Modesto, CA – Modesto Christian hosted their 2nd Annual Summer Classic this past weekend, which is an event that has been designed to serve as a warm-up for the illustrious Section 7 in Arizona this upcoming weekend. The Summer Classic is a 3-day tournament that features 64 high school programs from Northern and Central California with games being held at Modesto Christian (the main facility), Ripon, Ripon Christian, and Weston Ranch gyms. I arrived in Modesto on Friday at 1 p.m. in time to catch Monterey Trail and Gregori face off in the opening round of play. I was at the Summer Classic for the first two days and watched games from the round of 64 all the way to the Elite 8. I stayed at Modesto Christian’s gym for both days, as the winning side of the bracket was mostly played at that location along with all four Elite 8 games. Day 2 featured some great match-ups and games that had a regular-season feel to them. The 3 overtime games over a four-game stretch of play highlighted the quality of basketball displayed at the Summer Classic. Branson played in two of the overtime games with a win over Clovis West in the round of sixteen and a tough loss to Jesuit in the Elite 8, and St. Joseph and Sheldon battled it out in the 3rd overtime game with the Knights edging out a win to get to the Elite 8. On Championship Sunday, St. Joseph would defeat Mitty of San Jose in the Final Four, and Jesuit got a win over the host team in Modesto Christian, who was playing without star guards Jamari Phillips and BJ Davis. St. Joseph, behind the MVP play of rising sophomore Tounde Yessoufou, defeated Jesuit to capture the 2nd Annual Summer Classic Title.
This article takes a look at 25 players that had standout performances on the first two days of the Summer Classic. For my Top 15, I provide a recap and evaluation of the players’ skills based on my own observation of each player. The remaining 10 players, listed as Notable Players, all played well and were worthy of name recognition for this article. Given that I was only at the Modesto Christian gym, I was not able to see every team and player, and I know that there were players that had impressive showings but did not make my list. I did include Connor Amundsen of Clovis North and AJ Harris of Piedmont despite not seeing them live based on how well they played and the feedback I got on both from other media and coaches at the event. I have Tounde Yessoufou as the first person in this evaluation based on him being named Summer Classic Most Valuable Player, but after him, there is no rank order for the remaining players in this write-up. Players are listed in alphabetical order with the following information provided for each (graduation year, height, name, and the school they attend). We begin with tournament MVP Tounde Yessoufou.
2025 6’5 Tounde Yessoufou (St. Joseph/Santa Maria CA): Featured in Picture
Yessoufou is a strong and physical all-world athlete that enforces his presence on both ends of the court. Tounde is coming off an extremely productive past few months, playing on the EYBL Circuit with Team Why Not 15U, back-to-back dominant showings at the Pangos Best of SoCal Showcase and the Central Cali Prospect Preview powered by Pangos, which led to an invite to the Pangos All American Camp in Las Vegas a little over a week ago. Yessoufou picked up where he left off in Las Vegas, as he was named Summer Classic Most Valuable Player by leading the St. Joseph Knights of Santa Maria to the championship title. He had games of 24 and 25 points on Saturday and imposed his will on both Mitty and Jesuit on Championship Sunday. Yessoufou has elite bounce, great weak-side blocker, gets off the ground quickly to corral the ball off the glass, and looks to push the pace of play where he is nearly unstoppable in the open court. What I found most impressive about his level of play at the Summer Classic was an improved handle, more consistent from the 3-point line and the perimeter overall, as he connected on 4 threes in the quarterfinal win over De La Salle (who were missing their top prospect in rising sophomore Alec Blair). Yessoufou is a player to watch as he heads into Section 7 with a lot of buzz and coaches looking forward to watching the rising sophomore phenom live.
