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Good Young Players Highlight Rick Bolus' High Potential "Blue Chip" Basketball Camp

Published on June 30, 2016 by Clark Francis

I attended the three all-star games last night at Rick Bolus' High Potential "Blue Chip" Basketball Campand the highlight of the evening was watching all of the good young players who were in attendance at this year's camp.  We begin with 6'3 8th Grader Noah Courtney from Louisville (Male) KY, who not only played up in class against guys two-and-three-years older than he is, but also knocked down a pair of threes and shared co-MVP honors for his team in the Second 20 All-Star Game in the High School Division.  However, even more important, Courtney is an athletic wing player with excellent speed and quickness in the open court, good moves to the basket, and it looks like he's only just beginning to scratch the surface in terms of reaching his upside and potential.  And, with his long lanky frame, we also think he has plenty of growth left in him, which means he may end up topping out at 6'7 or 6'8.

We also were very impressed with the 6'3 8th Grader Kenny White from Madisonville (Hopkins County Central) KY, who knocked down a pair of threes, scored 10 points, and was the MVP for his team in the Jr. All-Star Game.  We're talking about a multi-dimensional athletic combo forward with good hands and excellent nose for the ball, the ability to score in a variety of ways, and the natural talent necessary to clearly be the best player in the game.  The other guy who really separated himself from all of the rest in the Jr All-Star Game was 5'7 8th Grader Keshawn Stone from Madisonville (Hopkins County Central) KY, who finished with 11 points and made a living using his speed and quickness in the open court, finishing at the rim, and being one of the only players in the game that played any defense.  And, of course, there also was 5'7 8th Grader Blasin Moore, who will be the teammate of both White and Stone next year at Madisonville (Hopkins County Central) KY.  Not only was Moore perfectly positioned to get the offensive rebound and score the game winning shot to make the final score 55-53, but he also was excellent in transition, had a soft touch around the basket, and showed the versatility necessary to both inside and outside.  However, he will need to continue to grow, become a tougher customer, and show more of an outside shooter's mentality, if he wants to keep up with his two aforementioned high school teams.

There also was 6'3 8th Grader Jack Cooper from Mason (H.S.) OH, who showed a nice spin move in the lane, knocked down a three, and impressed with his deceptive quickness around the basket and ability to block shots, rebound, and score inside while match-up against 6'8 8th Grader Preston Murrell from Elizabethtown (John Hardin) KY.  Speaking of Murrell, he's not very mobile and agile, but he sets a lot of picks and screens, knows how to take advantage of his size to get put-backs and rebounds around the basket, and, like they say, you can't teach size.  And really that's the big key here, as several more inches will make a big difference in the level at which he ultimately ends up playing someday.  The MVP of the Camp in the Jr. Division was 6'0 8th Grader Vontray Nickerson from Mt. Morris (H.S.) MI and, although he did get some boards and was tough around the basket, we expected more than five points from this athletic 4-man.  In sharp contrast, we really liked the way 5'1 7th Grader Jake Whitlock from Taylorsville (Spencer County) KY got his teammates involved, lit it up from downtown, and dived for loose balls.  And what about 5'10 8th Grader Trevon Harris from Elizabethtown (John Hardin) KY, who didn't score a single point in the Jr. All-Star Game, but impressed us with his ball handling and passing skills and speed and quickness in the open court?

The best player in the Top 20 Game in the High School Division was 6'4 Soph Ethan Haynes from Florence (Boone County) KY and, although he did score 20 points and had a pair of 3-pointers, he was one of the few players in the game who actually was not a selfish pig and actually did things within the context of the game.  We're talking about an athletic wing forward with a silky smooth demeanor and the versatility necessary to play anywhere from the two to the four-spot.  He also is an excellent passer, knows how to compete, and has a knack for being in the right place at the right time and making difficult plays look easy.  And, sharing MVP honors in the Top 20 Game, along with Thompson, was 5'7 Jr Terrell Wilson from Mount Juliet (H.S.) TN, who showed deep range on his jump shot and knocked down six treys en route to 20 points.  He probably will not project as a Division I player a year from now due to his lack of size, but we also liked his quickness and athleticism and confident that he will be a steal for somebody at the Division II or Division III level.

On the other hand, 6'0 Jr George Haynes from Fayetteville (Our Lady of Mercy) GA had a tendency to over handle and did a better of creating for himself than his teammates and 6'0 Jr Kelshawn Mozee from Louisville (Butler) KY was just a good old-fashioned gunslinger.  The former is more of a slasher than a shooter, but he was explosive in the open court, as he got to the rim and he was good enough all week to take home Camp MVP honors in the High School Division.  The latter not only finished with three 3-pointers and 13 points in the Top 20 All-Star Game, but also won the camp's Slam Dunk Contest and had one spectacular dunk when he lobbed it off the top of the glass, caught it, and slammed it home.  We also probably should mention 6'0 Jr Noah Cunningham from Madisonville (North Hopkins) KY took a lot of bad shots, but impressed us with his deceptive athleticism and scored 14 points in the Top 20 All-Star Game. 

We also don't want to forget about two other guys who played well in the Second 20 All-Star Game.  The first is 6'5 Jr Charlie Cochran from Shelbyville (Collins) KY, who finished with 11 points in the game and impressed us with his ability to rebound and score around the basket and willingness to do the little things that helped his team almost win the game.  However, 6'0 Frosh Tyler Beauchamp from Kingsford (H.S.) MI, who is the second guy that we want to mention, prevented that from happening when he knocked down his third trey of the game at the buzzer.  The final score was 65-64 and Beauchamp, who finished with 13 points, was named the Co-MVP for his team.

Editor's Note:  It is the editorial policy of the HOOP SCOOP to move all players up in class a year, unless otherwise denoted, on July 1st and, as a result, all of the players in his article are listed in the class that they were in this past year, instead of the one that they enroll in for the coming year.  However, in order to make it easier to keep track of the mentioned above mentioned players who in the Class of 2020 for the purpose future rankings and recruiting, we have listed them with the high school that they plan to attend next year, instead of the middle school that they attended last season. 

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