Two weeks ago, October 16th and 17th, West Coast Elite hosted the Bakersfield Exposure Camp at Dignity Sports Complex in Bakersfield, CA. This event featured approximately 80 boys high school basketball players from various cities throughout the Central Section, as well as players from Washington, Hawaii, Texas, and Northern and Southern California. Players participated in 5 showcase games, which were made up of 8 teams. This article features 15 players from the Central Section of California that had standout performances. There were some players that reside outside of Central California that performed very well, but the focus of these player evaluations was on players local to the area. There is no ranked order for the players listed.
2024 6’5 Zykiar Henderson (Frontier HS/Bakersfield): Featured in Picture
Henderson has had an impressive few showings at showcase events in the Central Section over the past month, as well as solid play in Fall League games with his high school team, and he continued to play at a high level at the WCE Bakersfield Exposure Camp. Henderson has a physical build and good size, combined with perimeter skills to be a big guard. He has good handles and control of the basketball, effective moves to create off the wing, the size to bully his way past his defender, and good body control to finish through contact at the rim. Henderson displays good court vision, reads the defense nicely to make plays with the ball in hand, is able to control the glass, which allows him to initiate the transition offense, and is efficient from the 3 point line. He has true 3 level scoring capabilities and can rise up on his opponent with sneaky bounce.
2024 5’10 Connor Amundsen (Clovis North HS):
Amundsen has participated in numerous events since the start of the Fall high school camp/showcase season and has shown out at every stop, including a spot in the Creme of the Crop Top 30 Game at the Pangos All-West Frosh/Soph Camp and Top Performer at the Inaugural Central Cali Hoops Next Up Showcase. Amundsen continued his high level of play at the WCE Bakersfield Exposure Camp as one of the top performers. He has solid handles to keep the ball on a string, continuously surveys the floor while keeping his dribble, stays poised under pressure, and has great court vision to make plays when on the attack from the perimeter. Amundsen is super shifty with his handles, makes nice use of the hesitation to keep pressure on the defense, has the moves and shot making capability to score effectively from all 3 levels, is a knockdown 3 point shooter, and is creative to finish at the rim over bigger players.
2022 6’2 Ryan Chavez (Immanuel HS/Reedley):
Chavez is a crafty lead guard that can light it up from beyond the arc. He has great court vision, surveys the floor to find holes in the defense, pin-point passes to find open teammates in tight windows, keeps the ball on a string, and is capable of breaking his initial defender down and getting into the teeth of the defense. Chavez has a smooth stroke from deep, is a real threat from well beyond the high school 3 point line, has shifty moves to create separation from his defender, has nice touch on his floater when attacking down the lane, and is a creative finisher around the basket. Tough defender that disrupts passing lanes and turns defender to offense.
2022 6’ Tyler Silva (Frontier HS/Bakersfield):
Silva had an impressive AAU Spring and Summer seasons, and has carried that level of lead guard play into the Fall portion of the high school basketball calendar, showing that he has emerged as one of the top players in the South Valley. Silva is a dynamic point guard with elite handles, stays poised with the ball in his hands, orchestrates the flow of the offense, has a strong dribble to weave through the defense, and good court vision to make plays off the dribble penetration. Silva is efficient shooting the 3 ball, able to finish through contact at the basket, and is a tough shot-maker from 15 plus feet. He is a tough minded defender that gets into his opponents’ space and disrupts passing lanes, which leads to easy transition points.
2022 6’6 Cameron Brown (Independence HS/Bakersfield):
Brown is a lengthy combo guard that impacts the court on both ends at a high level, which he had on display at the WCE Bakersfield Exposure Camp! Brown has nice handles, has the size and court vision to be a facilitator at the lead guard position, has great range on the 3 ball, especially his side-step 3 pointer, makes nice use of the hesitation to get his defender off balance, and uses his long strides to get into the painted area and finish around the rim. Defensively, Brown is a great transition shot blocker, and uses his wingspan to disrupt passing lanes and create turnovers.
2022 6’2 Stephon Brooks (West HS/Bakersfield):
Brooks is a strong and skilled lead guard that keeps constant pressure on the defense, as was displayed at the WCE Bakersfield Exposure Camp. Brooks has a strong handle on the ball, remains poised under pressure, always has his eyes up surveying the floor to find open teammates, and plays downhill generating contact and fouls on the opposition. Brooks has nice body control, gets into his opponent’s body with the power to muscle through the contact, is efficient from beyond the arc, has the stop on a dime jumper, and keeps the defense off balance with his ability to change direction and effectively use the hesitation dribble to create open looks. Brooks is capable of hitting tough shots and scores in bunches.
