Jeron Artest and LV Prospects Slaying in the Spring

Hillcrest Prep's talented 6-foot-3 2020 guard Jeron Artest is spending this spring and summer playing with the AAU nationally recognized program, Las Vegas Prospects 16U Elite squad. Playing next to some of the top underclassmen talent on the West Coast, Artest is flourishing.  Artest has been an offensive weapon that should come with licensing restrictions on a team with as much firepower as they have.  He has shot the ball at a high level and showed off his ability to score at all three levels.  His outside shooting ability has opened up his penetration off the dribble and he has cashed in like a daily paycheck.  

One of his backcourt partners, 6-foot-4 super-talented 2021 combo guard Devin Askew (Mater Dei) has been one of the more impressive prospects I have seen thus far this spring.  The kid plays the game like a Warrior.  He is a competitor and a walking bucket.  On the defensive end, he plays lock-down defense and uses his length to disrupt ball-handlers and passing lanes.  No question, one of my favorite young players on the scene right now.  Can score at every level and has a high, advanced basketball IQ.

As talented as those two volume scorers are, their most intriguing prospect might be 6-7 2021 forward Obinna Anyanwu (San Diego, CA).  There is no question about him being a high-major prospect.  He is long and athletic and has that mold that PAC-12 schools seem to love.  A great finisher around the rim and can take up residency above it.  On the defensive end he has good feet that seem like will only get better as he grows into his body more and has the makings of an elite shot-blocker.  Strikes me as a name we will hear 4 or 5 years from now on TV and say "man, I remember seeing that kid as a freshman on the 16U circuit..."

6-foot-3 2021 guard Thomas Notarainni is a net-ripping, sharpshooting guard.  When he sets his feet he can really light it up from the perimeter.  His underrated skillset is his court vision and passing ability.  It's not always the flashiest pass, but a smart pass to a shooter in the corner or finding the right angle to find a shooter popping up to the elbow for an open jumper.  With the shooters that surround him, he is a dangerous facilitator.

5-foot-10 2021 point guard Alex Wade (San Diego, CA) is as about as smart and heady of a player as you will see as an underclassmen.  Extremely high basketball IQ and a great stroke from the outside.  You will be hard pressed to find a better competitor or basketball brain then Wade.  Also is a much better finisher in the lane then what you would think based on an eye test.  Has a great ability to use the glass at it's highest point to finish over longer defenders.  

As a team, they finished 3-1 against some of the West Coast's top 16U competition in Gerry Frietas' Spring Tip-Off in LA.  They got tested in two games against Arizona programs in two hard-fought victories against Powerhouse 16U Elite and Team Harden.  At the 16U level you will be hard pressed finding a more talented team that plays so well together.  They check all the boxes outside of the bulk in the interior.  But with how fast they move in the open court and the intensity they play with on the defensive end, it easily makes up for it.  They shoot it at a high level, defend and are very well coached by Head Coach Steve Wade.  

Their next showing will be in Dallas for the Nike EYBL event next weekend.  It should be a great test for a very talented team.  Stay tuned..

Justin VargasComment