La Verne, CA – Last week I attended the prestigious Classic at Damien for the first time and it was an outstanding event in so many facets. Top teams from California and surrounding states on display, elite match-ups in every round of play, top prospects from the Western region, top media and scouts in attendance, and great personnel and staff from the host school Damien High School. I arrived on Wednesday, December 27th and stayed until Friday evening, December 29th. I was mostly there to watch the Platinum Division, but also caught games in the Gold and Diamond Divisions.
The following article is Part 2 of my standout performers, as I take a look at 15 standout players from the Platinum Division, Gold Division, and Diamond Division. I provide a brief description of how each player performed in the games I watched, along with any relevant statistics I gathered, a short description of each player’s skill set, and all relevant information for each player. Although this is a list of my top performers, the names are listed in alphabetical order and not in ranked order. I begin this article with senior Joaquin Aguillon of Branson.
6’3 Joaquin Aguillon 2024 Branson (Ross CA)
Aguillon provided the necessary scoring punch the Bulls needed, as it was in its 2nd week playing in the top division of two elite tournaments against some of the West’s top teams. The Bulls opened up with Roosevelt of Eastvale, and junior standout lead guard Semetri Carr had a low scoring game, which required someone else to step up and help out Illinois commit Jase Butler. Aguillon was that guy, as he would connect on 3 threes and was second in scoring for Branson with 13 points. In the Platinum Division Consolation semifinals, Aguillon would step up again as the Bulls second leading scorer behind Butler, with 16 points in a win over Campbell Hall of North Hollywood. Aguillon moves well off the ball, has a quick release on his jumper off the catch and shoot, is accurate with the 3-ball, and is a creative finisher around the basket. He does a great job of tracking where the ball is and gets to open spots for easy shots or lay-ups.
6’3 Julien Gomez 2025 La Mirada (CA)
Gomez has carried the scoring load for the Matadores the last few seasons, but the arrival of freshman Gene Roebuck has allowed Gomez to display his skills as a facilitator and shot maker off the ball. In La Mirada’s opening game against Owyhee of Idaho, Gomez had an efficient 14 points, and carried the Matadores in the 2nd quarter with 7 of those points coming at an opportune time, as Roebuck was held to 2 points. Gomez was selected to the All-Tournament team for the Platinum Division. Gomez keeps the ball on a string, has the moves to weave through the defense, the ability to create separation off the dribble and make shots from the mid-range to the 3-point line, and the court vision to find open teammates when on the attack. Gomez is a tough on ball defender, has quick hands to deflect or rip the ball, and likes to push the pace of play in the open court. Make quality decisions with the ball in hand.
6’4 Jeremiah Hampton 2025 Windward (Los Angeles CA)
Hampton had a strong opening game against NorCal’s top team in Salesian of Richmond. Hampton came out firing and hitting shots, as he would score 11 of his team-high 20 points in the first half and connected on 3 threes in the game. Hampton has solid handles, the moves to create off the bounce, moves well off the ball to get catch and shoot looks, and is capable of scoring in volume. Hampton has good body control on finishes through contact around the basket, gets great lift on his jumper, and is an underrated perimeter defender that generates turnovers and gets out into the open court.
6’5 Elzie Harrington 2025 St. John Bosco (Bellflower CA)
Harrington had his lead guard skills on display all week at the Damien Classic, and was dropping dimes all over the court, finishing with 8 points and 8 assists in the Braves opening round win over Clovis North of Fresno. In the Braves quarterfinal win over American Fork of Utah, Harrington was in his bag, scoring 16 points grabbing 7 rebounds and dishing out another 8 assists. Harrington is listed as a combo guard, or even a guard/wing but when you watch him play, it is evident that he is a point guard that looks to run the offense and facilitate the rock. Harrington has the moves to create his own shots off the bounce, is effective from the mid-range to the 3-point line, and the size and length to get his jumper off over most defenders. Despite his ability to score the ball, Harrington is at his best when running the offense and looking to set up teammates for quality shots. He has the size to see over the defense, the court vision to find open teammates in tight windows, and good zip on the ball to advance the ball up the court off the defensive rebound. Harrington is a solid defender, has the wingspan to alter shots on the wing or in the post, and plays with good pace and control.
