Modesto, CA – Saturday, August 20th, Simply Basketball hosted their 2nd Annual Battle of NorCal All-Star Showcase at Modesto Christian High School. The event featured approximately 40 top prospects that represented four teams from four different regions (the 209 area, the 916 area, Central California, and the Bay area) that consisted of two semifinal games, a consolation game, and the championship game. The first game pitted Team 209 and Team 916 against each other, with Team 209 getting the win, 85-70. The second game was The Bay against Team Central, where The Bay made a double-digit comeback to get the win, 91-89. After the two semifinal games, the event featured a 3-point contest, won by AJ Harris of Piedmont, and a dunk contest, which was won by Prolific Prep’s Zion Sensley. In the consolation game, Team Central had another double-digit lead but fell short to Team 916 by a score of 73-71. Team 209 jumped on The Bay squad early and never looked back, as Jamari Phillips and BJ Davis showed why they will be one of the best backcourts in the country for Modesto Christian this upcoming season, finishing with 18 points and 19 points respectively. Phillips earned MVP honors for the event and Team 209 won the Battle of NorCal championship for the second consecutive year, earning the title Kings of Norcal. This article takes a look at 10 players that had standout performances and were my Top 10 Performers of the All-Star Showcase. Although these are my top 10 players, they are listed alphabetically not in a ranked order. The article is an evaluation of the players’ skill set, their performance at the event, and their player information. We begin by looking at Aden Cury from Team Central.
2023 6’5 Aden Cury (Santa Cruz/CA):
Cury is a physical and skilled wing that can light it up from beyond the arc and has limitless range. Cury had two impressive showings for Team Central at the Battle of NorCal event, as he led the team in both games with 20 points and 12 points, connecting on 10 threes overall. Cury has a smooth stroke on his shot, can pull off the dribble or the catch and shoot with accuracy from the 3-point line, enough handles and moves to get to the basket where he has the strength to finish through traffic, and is a solid rebounder that can push the pace of play. Cury moves very well off the ball to get to his shot spots, positions himself nicely to be ready to catch and fire, and has a quick release requiring minimal spacing from his defender to get his shot off. Cury provided a needed perimeter spark for Team Central, as it was scoring a majority of its points around the basket.
2023 6’2 BJ Davis (Modesto Christian/CA):
Davis is an impact 2-way combination guard that can score at a high clip, make plays for his teammates, and can lock up the opponents’ top guard. Davis played more of the playmaker role in Team 209’s semifinal win over Team 916, but came out more aggressive offensively in the championship game, as he would finish with a team-high 19 points in a win over The Bay squad. Davis has elite handles, keeps the ball on a string to constantly survey the floor, the court vision to find teammates in tight windows, and is tough to defend on the pick and roll. Davis has an array of perimeter moves to create off the dribble, shifty body movement to get open looks, and is a true 3-level scoring threat with deep range from the 3-point line. Defensively, Davis has good footwork, lateral agility, and active hands to be a lockdown on-ball defender that generates turnovers that lead to easy transition baskets.
2023 6’5 Jalen Glenn (Inderkum/Sacramento CA): featured in photo
Glenn is an athletic and bouncy combination guard that can score in volumes from various spots on the court. Glenn had an impressive showing at the Battle of NorCal and had the single-game scoring high of the event with 29 points, connecting on 5 threes, in Team 916’s semifinal loss to Team 209. Glenn has solid handles, shifty moves to create separation off the dribble, makes nice use of the hesitation to keep his opponent off balance, and is efficient with the 3-ball. Glenn has good body control when on the attack and the creativity to finish over size at the basket. Glenn rebounds the ball well, which allows him to push the pace of play in the open court, where he can make plays for others or go get his own bucket.
2023 6’6 Jamar “JJ” Howard (Mission Prep/San Luis Obispo CA):
Howard is an athletic and tough-minded wing/forward that plays with relentless energy on both ends and can space the floor with the 3-ball. Howard made the most of his showing at the Battle of NorCal event, as he would put up 19 points for Team Central in their semifinal loss to The Bay, finished as runner-up in the dunk contest, and had 10 points in Team Central’s loss to Team 916 in the consolation game. Howard is dominant on the glass, the handles to push the tempo in transition, is a serviceable shot-blocker around the basket and on the perimeter, and is capable of defending the 1-4 positions effectively. Howard has elite bounce, gets off the floor quickly, looks to throwdown anything around the basket, generates perimeter turnovers frequently that lead to easy baskets, and is accurate from the 3-point line. Howard plays with great energy and is still scratching the surface on his overall development as a shot creator off the wing.
