Garden Grove, CA – The first NCAA Non-Scholastic Live Period of the Summer started on July 6th and ran through Sunday, July 10th. The place to be for independent teams in the Western Region was in Southern California, as there were several certified events taking place over the 5-day live period. I made my rounds to a few events, with the Pangos Sweet 16 Tournament hosted by Dinos Trigonis being the one I attended on Saturday, July 9th. The event featured teams from numerous states, however, my focus was on the 6 teams from the Central Section of California that participated in the event. This article provides player evaluations for 15 of the top performers from the Central Section, which played for the following club teams: E.B.O. 17u and 15u (Fresno), Fresno Wildcats Elite 16u and 15u, and Hoop Phene Elite 17u and 16u (Bakersfield). Although there may have been other players from these clubs that performed well on Friday, July 8th or Sunday, July 10th, this article focuses on the players I saw live on Saturday. This is a group of the top 15 performers from Central Section club teams, but the players are listed in alphabetical order, not in a ranked order. Included in this article are the following: player information , graduation year, high school attended, the club team name, and an evaluation of the player’s skill set and strengths. I begin this article with rising sophomore Remy Barnes.
2025 6’3 Remy Barnes (Hanford-West/CA)-Fresno Wildcats 15u Elite: featured in picture
Barnes is an athletic and lengthy wing/guard that is a scoring threat from a variety of spots on the floor and emerging as an elite perimeter defender. Barnes stays active on the glass, uses his length and handles to create separation from his defender off the dribble, has the moves to get by his opponent, and is a crafty finisher around the basket. Barnes is developing into a 3-level scorer that is accurate scoring the ball from the perimeter, as well as being efficient from the 3-point line. Defensively, Barnes uses his wingspan and agility to shutdown perimeter players, jumps passing lanes with timely reactions, and turns defense into instant transition offense. Barnes had a game high 22 points in the quarterfinals of the 16u Division of the Pangos Sweet 16 tournament.
2024 6’4 JaShaun Banks II (San Joaquin Memorial/Fresno CA)-Fresno Wildcats 16u Elite
Banks is a rangy wing/forward that has improved as a shot-maker and makes his presence felt on the glass. Banks does a solid job on the boards, has good touch on put backs around the basket, and uses his wingspan to alter shots around the basket or on perimeter close-outs. Banks has improved his shooting accuracy from the perimeter, more fluid with his handle and moves creating off the dribble, and effectively spaces the floor with the 3-ball. He plays with good energy on both ends and should serve as a solid piece for the Panthers this upcoming season.
2025 6’7 Isaiah Carter (San Joaquin Memorial/Fresno CA)-Fresno Wildcats 15u Elite
Carter is a forward with good length and instincts around the basket and has a nice mid-post shot. Carter is active on the glass on both ends, gives his team second chance opportunities, limits the opponent to single shot possessions on the defense boards, and is a rapidly improving rim protector in the paint. Carter has good touch on his finishes around the basket, is an accurate shooter from fifteen to twenty feet, and can knockdown the 3-ball on occasion to spread the floor and open up lanes for teammates to attack. Carter is starting to show he can be a double-double a game player that will be an interesting prospect to track from the Central Section.
2023 6’ Gustavo Chavez (West/Bakersfield CA)-Hoop Phene Elite 17u
Chavez is a shooting guard that can catch fire from deep and has range on his 3-ball. Chavez has good moves and handles to create off the dribble, able to weave through the defense to find openings, and is a creative finisher around the basket. Chavez is effective from the perimeter, off the dribble or the catch and shoot, and has range from beyond the arc.
2023 6’6 Michael Davis Jr. (San Joaquin Memorial/Fresno CA)-EBO 17u
Davis is a forward that impacts the game on both ends of the court and can stretch the floor from beyond the arc. Davis had a solid showing at the Pangos Premier 80 Showcase to kick-off the NCAA Live Period and followed this up with a dominant performance for Fresno-based EBO 17u squad at the Pangos Sweet 16 tournament. Davis is an elite rebounder, alter shots around the basket, has the foot speed and agility to step out on perimeter defenders, as well as guarding bigger players in the post. Davis has good touch around the rim and can space the floor from fifteen feet to the 3-point line.
2023 6’6 Jaden Haire (Hanford-West/CA)-EBO 17u
Haire is an athletic and physically gifted forward/wing that can bully in the post or stretch the defense with the perimeter shot. Haire was another player that performed well at the Pangos Premier 80 before showcasing his talents at the Pangos Sweet 16 tournament. Haire is dominant on the boards, is a quick leaper to corral the ball for second chance opportunities, scores routinely on put backs, and is a creative finisher around the basket. Haire is accurate on his perimeter shot with the ability to space the floor from the 3-point line, as well as the moves and handle to create off the dribble when the lanes open up.
2024 6’2 Jaleel Jackson (Bullard/Fresno CA)-Fresno Wildcats 16u Elite
Jackson is a poised lead guard that keeps pressure on the defense and keeps his head on a swivel to make plays for his teammates. Jackson is a prototypical point guard that keeps the ball on a string, has the basketball IQ to orchestrate any offense (high school team or club team), has solid handles to breakdown his initial defender and get into the teeth of the defense, and has the court vision to make precision passes to open teammates. Jackson is effective from the perimeter and can stretch the floor from the 3-point line, as well as having nice touch on his floater in the paint. Jackson is a facilitator first point guard that does have the ability to create his own offense.
