MADE Hoops Winter Lea8ue Session III: Saturday Recap
February 10 2018
GREENSBORO, NC — The infamous MADE Hoops Winter Lea8ue arrived in the Hoop State for the kick-off of Session III on Saturday. This weekend is the final regular-season stop, and therefore, the final opportunity for teams to qualify for the MADE Hoops Winter Lea8ue Championships. As always, the event delivered, showcasing more than a dozen of North America’s most elite eighth-grade teams. Here’s a look at some of the storylines following a day of high-level basketball…
THE MADE HOOPS WINTER LEA8UE IS A BIG DEAL
- Class of 2022
- New Castle, DE
The 2018 edition of MADE Hoops’ Winter Lea8ue is certainly not struggling for size. It’s clear that the Class of 2022 has an abundance of young post prospects and ThePrepInsiders.com had the pleasure of watching many of them match-up on Saturday. There are more than a handful of players at or approaching 6-foot-10 but none were better on the opening day of the regular season finale than Jalen Duren. The Team Final forward is a tremendous athlete and competed with excellent energy throughout the day. Several new names set to impact the national player rankings depth chart will be revealed as we break down the top frontcourt performers following the conclusion of the event.
BACKCOURT TALENT (OVER)FLOWING FOR TAKEOVER
I had the fortune of watching both of Team Takeover’s eighth-grade units on Saturday and the biggest takeaway was the backcourt depth shown by both squads. In a game against U-PLAY Canada (Monarchs), it was Knasir “Doug” McDaniel of Team Takeover-Grant who created plays all over the floor. Later, Team Takeover-Oladipo would match-up against the New York Lightning/Wiz Kids, in a contest that saw the backcourt duo of Devin Dinkins and Dylan Williamson combine for eight three-pointers while also getting major contributions from Willie Rivera. Needless to say, the DMV is living up to its reputation as a region that produces high-level guard play, and it will be exciting to document the development of all of these players and take note of any roster shuffling that takes place over time.
TEAM UNITED CAPITALIZES ON OPPORTUNITY
The New York Gauchos were a late scratch from this weekend’s schedule, so Team United stepped in and strutted out a contingent of seventh-graders who were immediately greeted with a grueling slate of games. The consensus was, that while talented, Team United’s Class of 2023 squad would be overwhelmed by the size and athleticism of such a competitive event. That proved to be a very incorrect assumption as the young club flat out battled. Leading the charge for the North Carolina group was the tandem of Jaylen Curry and Robert Dillingham. The pair answered the called and clearly grew through their experience which is the exact premise of the MADE Hoops Winter Lea8ue; provide an opportunity to improve and a platform to be noticed and recognized.
DUARTE MAKING A NAME FOR HIMSELF
The New York Lightning eighth-grade rosters are brimming with players that immediately make spectators stop and watch, as they feature intriguing prospects at nearly every position. On Saturday, as Session III of the MADE Hoops Winter Lea8ue got underway, Lewis Duarte drew a crowd and established himself as the most dominant player on the floor. He filled roles at multiple positions, showcased a savvy scoring arsenal, and displayed an advanced feel when compared to his Class of 2022 counterparts. A native of the Dominican Republic, Duarte is working to overcome the language barrier, but it didn’t matter on this day as he let his game do the talking.
HAVE A DAY, IHSAN DUNCAN
Boo Williams played in two tough battles on Saturday at Session III of the MADE Hoops Winter Lea8ue, narrowly losing the first, and edging out a one-point victory in the second contest. In their loss to the Georgia Stars/ATL Cavs, Ihsan Duncan and Jayden Epps took turns filling the stat sheet. The versatile Duncan took charge once again in the second game of the day, carrying over his production in all categories from earlier in the afternoon, and leading Boo Williams to an impressive victory over Playaz Basketball Club. This team appears to be firing on all cylinders when Duncan is making plays and he’s an excellent complement to the aforementioned Epps.