6’6 JJ Harris 2025 Windward (Los Angeles CA)
Harris is one of the more promising long term prospects for the Wildcats, and each time I see Windward play he has solid outings. This was the case in the Wildcats opening round loss to Salesian of Richmond, as he would score 15 points and pull down 6 rebounds, while connecting on 3 threes. Harris can create shots off the dribble, has a smooth stroke from the perimeter, is usually good for a few threes a game, and does a solid job on the boards with the ability to push the ball up the court. Harris is a versatile defender with length, agility, and foot speed to defend in the post or on the perimeter, and uses his wingspan to deflect passes and jump passing lanes to get out in the open court. Harris moves well off the ball and finds the openings in the defense to get clean looks.
6’3 Loukas Jones 2025 Clovis North (Fresno CA)
Jones had the hot hand from beyond the arc for the Broncos against some of the best teams in the West. In Clovis North’s opening round game against eventual Platinum Division runner-ups, St. John Bosco of Bellflower, Jones had the hot hand in the first half, as he would connect on 3 threes. The following day, the Broncos took on Heritage Christian of Northridge and Jones continued to stay hot from distance, as he would lead Clovis North in scoring with 20 points connecting on 6 threes. Jones is one of the top perimeter shooters in the Central Section, and has the moves to create his own shot off the dribble or fluid movement off the ball to get open looks for catch and shoot opportunities. Jones does a solid job on the glass, creates turnovers on the perimeter with active hands, and has limitless range from beyond the arc.
6’8 Tong Mawein 2025 St. Paul (Santa Fe Springs CA)
Mawein had a strong showing in the Platinum Division Consolation quarterfinal loss to San Joaquin Memorial of Fresno. Mawein put up a nice stat line of 17 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 blocks and connected on a pair of threes to keep the Swordsmen close before falling to the Panthers by a score of 55 to 52. Mawein has a big wingspan, runs the open floor well, and is accurate with the 3-ball to space the floor and pull bigger defenders away from the basket. He has decent handles, good moves to create space for the pull-up jumper, and looks to finish above the rim on put backs and lobs. Mawein does a nice job on the glass, alters/blocks shots in the paint and the perimeter, and has the tools to be a high-impact player on both ends. Mawein has good touch around the basket and plays with great energy.
6’5 Julius Olanrewaju 2025 San Joaquin Memorial (Fresno CA)
Olanrewaju has been the leading scorer for the Panthers this season, and he kept that level of play up at the Classic at Damien in the Diamond Division. Olanrewaju led the Panthers in a Consolation quarterfinal win over St. Paul of Santa Fe Springs, as he would score 15 points and collect 9 rebounds. In the Consolation semifinals, Olanrewaju put up a great stat line despite the loss to Rancho Verde of Moreno Valley, as he ended up with 15 points, 9 rebounds, and 6 assists and displayed his versatility as a scorer and play maker. Olanrewaju has solid handles and moves to create scoring opportunities off the dribble, is an effective 3-level scorer, does a solid job on the glass to push the ball up the court, and the court vision to make plays when the defense over plays him. Olanrewaju found sophomore Parker Spees multiple times cutting off ball screens to the basket in stride, which forced the defense to lay off the double teams.
6’5 De’Undrae Perteete 2024 Salesian College Prep (Richmond CA)
Perteete had a huge opening game for the Pride, as he would score 10 of the team’s 14 first quarter points to keep Salesian in the game with Windward up 9 points going into the 2nd quarter. Perteete hit a big 3 point shot in the final frame, one of his three for the game, to help the Pride keep the lead and eventual win, 70 to 66. Perteete impacts the game in various ways on both ends. Defensively, Perteete has the wingspan and frame to defend bigger players in the paint, as well as the length and athleticism to defend perimeter players with the ability to alter shots in both areas of the court. Perteete has enough handle to create off the dribble, moves well off the ball to get open looks from the perimeter, and is accurate with the 3-ball to space the floor. Wing/slasher that plays with a great motor and does a solid job on the glass.
6’7 Jackson Rasmussen 2025 Owyhee (Meridian ID)
Rasmussen provided solid scoring from within 20 feet and did a great job on the glass for the Storm at the Classic at Damien. In Owyhee’s opening round game against La Mirada, Rasmussen led the Storm with a big double-double of 16 points and 11 rebounds en route to the 64 to 57 win. Rasmussen followed that up with a 14 point outing, as he would help USC-bound Liam Campbell stage a near 20-point deficit fourth quarter comeback before falling short to eventual Platinum Division champs Roosevelt of Eastvale, 71 to 66. Rasmussen has nice footwork and post-moves to create separation to score around the basket, has nice touch on the mid-range jumper, enough handle to put the ball on the deck and attack from the high-post, and is able to finish through contact at the basket while getting to the free throw line frequently. Effective enough from the perimeter to draw bigger players away from the rim and open up the floor in the half-court setting.