2023 6’6 Courtney Anderson (Dublin/CA):
Anderson is a strong and athletic guard/wing that can score it from all 3 levels and put up points in volume. Anderson had multiple strong showings for the Gaels, as he went for team-highs of 18 in a blowout win against Vallejo High, 20 points in a win over a tough Bullard of Fresno, and 20 points in a loss to Mitty of San Jose. Anderson has good handles and moves to create off the dribble, the size and physicality to finish through traffic at the basket, has great lift on his jump shot, and continues to improve his accuracy from the 3-point line. Anderson uses his size and quick leaping ability to control the boards has the handle to push the tempo and displays solid court vision to advance the ball and make the right reads when facilitating off the dribble. He is capable of hitting tough shots with good body control and footwork and is looking to throw it down when he sees an opening in the defense.
2023 5’11 Ryan Beasley (Dougherty Valley/San Ramon CA):
Beasley is a shifty lead guard that plays at a fast, yet controlled pace that allows him to get by most defenders with NBA range on the 3-ball. Beasley was leading Dougherty Valley with 16 points on Sheldon’s 2nd team with a big lead before the game was called due to a short power outage from the heat. Beasley had another solid showing in the quarterfinals, with 15 points before the game was cut short. Beasley has great on-court speed that he controls to keep his defender off-balance, has shifty moves to shake his opponent when attacking off the dribble, is a creative finisher around the basket over size, and has bounce to rebound well and push the ball. Beasley is really tough to contain when he has the ball on the go in the open court and has the ability to score from 3 levels making it hard to predict and contain his scoring abilities for an entire game.
2024 6’4 Jase Butler (Branson/Ross CA): Featured in Picture
Butler is a crafty wing/forward that has good size and moves to operate in the post, as well as the handles and moves to create off the perimeter. Butler finished Day 1 with a team-high 17 points in an easy win over Monterey Trail but he really established himself as one of the top players at the Summer Classic on Day 2. Butler went to work on Saturday, as he finished with a team-high 24 points in a thrilling overtime win over Clovis West to advance to the quarterfinals. Butler kept it going in the quarterfinals against Jesuit, where he played the entire game and finished with a game-high 31 points in a tough overtime loss. Butler has solid handles and impressive moves to evade his defender and creates the space needed to shoot over his defender. He makes great use of changing pace with the ball in hand to keep his defender off-balance, and is capable of hitting tough shots from all 3 levels. Butler has impressive footwork and makes nice use of holding his pivot foot to get his own buckets or make plays off the pass. Butler plays with excellent pace and has the stamina to be an effective two-way player. Butler was one of the top performers overall and should be a player that is jumping on more coaches’ radars with his versatile style of play.
2025 6’0 Semetri Carr (Branson/Ross CA):
Carr is a creative and shifty lead guard that puts relentless pressure on the defense and is a knockdown shooter from deep. Carr had 16 points and connected on 4 threes to help Branson advance to the round of 16. After a solid 17-point showing in an exciting overtime win against Clovis West, Carr exploded for 30 points in the quarterfinal loss to Jesuit, where he and teammate Jase Butler nearly carried Branson to the win and bid in the Final 4. Carr has elite handles, makes nice use of change of pace to get defenders off-balance, great use of the hard-pound dribble to freeze his opponent, and has an array of moves to create his own scoring opportunities. He is a creative finisher over height at the basket and has the court vision needed to make the right reads and plays off the dribble drive. Carr has active hands on defense and looks to turn defense to transition offense, where he thrives in the open court with his decision-making. Although Carr has the moves and shake to get by nearly anyone guarding him, his ability to light it up from beyond the arc makes him an even bigger weapon when he puts the ball on the deck to attack.
2026 6’0 Rashod Cotton Jr. (Dougherty Valley/San Ramon CA):
Cotton is a super shifty and crafty lead guard that can score the ball in a variety of ways and plays with advanced confidence in his game as an incoming freshman. I have seen Cotton in various events over the past year and it was interesting to see him play against some high-level high school programs and players. Cotton more than held his own and looked comfortable on the court and did not let routine mistakes affect his confidence. He had 18 points in the team’s 2nd game on day 1 of the Summer Classic as he led Dougherty Valley into the round of sixteen by defeating San Ramon Valley in a great game. Cotton has the handles you look for in a lead guard and the court vision to find open teammates. Cotton showed he has the moves to shake his defender and the creativity to finish over size at the basket. He has good range and form on his 3-point shot and I would expect him to be an impact guy his freshman season.