2022 6’2 Blake Dibble (Centennial HS/Bakersfield)
Dibble is a true shooting guard that has developed into an all around scoring threat, as was on display at the WCE Bakersfield Exposure Camp. Dibble is a lights out 3 point shooter with great form, has shifty handles and crafty moves to generate separation from his defender, has great touch on his floater over bigger players, and is a creative finisher around the basket. Dibble has become a true 3 level scoring threat, and had 41 points and 33 points in his 2 showcase games played on Day 2 of the event.
2024 6’4 Zy’Kayvious Reese (West HS/Bakersfield):
Reese is a wing/forward with a solid frame, along with the athleticism to play various positions on both ends that he displayed at the WCE Bakersfield Exposure Camp. Reese is a high level rebounder, has good handles to push the rock to generate transition opportunities, has a soft touch and creativity to finish through contact at the rim, and is an effective shooter from 15 plus feet from the basket. Defensively, Reese locks in on defense, has the foot speed to defend on the perimeter and strength to bang in the paint, and plays with a great motor.
2023 6’6 Jaden Haire (Hanford-West HS):
Haire is a solid 2-way player that impacts the game in a variety of ways, which was on display at the WCE Bakersfield Exposure Camp! Haire is a physical and athletic guard/wing that controls the boards, has the agility to defend multiple positions, has strong hands to rip the ball from opponents, and alters shots on perimeter players. Offensively, he has quality ball-handling skills, impressive court vision and poise to initiate the offense at the top of the key, crafty moves to get downhill and attack the defense, a smooth turn around mid-range jumper from the post, the strength to finish through contact, and can stretch the floor from beyond the arc.
2023 6’3 Jhase Boston (Stockdale HS/Bakersfield):
Boston is a physical lead guard that has the skill to be a volume scorer, which he displayed at the WCE Bakersfield Exposure Camp. Boston is a legit scoring threat from all 3 levels, has a strong handle on the ball to slice through the defense, and the strength to get his shot off around the rim. He has crafty moves to create off the dribble, a nice mid-range jump shot, efficient from the 3 point line, and understands how to create space to score the basketball. Boston is active on the glass and looks to push the tempo where he excels. He is making great strides going into his junior season.
2024 6’3 Jeremy Pierro (Clovis East HS):
Pierro is an evolving 2-way perimeter player that has really stepped up on the defensive side of the ball to match his lights out shooting ability on offense. Pierro has a long wingspan that allows him to frustrate opponents when he gets in their dribbling space, quick hands to poke the ball away, and getting better at using his length along with his timing to alter shots. Offensively, Pierro has a pretty shooting form, is knockdown with the 3 ball, fluid movement off the ball, allowing him to get to his shot spots, can create off the dribble as defenders closeout, and is creative with the finishes around the basket.
2023 6’1 Myles Elam (Stockdale HS/Bakersfield)
Elam is a physical and playmaking lead guard that controlled the pace of play at the WCE Bakersfield Exposure Camp. Creative handles to weave through the defense, solid court vision to find open teammates, and he rebounds the ball well for his size, allowing him to push the ball in transition. Good size and body control to finish through contact when attacking off the perimeter. Elam was efficient from beyond the arc and has a nice shot. I need to add him to my 2023 Central Section Player Rankings for sure.
2024 6’2 Jordan Espinoza (Clovis North HS):
Espinoza is a physical and crafty perimeter player that can do a multitude of things on the court to impact the game. Espinoza has the strength to finish through contact at the basket, rebounds really well for his size, has a soft touch around the rim, is an effective shooter from the 3 point line, and plays with grit and toughness that is hard to match on the court. Espinoza can create off the perimeter or he can bully smaller defenders to the basket.
2024 5’8 Jovarie Hayden (Ridgeview HS/Bakersfield):
Hayden is an explosive lead guard that can create for himself or make plays to get others involved. Hayden has shifty handles, keeps the ball on a string with good control, is able to weave through the defense and has the court vision to find open teammates when attacking off the dribble, and can score it from all 3 levels. Hayden moves well off the ball and gets to spots where he can create off the catch and put pressure on the defense. He has quick hands on defense and plays the game with poise and confidence.
2025 5’10 Silas Rodriguez (San Joaquin Memorial HS/Fresno):
Rodriguez is an emerging lead guard that controls the pace of play and makes good decisions with the ball in his hands, as was on display at the WCE Bakersfield Exposure Camp. Rodriguez keeps the defense on its heels changing direction with the ball in hand, using the hesitation to get defenders on his hip, keeps his head up surveying the floor, and gets downhill forcing the defense to collapse, opening up teammates for looks on the perimeter. He has a smooth shot from the 3 point line, is a creative finisher over size at the rim, and does not get rattled when under pressure. Rodriguez showed his game and physicality are capable of performing well against the older players at the event.