6’3 Jared Shepherd 2024 American Fork (UT)
Shepherd was on fire from beyond the arc at the Classic at Damien, as was evident in American Fork’s quarterfinal loss to St. John Bosco. Shepherd hit big shot after big shot for the Cavemen, as he would score a game high 21 points and hit on 5 threes in the process. Shepherd did a great job of running off screens, getting to the open spot, and showing off his sweet shooting form from the perimeter off the catch and shoot. Shepherd has enough moves to create off the wing, gets downhill into the defense, and does a nice job of drawing fouls, as was evident with his 3 trips to the line against the Braves. True shooting guard that doesn’t hesitate to let it fly when he gets a sliver of daylight.
5’10 Ike Sutton 2024 Hillcrest (Idaho Falls ID)
Sutton put on an impressive display of scoring and facilitating at the lead guard position, in a consolation quarterfinal win over Rancho Cucamonga in the Gold Division. Minutes into the game, the Knights senior Isaac Davis went down with what looked like a bad injury. After a short delay, play resumed and Sutton went on the attack, as he would finish with a game high 22 points connecting on 3 threes in the process. Sutton was aggressive attacking the basket and earned numerous trips to the free throw line, scoring 9 of his 22 from the stripe. Sutton keeps the ball on a string, weaves through the defense to get open looks, and is accurate from the 3-point line. Sutton has shifty handles, moves to create off the dribble, and the body control to hit tough shots off balance. Sutton has nice touch on the floater, is a creative finisher around the basket over size, and has good court vision to make plays when on the attack.
6’3 Jack Turner 2024 St. John Bosco (Bellflower CA)
Turner has been a four year impact guy on varsity and has been the consistent threat from beyond the arc for the Braves throughout the preseason. The Loyola commit opened up the Damien Classic with 15 points connecting on 3 threes in Bosco’s win over Clovis North. Turner kept it going from the perimeter in the Braves second round win over American Fork, as he would chip in 16 points and another 3 threes. Turner keeps the ball on a string, weaves through the traffic to get open looks, and moves fluidly off the ball to get free for catch and shoot opportunities. Turner is a pesky on ball defender, generates turnovers that lead to transition points, and has the court vision to make accurate passes when on the attack. Turner has range from beyond the arc, which opens up lanes for him to attack with good touch on the floater.
6’9 Darius Wabbington 2027 Sunnyslope (Phoenix AZ)
I had heard about Wabbington from one of Arizona’s top scouts, Gregg Rosenberg of Prep Hoops, and by the end of the Vikings opening game against host team Damien I was truly impressed with the big freshman. Wabbington was a key piece in the tough overtime loss to the Spartans, 80 to 75, as he scored 13 points and pulled down 6 rebounds. Although I did not stat Sunnyslope’s 2nd round game, I did catch the 2nd half and Wabbington was impressive against Campbell Hall of North Hollywood. Wabbington has good hands to receive entry passes, has nice touch around the basket, controls the boards, and is a solid rim protector with the potential to be a high-level shot blocker. What I was most impressed with was the touch on Wabbington’s perimeter shot, especially his accuracy with the 3-ball, as he forces opposing bigs to close out, which opens up the floor in the half court setting. He also showed quality court vision to make reads from the high post. Should be a name in the mix for nationally ranked players when the 2027 class rankings are released.
6’2 Jermaine Washington Jr. Rancho Verde (Moreno Valley CA)
Washington displayed quality decision making at the lead guard position in the Mustangs win over San Joaquin Memorial of Fresno in the Diamond Division Consolation semifinals, 65 to 52. The Panthers forced the ball out of Washington’s hands and he routinely found the open man on the drive and kick-out pass to open shooters. Once his teammates displayed the ability to hit open threes, Washington was able to get one-on-one coverage, which he used his combination of skills and power to get open looks, as he would finish with a game high 24 points and dished out 6 assists. Washington has a physical and athletic build that allows him to finish through contact in the paint, the moves to create separation for the jumper, and the body control to make tough perimeter shots off the dribble. Washington showed improved court vision and decision making with the ball in hand, and did not force the issue looking to score but made the right reads. Defensively, Washington is a tough on-ball defender that looks to rip his opponent and get out into the open court.