2024 6’6 Manasse Itete (Modesto Christian/CA):
Itete is a force on both ends of the court and is nearly impossible to contain when he is attacking the basket and he has improved as a threat from beyond the arc. Modesto Christian was without the bulk of their scoring at the Summer Classic, as Jamari Phillips and BJ Davis were out due to varying reasons, and Jalen Brown was coming off being sick for two weeks and it took him a while to get his cardio up to game speed. Therefore, Itete took advantage of the need for scoring and had highs of 15 points in the team’s first game, 12 points in the round of 16 win over Capital Christian, and pulled down countless rebounds in every game. Itete has good post moves, has a physical build to finish through contact around the basket, and showed the ability to space the floor with the 3-ball. Itete imposes his will on the defense and with his frame and athleticism, he is difficult to defend with one person.
2023 5’9 Josiah Johnson (Sheldon/Sacramento CA):
Johnson is a shifty lead guard that keeps relentless pressure on the defense and can hit from beyond the arc with efficiency. Johnson was crucial for Sheldon in their tough overtime loss to eventually Summer Classic champs St. Joseph, as he would score 16 points and hit some tough shots to keep his team close. Johnson has a tight handle on the basketball, plays with good pace and change of speed to keep his defender guessing, and is a creative finisher at the basket over height. Johnson is effective from beyond the arc, and when he starts attacking his shot spots he can score in bunches. Johnson has solid court vision and makes quality decisions with the ball when on the attack. Great motor and plays with a lot of grit and passion.
2024 6’2 Tyler Jones (Archbishop Mitty/San Jose CA):
Jones is a shifty point guard that makes plays with the ball in hand and is efficient from beyond the arc. Jones did a great job at the lead guard spot for Mitty, as he showed the ability to score the ball from 3 levels, as well as make plays for others. Jones went for 14 points in both games played on Day 2 of the Summer Classic, where he showed his ability to score the ball in a variety of ways. In the round of 16 win over Weston Ranch, Jones was on the attack and got to the line routinely and knocked down a 3-ball. In the quarterfinal win over Dublin, Jones connected on 3 threes and served as more of a threat from the perimeter. Jones is a shifty ball handler, has crafty moves to separate from his defender, makes nice use of the change of speed to keep his opponent on his heels, and has a stop on a dime jumper from fifteen feet to the 3 point line. Really good feel for the game and makes quality decisions with the balm in his hands.
2023 6’5 Luis Marin (St. Joseph/Santa Maria CA):
Marin is a smooth operator at the lead guard position that remains in control of the pace of play and can shoot at a high clip from beyond the arc. Marin had a solid game against Sheldon, as he was more of the facilitator and playmaker with 10 points. Marin came out much more aggressive in the quarterfinal game, as he hit 5 threes in the first half and helped blow the doors open on De La Salle to get to the semifinals. Marin is a big lead guard, has nice handles and court vision with a controlled pace of play to orchestrate the offense, has great form on his perimeter shot, and has range with the 3-ball. Marin showcased his all-around strengths at the Summer Classic going for 23 points in the Elite 8, then being more of the facilitator in the round of sixteen. A diverse point guard that makes the right play the team needs, whether that’s creating his own or for his teammates.
2023 6’1 Elijah Mobley (Weston Ranch/Stockton CA):
Mobley is a combination guard that has the court vision to make plays and the skill set to create his own scoring opportunities. Mobley had an impressive showing against Mitty in the round of sixteen, as he went for 16 points and helped get the Cougars back in the game after falling behind early. Mobley has solid handles, good moves to create off the dribble and weave through the defense, and has the strength to finish through contact at the basket. Mobley is efficient from the 3-point line, which opens up driving lanes that he picks apart and makes good decisions when on the attack. Defensively, Mobley has the athleticism and versatility to defend the 1-3 positions and quick hands to create turnovers and transition buckets.
