftime of the first game ready to take over, going from just 2 points in the first half to an astonishing 18 points in the second half that put his team over the top. His efforts on the glass and on the defensive end of the floor helped his team regain the lead halfway through the second half after being down big. Abdalla knocked down his three-point attempts, got to hoop, finished layups through all types of contact, drew several foul calls that kept him at the free-throw line, grabbed rebounds to push the pace where he showed off his shiftiness, and he also jumped passing lanes causing multiple turnovers. Zak was the MVP for West Coast Select, he was in the zone and going off all weekend, making plays all over the court, and leading his team to victories. Zak Abdalla was a true game-changer, he held his own and made his presence felt game in and game out.
C.J. Purdie | Tecumseh, KS | Class of 2025
Don’t give this sharpshooter any room or he will definitely make you pay. Hitting shots from deep were the norm for Purdie all weekend long. C.J. Purdie absolutely lit teams up from college range, he was the type of shooter that you had to account for at all times and pick up as soon as they crossed half-court. Purdie continuously knocked down open and contested three-point shots from all over the arc using his quick-release. His shot was very consistent and the ball flowed right off his hands smooth, easy, hitting nothing but net every time. C.J. had the green light the entire weekend after dropping 15 points in the first game of the tourney. This three-point specialist shot the lights out, his shot making was unbelievable, and at times it seemed like everything C.J. Purdie put up was going in.
Carlitos Sanchez | Springfield, MO | Class of 2025
Carlitos Sanchez was a true pickpocket defender, the Missouri Tar Heels lead guard ripped some of the better dribblers in the building, usually by sneaking up behind them and poking the ball out, then starting the fast break. Sanchez stuck to his man like glue and hassled them all the way up the floor, even frustrating a few guys enough that they began making out of characters plays and choices. Offensively, Sanchez can get buckets, he put up numbers in every game but really put on a show when he dropped 15 points off 3 three-pointers. His ball-handling was dynamic and gave the capability of creating space as well as creating for others. Carltios Sanchez might’ve been the smallest player on the court but his impact was one of the biggest.
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