This was my first time attending a Born To Ball Nation camp. They provided a platform for kids across the southeast could showcase their talent, and some of the kids took advantage; here are a few thoughts and my immediate…
This was my first time attending a Born To Ball Nation camp. They provided a platform for kids across the southeast could showcase their talent, and some of the kids took advantage; here are a few thoughts and my immediate takeaways on some of the players…
Romeo Kemp (5’2/CG/’28)
School: Hopewell Middle School
A bright spot at the camp was Romeo Kemp, who showed his ability to efficiently knock down the trey ball. Right now, his play-off-the-ball is his strength, as he is highly productive in c&s opportunities. He can handle the rock, and as he continues to improve his ability to orchestrate, he will be a player that can effectively and efficiently switch between the lead guard and off-guard spot without production falling off. Along with being a facilitator, he can put the ball on the floor and finish off the bounce, which will be a key element to continue to work on for his journey. He was extremely aggressive, especially on the defensive end of the floor, as he was a tough on-ball defender that made ball-handlers work for everything they got. As long as he stays in the lab, he will be one that will garner a lot of attention in the future.
A bright spot at the camp was Romeo Kemp, who showed his ability to efficiently knock down the trey ball.Terry J. Drake
Ryan Wingard (6’4/SF/’27)
School: McCallie Middle School
Ryan was the most eye-appealing player at camp because, for the most part, he stood 6’4 and was highly versatile and athletic. He was the most dominant in the paint on both ends of the floor. His immediate impact was seen on the defensive end of the floor, where his length caused many problems for many of the small guards. He challenged and altered shots at a high rate, and it got to a point where players began forcing perimeter shots instead of attacking the cup. He also rebounded at a high rate on both ends of the floor and offensively got a lot of put-backs due to his activity on the glass. I have seen Ryan before, and I put ink on him, but I saw an addition to his game, as he is now comfortable grabbing the defensive board and starting the break. Offensively, his size was just too much for 98% of the campers, so he pretty much had his way in the paint. I like that he stepped out and showed that he could handle the rock out on the perimeter. He does not have elite handles, but he has enough for this age that shows promise if he continues to work in this area. He has to get a faster ball speed, stronger pound dribble, and learn how to live low when the ball is in his hands, as he plays too high right now. He was hands down one the best players at the camp.
He was the most dominant in the paint on both ends of the floor.Terry J. Drake
Keegan Keeton (5’4/SG/’28)
School: Carbon Hill Middle School
Again Keegan showed why he is considered one of the country’s best shooters in the 2028 class. I have given a lot of ink to Keegan, and he continues to improve with shooting the long ball and his on-ball defensive pressure. However, I am still waiting on Keegan to take that next step in his game and be able to put the ball on the floor, which will catapult him into an entirely different type of player that we will be talking about. He has to develop the ability to shoot the long ball, whether he’s creating for himself or working for a shot off the ball. He is very programmatic as he runs to a spot and often waits for the ball to find him. So being able to put the ball on the floor and cut without the ball is going to be essential as he seeks to make the next jump in his game. I spoke with his dad, and he said he is coming off a broken finger and a long football season and is just getting himself back into the gym. Despite all that, he still won the 3-point contest and shot the ball with NBA range during the camp.
Again Keegan showed why he is considered one of the country’s best shooters in the 2028 class.Terry J. Drake
Stone Batchelor (5’0/PG/’29)
School: Lovinggood Middle School
Let me just say I was highly impressed with Stone’s play. He was a small PG that was in full command of the game every time he stepped on the court. He checks all the boxes that you want to see from your PG spot as he can facilitate, distribute the ball well, take care of the ball by limiting his turnovers, gets the ball to his teammate where they can be successful, is a leader on the floor, can create off the bounce, can make open shots, defends at the point of offensive initiation, and the list goes on and on. Stone was one of the best point guards at the entire camp regardless of class, and he is a trustworthy PG that can be trusted to control the offense and set the tempo of play for any squad he laces up for. He has already received a lot of recognition, but as long as he stays in the lab and does not fall into complacency, look to hear a lot more about this youngster.
He was a small PG that was in full command of the game every time he stepped on the court.Terry J. Drake
Brielen Craft Brielen Craft 5'9" | PG (5’7/PG/’28)
School: Pace Academy
Without a doubt, Brielen’s name has to be right in the mix when it comes to the best shooters that were at camp. He is a big-time shooter from beyond the arc with range. He can score from anywhere on the floor and was one of the best shot-making play-maker guards at camp. Brielen can get his own shot, hit the pull-up 3 off the dribble, and knock down the mid-range off the bounce. Having watched Brielen before, he has always proven to be a capable scorer, but slowly, he is emerging into so much more with the ball being entrusted into his hands to provide not just scoring but a reliable facilitator. As I continue to follow Brielen’s game, I want to see his continued development in mastering his playmaking and getting teammates involved, as we already know he can get his at any time.
He is a big-time shooter from beyond the arc with range.Terry J. Drake
AJ Smith (5’8/PG/’27)
School: Hills Academy
AJ was one of the quickest players in the camp. His burst and end-to-end speed were unmatched. He was too much for one defender to try and contain, and it showed as he made his way to the cup with ease and without resistance throughout the day. He is very shifty with his handles and does an excellent job keeping defenders off balance. Whether in transition or the half-court, AJ was getting to the paint and showing his ability to finish. He played with a great feel and awareness and showed a high IQ for an emerging prospect at the position. His feel for the game and his court awareness are components that give him an advantage against inexperienced players, whom he often left questioning their ability to defend. AJ brings an offensive savvy and prowess to the court, while defensively, he brings a pit-bull mentality. He plays both ends, using his speed as an asset, and was one of the few at camp that put in work on both ends.
His burst and end-to-end speed were unmatched.Terry J. Drake