2023 6’10 Prince Oseya (Modesto Christian/CA):
Oseya is a long and lengthy forward that controls the glass and can space the floor from the 3-point line. Oseya picked up his play as the Summer Classic progressed, and had his most impressive showing in Modesto Christian’s quarterfinal win over Dougherty Valley with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Oseya uses his long wingspan and athleticism to protect the rim in the paint, has the agility and lateral quickness to defend perimeter players is relentless on the boards, and has a soft touch on finishes around the basket. Oseya has good form on his shot and when he shoots with confidence he is capable of connecting from fifteen feet and beyond routinely.
2023 6’8 Derek Sangster (Archbishop Mitty/San Jose CA):
Sangster is a lengthy and rangy wing/forward that can operate in the post, as well as space the floor from beyond the arc. Sangster had 19 points in their win over Weston Ranch of Stockton, followed by 15 points in a surprisingly easy win over Dublin, and was the driving force in Mitty making it to the Final Four of the Summer Classic. Sangster has a nice touch on finishes around the basket, draws fouls and is consistent from the charity stripe, controls the boards and alters shots, and is efficient from the 3-point line to space the defense. Skill set and footwork to operate in the post and enough handle to create off the dribble with the length to get by his man to the basket. Sangster has committed to Princeton and is looking to help lead Mitty on a state championship run in his senior campaign.
2023 6’7 Andrej Stojakovic (Jesuit/Sacramento CA): Featured in Picture
Stojakovic is a big guard that plays at a controlled pace, does not get phased by pressured moments in games, and is a knockdown perimeter shooter. Stojakovic started Day 2 off with what looked like an in-game dunk contest from the highlights I saw on Simply Basketball’s Instagram post, as Jesuit would storm past Sacramento High to get to the quarterfinals of the Summer Classic. In the quarterfinal game, despite an amazing showing from Branson’s Butler and Carr, Jesuit, behind the play of Stojakovic and his team-high 24 points, would get the game to overtime and pull out the win, 74-72. Stojakovic has solid handles and moves to create off the dribble, makes great use of his length and size to get by his defender, and is a creative finisher when getting to the basket. He has a smooth shooting form, can light it up from fifteen feet and beyond with the size to shoot over most perimeter defenders, and has a sneaky burst of speed when he accelerates with the ball to blow by his man. Stojakovic is a good rebounder, which allows him to push the ball up the court where he is capable of making plays for others or creating for himself. Impressive poise and pace of play.
2024 6’2 Jackson Young (Clovis West/Fresno CA):
Young is a true shooting guard that has the ability to create off-the-dribble or knock down shots from the catch and shoot off-ball movement and is lethal with the 3-ball. After going 2-0 on Day 1 of the Summer Classic, Clovis West was set to play Branson for a shot at the Elite 8. Young caught fire early and was letting the deep ball fly with no hesitation, connecting on 5 threes in the first half and 7 total for the game, as he scored a game-high 27 points in a tough overtime loss to Branson. Young is a knockdown shooter from the perimeter, nearly automatic from the 3-point line, has enough handle to create off the dribble to get to his shot spots, and given his consistency from the perimeter he is able to get to the basket by attacking open lanes. Young has great off-ball movement, has a relentless motor to keep moving without the ball, and has a quick release to get his shot off with limited space. He is establishing himself as the best pure shooter in the Central Section and will look to keep his hot shooting going at Section 7 in Arizona.
2024 5’11 Connor Amundsen (Clovis North/Fresno CA)*
2023 6’7 Eric Brown (Archbishop Mitty/San Jose CA)
2023 6’3 Jalen Brown (Modesto Christian/CA)
2026 5’10 Joseph Hammond (Branson/Ross CA)
2023 6’5 AJ Harris (Piedmont/CA)*
2025 6’1 Luke Issak (San Ramon Valley/Danville CA)
2024 6’7 Gavin Ripp (Archbishop Mitty/San Jose CA)
2025 5’11 DJ Stickman (Clovis West/Fresno CA)
2023 6’2 Jayden Teat (Capital Christian/Sacramento CA)
2023 6’5 Mehki Thomas (Dublin/CA)
*I did not see this player live at the event but they would likely be in most scouts and media’s top 15 players at the Summer Classic.