By Dinos Trigonis, Nothing But Net Magazine Publisher & Editor-in-Chief
The Pangos Best of SoCal Fall Showcase was held on Saturday September 16th at Assumption Greek Orthodox Church Gym (Long Beach, CA), and as was the case with previous Fullcourt Press/Pangos showcases, there was plenty of talent present.
Five classes (2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022) were represented and they gave us plenty of evidence of both the present and future of Southern California HS hoops.
Baller.tv live-streamed all the games and footage is available for replay. High Light Sports Productions (highlightsports.xyz) and Beach City Hoops were also there in full effect and shot tons of highlights. Below, the focus is on several players that stood out.
PANGOS BEST OF SOCAL FALL SHOWCASE TOP SENIORS
Hunter Woods, 6’6”, 2018, Muir (Pasadena, CA): Versatile swingman was the high scorer with 23 points in the Top 20 Senior Game. Woods has long arms, a quick first step to the cup and real ability to finish in traffic. One of the West Coast’s top uncommitted players in his class.
Darius Brown, 6’0”, 2018, Pasadena (CA): Fast-rising playmaker is starting to make plenty of noise. Cat-quick point guard can score at a high clip as well as handle defensive ball pressure with poise. Brown had an impressive 22 points in Top 20 Senior Game.
Josh Phillips, 6’8”, 2018, Edison (Huntington Beach, CA): Pogo stick PF continues to improve. Potential to be a big-time rim-protector on college level. Decided to end his recruitment recently when he committed to Terry Porter and Portland.
Boe Nguidjol, 6’8”, 2018, Central City Value (Los Angeles, CA): Agile and bouncy PF with excellent upside had 13 points in Top 20 Senior Game. Come March, Boe could be a prospect of high interest by MM and higher programs.
Ofure Ujadughle, 6’3”, 2018, Chino Hills (CA): Aggressive WG is a top-notch defender with an underrated jump shot. Strong play this upcoming season could make him an attractive spring signee. Scored well in the Top 20 Senior Game with 20 points.
Jamal Hartwell II, 5’10”, 2018, Fairfax (Los Angeles, CA): Smooth as silk point guard has an easy time slithering through defensive pressure and his pin-point passing skills make him a very effective facilitator.
Tavian Percy, 6’5”, 2018, Pasadena (CA): Recent Florida import has a nice blend of athleticism and perimeter range on his jump shot. Percy had 14 points with two three’s in the Top 20 Senior Game. Should garner high interest from MWC, WCC and Big West programs.
Gary Harris, 6’5”, 2018, Price (Los Angeles, CA): Very improved athletic wing with an emerging perimeter shot. Harris had 13 points with three three’s in Top 20 Senior Game.
Scooter Smith, 6’3”, 2018, Inglewood (CA): Savvy combo-guard with excellent scoring instincts. Boston University is among those that have offered.
Deshawn Washington, 6’3”, 2018, Cajon (San Bernardino, CA): Sleeper SG with silky touch on perimeter shot and smooth ability to score at the rim.
Levelle Zeigler, 6’2”, 2018, Ridgeview (Bakersfield, CA): Pesky defender plays very hard and is an underrated bucket-maker.
Julian Lopez, 6’4”, 2018, Los Altos (Hacienda Heights, CA): SoCal sleeper has very nice basketball IQ and scoring skills. Good student (3.4 GPA) had 24 points in Top 40 Senior Game which earned him a spot in the Top 20 Senior Game, where he added 16 more points.
Dajion Davis, 6’5”, 2018, Ayala (Chino Hills, CA): Athletic WF continues to refine his skill set and his 15 points with three three’s in Top 20 Senior Game shows that his perimeter shooting is quickly coming of age.
Darryl Polk, 5’8”, 2018, Poly (Long Beach, CA): Speedy small point can penetrate defenses.
Daniel Zahabian, 6’0”, 2108, Beverly Hills (CA)
Zion Speller, 5’11”, 2018, Camarillo (CA)
Claude McKesey 6,0”, 2018, Middlebrooks Academy (Los Angeles, CA)
Josh Tawhiao 6’3”, 2018, Mater Dei Catholic (Chula Vista, CA)
Tyler Bain 6’1”, 2018, Lynwood (CA)
Daisone Hughes 6’0”, 2018, University (Los Angeles, CA)
Darius Ates 6’4”, 2018, Price (Los Angeles, CA)
PANGOS BEST OF SOCAL FALL SHOWCASE TOP JUNIORS
Jarod Lucas, 6’3”, 2019, Los Altos (Hacienda Heights, CA): Confident high-scoring combo can really make it rain from beyond the 3-point arc. “A” student reminds me a lot of former UCLA star G Bryce Alford, the top 3-point shooter in Bruins’ history. Scored a game-high 25 points with five three’s in Top 20 Junior Game.