2025 6’7 Mark Larvenov (Rocklin/CA):
Larvenov is a physical and skilled forward that asserts himself around the basket with the ability to connect from the perimeter. Larvenov had a monster performance in the consolation game, as he finished with a game-high 22 points and at least 10 rebounds in Team 916s win over Team Central. Larvenov is a force on the boards, provides his team with second chance opportunities, has a nice touch on his finishes around the basket, and has the strength to finish through contact in the paint. Larvenov has a good shooting form, is accurate from the mid-post to the 3-point line extended, and has enough handle to put the ball on the floor and attack off the dribble. Larvenov has a great motor and should be a force as a rising sophomore for Rocklin this upcoming season.
2023 6’11 Prince Oseya (Modesto Christian/CA):
Oseya is a lengthy forward/center that thrives on finishes around the basket off the offensive glass or the pick and roll action. Oseya had two solid showings in both games and was a major force in the post on both ends to help Team 209 win the Battle of NorCal championship for the second year in a row. Oseya has a soft touch around the basket, provides his team with multiple chances on offense and limits the opponent to a single possession on the defensive glass, and is a high-level rim protector and shot block with the ability to step out and connect on the perimeter. Oseya does an excellent job of setting his guards up with the high screen and has nice timing on his rolls, which leads to numerous flushes and easy points for him on the receiving end. Oseya can space the floor with the 3-ball enough to keep the defense honest and is improving the skill to get downhill off the perimeter.
2024 6’4 Jamari Phillips (Modesto Chirstian/CA): featured in photo
Phillips is an elite shot maker that scores in volume from all 3 levels and is becoming more of a 2-way threat on the court. Phillips was the highest ranked national prospect at the Battle of NorCal event and he lived up to that status earning Most Oustanding Player and leading Team 209 to their second consecutive championship. Phillips had 26 points in Team 209’s semifinal win over Team 916, and 18 points in the championship game win over The Bay squad to solidify the event MVP honors. Phillips has a tight handle on the ball, moves to create separation from his defender, limitless range on his perimeter shot, makes great use of the hesitation to freeze his opponent, and is a creative finisher at the basket. Phillips has the body control and the shot creativity to take and make difficult shots from fifteen feet and beyond, and does not let the defense rush his pace of play. Phillips is one of the best pure scorers in the nation and is improving as an on-ball defender and playmaker on offense.
2024 6’4 Ben Roseborough (Monterey Trail/Elk Grove CA):
Roseborough is a physical and highly skilled combination guard that can score it in a variety of ways from all 3-levels effectively. Roseborough had two solid showings at the Battle of NorCal, as he scored 12 points in each game and had some dazzling buckets, as well as some monster throwdowns in the dunk contest. Roseborough keeps the ball on a string and his handle tight, has elite moves to create off the dribble, shifty body movement while under control, and the strength to finish through contact when attacking the basket. Roseborough has limitless range from beyond the arc, capable of making difficult perimeter shots routinely, smooth stop and pop mid-range jumper, and excels in the open court. His spin move when attacking the basket is nearly impossible to defend.
2023 6’8 Derek Sangster (Archbishop Mitty/San Jose CA):
Sangster is a lengthy and agile wing/forward that makes his presence felt in the paint on both ends with the ability to knock down the 3-ball to keep the defense honest. Sangster had a big game in the championship for The Bay team, leading it in scoring with 16 points despite falling to Team 209. Sangster has good touch around the basket, uses his length for creative finishes around the rim, controls the boards on both ends, and has enough handle to push the ball up the court. Sangster is enough of a threat from the perimeter with good accuracy from the 3-point line, which forces his defender away from the basket and opens up driving lanes. He does a solid job of getting downhill when attacking off the perimeter and with his long stripes, Sangster is able to get by his opponent into the lane.
2024 6’8 Zion Sensley (Prolofic Prep/Napa CA):
Sensley is a lengthy and athletic wing/forward that can space the floor from beyond the arc or take flight when attacking the basket. Sensley had a great showing at the Battle of NorCal event, as he led The Bay team with 19 points in their win over Team Central, won the dunk contest, and added 13 points in The Bay’s loss in the championship game. Sensley controls the boards, has enough handle to push the ball off the glass in the open court, and looks to go at the rim with authority often. Sensley is efficient from the 3-point line, improving his range from beyond the arc, and can create off the dribble to attack open lanes when defenders over pursue on closeouts. Sensley connected on 6 threes over the two games he played in, and has become a more viable threat as a rim protector. Sensley looked much more fluid with the ball in hand and aggressive on both ends of the court.