Insiders Report: Pangos Jr. All-American Camp
February 25 2018
FULLERTON, CA — It’s no secret that there are too many events in grassroots basketball. Over the years, I’ve altered my approach to selecting which camps and tournaments to attend, and few have withstood the test of time.
That’s one of the reasons why longtime grassroots coach and event host Dinos Trigonis has earned my respect. The creator of the famed ‘Pangos’ event series, Trigonis brought the 2018 Jr. All-American Camp to the campus of Fullerton College over the weekend, and the storylines were plentiful…
NEXT WAVE OF WEST COAST PROSPECTS ON HORIZON
- Class of 2022
- Calabasas, CA
My opinion prior to attending the #PangosJrAACamp2k18 was that the West Coast’s talent level was down in the Class of 2022 compared to its predecessors. While there is still work to be done (keep in mind these players have not yet stepped onto a high school campus), a weekend in Southern California went a long way toward convincing me that there are quality long-term prospects at the top. I’ve learned that early indicators are not always fail-proof and the hope is that the remainder of the depth chart will continue to fill-in during the coming months.
The backcourt stars that shone brightest in their backyard were Skyy Clark and Ramel Lloyd, Jr. while 6-foot-10 big man Henri Adiassa (currently living in California) has improved immensely since I first laid eyes on him last year upon his arrival in the United States from Cameroon. The West Coast talent at #PangosJrAACamp2k18 certainly wasn’t limited to California, as Arizona’s Dorell Thomas proved to be one of the event’s best long-term prospects and Nevada’s Richard ‘Pop Pop’ Isaacs turned heads with his stellar play as well.
I’ll break down the games of all five of the aforementioned prospects and many others with updated scouting reports throughout the week, and close out my two-week journey on the West Coast with a special, hour-long episode of the #TPIPodcast.
CARIBBEAN PROSPECT ANNOUNCES PRESENCE
According to his future head coach, Kevin McCloskey of San Gabriel Academy, 6-foot-6 prospect Randi Ovalle came to the United States last summer from his home in the Dominican Republic. Born and raised in the capital city of Santo Domingo, Ovalle left his native country to seek a better education and more challenging basketball opportunities. Mission accomplished.
Despite still working to overcome the language barrier, Ovalle had his breakout moment at #PangosJrAACamp2k18, showcasing his talents as arguably the most versatile forward in attendance. McCloskey told ThePrepInsiders.com that his young protégé is being groomed as a wing player and his varsity roster certainly has the size to accommodate such a plan. Expect Ovalle to garner more attention during the travel circuit season as he plans to suit up with 15U Dream Vision on the Adidas Gauntlet Series.
ARKANSAS DUO SHINES BRIGHT IN SOCAL SUNSHINE
Aside from the fact that they both reside in Arkansas, Derrian Ford (right) and Nick Smith don’t have much in common on the basketball court, and that’s a good thing. Count me among those that would love to see these two play in a backcourt together one day.
Ford is a dynamo of a lead guard that found ample success at the #PangosJrAACamp2k18 with his aggressive style of play. Strong and athletic, he is deliberate with his dribble, absorbs contact well, and proved to be an excellent playmaker in the lane. Meanwhile, Smith is a perimeter marksman with length, fluidity, and the mindset of a scorer. So what unites this pair? Talent.
CAROLINA CONNECTION EMERGES IN ARIZONA
A native of Durham, North Carolina, Dorell Thomas wasn’t very well-known among the Class of 2022 prospects in his home state. Although he led James E. Shepard (NC) Middle School to a conference championship during his seventh-grade season, Thomas never settled in with a travel team, but continued to work on his game.
Meanwhile, his father, Howard Thomas, was named head coach at burgeoning basketball power Hillcrest Prep in Arizona late last summer. A few months later, the younger Thomas left the Bull City behind, joining his father and older brother, 2019 recruit Dischon Thomas, in Phoenix.
Fast-forward a few months to the #PangosJrAACamp2k18 and Dorell Thomas used the event as his own personal springboard onto the recruiting scene. A 6-foot-4 wing with length that suggests he likely has growing left to do, Thomas was one of the more underrated gems of the weekend, as evidenced by his snub in the ‘Cream Of The Crop’ Top 20 Game. No matter, as the wiry forward is clearly a long-term prospect worth monitoring, with a game that is only beginning to take shape.
SEEING DOUBLE IN ORANGE COUNTY
Yorba Linda, California may not have the reputation for producing hoops talent like some of its Orange County counterparts, but the suburban Los Angeles community can lay claim to a pair of upcoming prospects in the Class of 2023 that happen to live under the same roof.
Jaden Goodall, a 5-foot-7 combo guard, and twin brother Joshua Goodall, a 5-foot-11 forward, are the grandsons of former University of Rhode Island star and long-time NBA guard Steve Chubin. Each sibling showed off excellent ability at #PangosJrAACamp2k18 and obviously have the basketball bloodlines worthy of continuing to monitor their individual development.