Jalen Thomas, 6’9”, 2019, University of Detroit Jesuit (Detroit, MI): Big and strong PF plays physical in the paint and has a deceptive scoring touch inside. Formidable defender and rim protector. Had 20 points and 12 boards in Top 20 Junior Game.
Robert McRae, 6’4”, 2019, Fairfax (Los Angeles, CA): Very versatile “jack of all trades” G contributes in so many important ways. McRae is a top-tier defender, excellent passer and rebounder for size, timely scorer and great “glue” guy. Scored 14 points in Top 20 Junior Game. Missed the July evaluation period due to an injury sustained in the Fairfax summer tourney title game right before the July live period started. Big component of Fairfax’s L.A. City-title ambitions this season.
Makani Whiteside, 6’3”, 2019, Taft (Woodland Hills, CA): High-scoring lead guard has transferred after spending his first two years at St. John Bosco (Bellfower, CA). Crafty and creative with the rock, Makani played on the Armenian U20 National Team this past summer at the FIBA U20 European Championships for Small Countries in Romania. Good student with 3.4 GPA, too.
Max Agbonkpolo, 6’8”, 2019, Santa Margarita (CA): Long Austin Daye-type hybrid-forward has a soft shooting touch. HM must-track prospect in his class.
Jonathan Salazar, 6’5”, 2019, St. John Bosco (Bellflower, CA): Panamanian import is a strong and impressive athlete that would make Rolando Blackmon proud.
Jonah Crumpton-Murray, 6’4”, 2019, Buchanan (Fresno, CA): Very improved wing is a West Coast star on the rise. Skilled and athletic, he makes plays on both ends and is a consistent scorer. Had three three’s en route to 15 points in Top 20 Junior Game, which followed a 29-point effort in the Top 40 Junior Game.
Phaquan Davis, 5’10”, 2019, Ayala (Chino Hills, CA): Quick point guard with a dangerous pull-up jump-shot that extends to the 3-point line is also a harassing defender. Just transferred (like older brother Daijon) from Chino Hills (CA).
Dennis Rodman Jr., 6’5”, 2019, Corona del Mar (Newport Beach, CA): Son of former NBA star Dennis Rodman, he is also active on the glass but has better perimeter skills than Pops.
Kaveon Batiste, 6’7”, 2019, Westchester (Los Angeles, CA): Strong forward is a regular visitor on the glass and can finish above the rim in transition. Just transferred from Pacific Hills (Los Angeles, CA).
Michael Ofoegbu, 6’5”, 2019, Mayfair (Lakewood, CA): Athletic wing with effective slashing ability to the cup.
Dylan Cabs, 6’5”, 2019, Mayfair (Lakewood, CA): Big and versatile guard with high upside.
Justin Rene, 6’2”, 2019, Poly (Long Beach, CA): Sharp-shooting SG has range on his jump shot.
Dylan Aiono, 6’5”, 2019, Ayala (Chino Hills, CA): Active WF attacks the basket and finishes well through contact.
Malik Salahuddin, 6’2”, 2019, Poly (Long Beach, CA): Quick and athletic point guard scored 25 points in Top 40 Junior Game. Son of former Long Beach State and overseas G Rasul Salahuddin.
Finnley O’Rourke, 6’7”, 2019, Brentwood (Los Angeles, CA): Skilled forward has nice face-up shooting ability.
Shane Hunter, 6’3”, 2019, Ayala (Chino Hills, CA)
Fernando Gomez, 6’1, 2019, St. John Bosco (Bellflower CA)
Owen Fromm 6’6”, 2019, East Valley (Redlands, CA)
Roman McGee 5’11, 2019, Downtown Magnet (Los Angeles, CA)
Rohan Birch 6’2”, 2019, Ridgeview (Bakersfield, CA)
PANGOS BEST OF SOCAL FALL SHOWCASE TOP SOPHOMORES
Johnny Juzang, 6’6”, 2020, Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood, CA): Juzang had one of the most impressive scoring performances ever at a Pangos/Fullcourt Press showcase: 57 points, including five three’s in Top 20 Sophomore Game. He had 36 points alone in the first half. Big-time wing scorer is lethal off the bounce as well as spotting up from long distance. Excellent student is primed to be a Top 10 kid in this national class.