2025 6’4 Brendan Keefer-Johns (Centennial/Bakersfield CA)-Hoop Phene Elite 16u
Keefer-Johns is a lengthy forward/wing that can operate in the post, as well as being able to face-up and knockdown perimeter shots. Keefer-Johns is solid on the boards, is capable of rebounding out of his area, allows for second chance points or limits the opponents to one possession, and plays with a great motor to impact the defensive end. Offensively, Keefer-Johns has good touch on finishes around the basket, is accurate with his mid-range shot, and is enough of a threat from the 3-point line to pull bigger defenders away from the basket. Keefer-Johns has good size and as he develops his perimeter skills, he will be a solid wing/forward prospect to track over the next few years.
2025 6’1 James Miller IV (Roosevelt/Fresno CA)-EBO 15u: featured in picture
Miller is a shifty lead guard with elite handles and the ability to create and make difficult shots with the ball in his hands. Miller keeps the ball on a string, weaves through traffic surveying the court, has great court vision, and makes good decisions to find open teammates when attacking off the dribble. As good as Miller is as a playmaker, he is even more electric as a scorer. Miller has nice moves and the handle to shake any defender, makes good use of the hesitation move to freeze his opponent, or he uses his solid frame to bully his way to the cup for tough finishes around the basket. Miller has a deadly stop and pop mid-range jumper, as well as being a knockdown 3-point shooter off the dribble, which makes him difficult to defend when he starts heating up from the perimeter. Miller had an impressive 22 point game in a tough loss in the quarterfinals of the Pangos Sweet 16 event.
2025 5’10 Drew Minnear (Bakersfield Christian/CA)-Hoop Phene Elite 17u
Minnear is a crafty point guard that displays the court vision to make plays, as well as the shooting to keep his defender guessing. Minnear has solid handles, the shift to create off the perimeter to attack the defense, and the decision making to make tough passes in tight windows to open teammates. Minnear is accurate from the 3-point line, has nice touch on his floater over bigs in the paint, and has the ability to creatively finish around the basket. He is a high IQ guard that controls the pace of play and takes what the defense gives him.
2025 6’2 Abram Potts (San Joaquin Memorial/Fresno CA)-Fresno Wildcats 15u Elite
Potts is a combination guard that has emerged as a true 3-level scoring threat with range from beyond the arc. Potts has the handles and the court vision to run the offense, makes good decisions with the ball in his hands, and is solid on the glass. Potts has impressive moves to create separation from his defender, puts the ball on the deck to get to his shot spots, has a nice stop and pop mid-range shot that he hits with regularity, and is accurate from beyond the 3-point line off the dribble or the catch and shoot. Potts had a solid showing at the Pangos Premier 80 Showcase before joining his Fresno Wildcat teammates in the Pangos Sweet 16 event, where his squad won the Consolation Championship in the 15u Division.
2024 5’10 David Rios (Bullard/Fresno CA)-Fresno Wildcats 16u Elite
Rios is a lead guard that makes good decisions with the ball, as he can create for others or for himself. Rios has a good handle on the ball, keeps his dribble tight, looks to attack the defense off the perimeter, and makes the right pass to open teammates when getting down hill on the dribble penetration. Rios is a crafty finisher around the basket over height and is effective from the perimeter, showing good accuracy from the 3-point line off the catch and shoot. Rios missed a majority of his sophomore season due to injury but looked back to his normal self, leaving it all on the floor at the Pangos Sweet 16 event.
2025 5’11 Silas Rodriguez (San Joaquin Memorial/Fresno CA)-Fresno Wildcats 15u Elite
Rodriguez is a conventional point guard that plays with poise and makes quality decisions with the ball in his hands. Rodrigiez has solid handles, the moves to create off the dribble and get into the teeth of the defense, and is a crafty finisher around the basket. He has a nice mid-range jump shot, is effective from the 3-point line, and has sound court vision to create for his teammates when attacking off the perimeter.
2026 6’3 Parker Spees (Buchanan/Clovis CA)-EBO 15u
Spees is a wing/forward with good size and length with the ability to light it up from beyond the arc. This was the first time that I had a chance to see Spees in person and he went for 19 points, as he showcased his accuracy from deep connecting on six threes. Spees has a good handle, is active on the glass, is able to push the pace of play off the rebound, and showed the ability to create off the dribble. Spees has good moves and a long stride, which allows him to get by his man on the perimeter where he can pull-up or get to the basket. Spees should be an impact guy as a freshman, and with his length and projected height to be 6’5” or taller, he will be a player to watch the next four years.
2025 6’ Elijah Wade (Garces Memorial/Bakersfield CA)-Hoop Phene Elite 16u
Wade is a physical and athletic combination guard that can bully his way to the basket and has the ability to put the clamps on opposing ball handlers. Wade has a good handle on the ball, gets downhill with intent to attack the defense, and has the strength to finish through contact at the basket. Wade has shown that he can knock down shots from the perimeter enough to force his defender to close out, which opens up driving lanes for himself and teammates. Wade has good footwork and agility to defend anyone on the perimeter, as well as the strength to defend bigger players on pick and roll switches. The level of energy and intensity Wade plays the game with is second to none and with three more years of high school basketball left, I am looking forward to seeing his development and progression.