Aidan Prukop, 6’4”, 2020, Mater Dei (Santa Ana, CA): Apparently inspired by Juzang, he had 40 points with six three’s of his own in the Top 20 Sophomore Game.Terrific perimeter shooter is also a very good student with a 3.5 GPA.
Jahveon Medearis, 6’4”, 2020, Cantwell (Montebello, CA): Slender wing has high octane scoring ability. Had 23 points in Top 40 Sophomore Game.
Jaden Jones, 6’4”, 2020, Cantwell (Montebello, CA): Long wing is engaged on both ends and has a knack for scoring. Excellent student had 15 points in Top 20 Sophomore Game. Dad is Derek Jones, who played at Cal State Fullerton in late 80’s.
Brase Dottin, 6’6”, 2020, Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood, CA): Strong and energetic wing forward has very nice all-around skills. Dottin had 15 points in Top 20 Sophomore Game.
Jordan Montgomery, 6’1”, 2020, Rancho Christian (Temecula, CA): Solid point guard makes sound decisions and knows how to run a team. Very good student had 16 points in Top 20 Sophomore Game.
Justin Kirkpatrick, 6’4”, 2020, Hesperia (CA): Strong wing can finish in paint despite contact. Underrated athlete.
Evan Oliver, 5’11”, 2020, Citrus Valley (Redlands, CA): Dazzling playmaker with excellent pull-up jump shot connected on three three’s in Top 20 Sophomore Game. Son of Cal State San Bernardino head coach Jeff Oliver.
Logan Stout, 6’3”, 2020, Wonderful College Prep (Delano, CA): Sharpshooting off-guard has deep 3-point range. Outstanding student with a 4.0 GPA.
Davian Brown, 5’11”, 2020, Pasadena (CA)
Quincy McGriff 6’5”, 2020, Westchester (Los Angeles, CA)
Xan Wesley, 6’3”, 2020, Redondo Union (Redondo Beach, CA)
Calin Whitney 6’0”, 2020, Villa Park (CA)
Cheik Kone, 5’10”, 2020, Santa Monica (CA)
Aibigho Ujadughle, 6’0”, 2020, Chino Hills (CA)
Dion Porter, 6’2”, 2020, Los Altos (Hacienda Heights, CA)
PANGOS BEST OF SOCAL FALL SHOWCASE TOP FRESHMEN
Devin Askew, 6’2”, 2021, Mater Dei (Santa Ana, CA): Smooth and skilled, Askew has potential to be the next big-time lead guard out of Southern California. Crafty ball skills, tremendous floor vision and passing skills and dangerous 3-point shooting ability make him an attractive HM target coast to coast. Askew also played up in the Top 20 Soph Game in this event and did not waste the opportunity to make an impact with 24 points and eight assists.
Wilhelm Breidenbach, 6’9”, 2021, Mater Dei (Santa Ana, CA): Active PF looks like Kurt Rambis (wears goggles) and plays like Kevin McHale. Impacts the game in many ways on both ends. HM in the making.
Solomon Jones, 6’6”, 2021, Bishop Montgomery (Torrance, CA): Strong and bouncy F is just scratching the surface of his HM potential. The next big star at his school.
Justin Ebor, 6’7”, 2021, Oak Park (CA): Hard-working and agile PF is a factor on the glass and has an impressive scoring touch.
Harry Hornery, 6’8”, 2021, Mater Dei (Santa Ana, CA): Skilled young forward with sneaky athleticism.
Christian Bento, 6’11”, 2021, Great Oak (Temecula, CA): Bento is by no means a finished product but the size and work ethic is there to merit MM to HM monitoring over the course of the next few years.
Sam Ibeh, 6’5”, 2021, St. Pius/St. Matthias (Downey, CA): Canadian import who played for the UPlay program last year is raw and athletic with nice upside.
Luke Turner, 6’6”, 2021, Rancho Christian (Temecula, CA): Pure shooter with nice length and basketball IQ. Terrific student with a 4.0 GPA had 14 points in Top 20 Freshman Game.
Kevin Bradley, 5’8”, 2021, St. Pius/St. Matthias (Downey, CA): Young, quick PG is the son of former Crenshaw star and Utah point guard Kevin Bradley.
Donovan Cox, 6’0”, 2021, Rancho Christian (Temecula, CA)
Devin Walker Lewis 6’3, 2021, Los Altos (Hacienda Heights, CA)
Bradley Luna, 6’3, 2021, Edison (Huntington Beach, CA)
Nicholas Leveratto, 5’9, 2021, Centennial (Corona, CA)
(Photo credit: Scott Kurtz)