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Holiday Hoopsgiving Recap

11/30/2015, 9:00am EST
By Dylan Prezkop

We spent the weekend in the ATL at a loaded event.

Hoopsgiving

ATLANTA, Ga. -- The Holiday Hoopsgiving has quickly established itself as one of the premier events in the south during high school season, and the event is only in year two. Event director Chris Williams put together a great field and made sure to be one of the most hospitable directors you’ll find anywhere. The event is run fantastically and the city of Atlanta came out to support, selling out both nights of the event, heck NBA legend "Dr. J" Julius Erving even made an appearance, and providing for a great atmosphere. This is an event that we will not miss in the future.

Day 1
East Jackson 83-76 over Columbia
Potter’s House (FL) 52-49 over Covenant Christian
Greenforest Christian 87-59 over Pebblebrook
Douglas County 84-81 over McIntosh
Westlake 71-54 over IMG Academy (FL)

Day 2
Holy Innocents 64-62 over Sacred Heart (AL)
22 Ft. Academy (SC) 54-52 over Potter’s House (FL)
McIntosh 61-53 over IMG Academy (FL)
Greenforest Christian 77-48 over Norcross
Westlake 79-72 over Pace Academy

This event was absolutely loaded and as a result, it was extremely hard to pick a list of standouts. So we went with the players who impressed us the most, along with some players who were just so good it would be impossible to leave them off. Here’s the standouts:

Udoka Azubuike – 2016 C – Potter’s House Christian (FL)
The most physically imposing player in the country did not disappoint this weekend. Despite rolling his ankle pretty badly on Friday, the coaches could not keep the big fella off the court. He is absolutely unstoppable 1 on 1 on the block and it honestly takes the entire defense to collapse down on him to get a stop. He seems like he’s bound to absolutely destroy a hoop soon. Florida State has been seen as the favorite in his recruitment but Roy Williams and another assistant from North Carolina were in the gym to see him on Saturday.

Eli Wright – 2016 SG – 22 Ft. Academy (SC) – Mississippi State Signee
Although he did not get many minutes due to missing practice the day before due to a family issue, Eli certainly made the most of them when he was in. He is an absolutely effortless scorer that had it going on all three levels to the tune of 14 points in about 10 minutes of game time. He has truly taken his game to another level since the start of July and Mississippi State fans will be very happy when he takes the floor for them.

Travis Anderson – 2018 PG – East Jackson (GA)
He was one of our favorite players in the 1st Hoopsgiving and he certainly did not disappoint in the second. Travis is a true floor general and perhaps the most underrated player in the entire class of 2018 nationally. He is an absolute stud point guard that controls the game. He plays at a fast pace for his high school but it is clear that he is most suited to play slow. He currently possesses no offers but that should change in a hurry.

Christopher Agbo – 2017 Post – Covenant Christian (GA)
A player that we had never seen before Friday, Chris is a true sleeper in the 2017 class. He is freakishly strong and an absolute beast inside when he wants to be. He is physical and a pretty good rebounder. He has potential to be very good down the road, as we were told he just grew 3-4 inches in the last few months.

Ikey Obiagu – 2017 C – Greenforest Christian (GA)
The summer’s biggest riser in the 2017 class did not disappoint during the weekend, showing off an improved offensive touch. He showed patience in the post and a soft touch on his jump hook. His touch failed him on Saturday but he is truly an elite shot blocker with a motor to boot. He has insane upside and showed why schools like Kentucky, Kansas, North Carolina, and LSU (among others) were in the gym watching him this weekend.

Precious Ayah – 2016 PF – Greenforest Christian (GA) – Miami (OH) Signee
Precious might honestly have the best motor in the entire country. He is relentless going after the ball and his hustle puts him into positions for easy baskets at the rim. We love Miami (OH) recruiting class in 2016 and think they will lead to many wins in the future. Precious is a big part of why.

Bay Bay Iyiola – 2017 PF – Greenforest Christian (GA)
The other player with the most potential in the gym was “Bay Bay.” He hit some crazy shots in rhythm, including a fader at the elbow, a 3, and multiple moves in the low post. He needs to put on muscle but his skill level is extremely high and he has all the makings of a high major player down the road. He is one of the best players on a loaded Greenforest team.

Brandon Robinson – 2016 SG – Douglas County (GA) – UNC Signee
Brandon was looking to redeem himself after rolling his ankle during the 1st annual event last year and barely getting to play. He scored 33 points like nothing while taking down one of the state’s best teams (so we are told) in McIntosh. His scoring arsenal is pretty, including jumpers, smooth takes, and the occasional big time dunk. He will be somewhat similar to current UNC player Justin Jackson, but perhaps more of a versatile threat and less of a scorer.

Will Washington – 2016 PG – McIntosh (GA)
Will is EASILY the most unheralded unsigned senior we have seen to date. The lefty point guard can flat out go, and while he might not stroke it from deep, there isn’t much else he can’t do on the court. He is fast, athletic, and loves to pass the ball. His recruitment is little to none, but there are plenty of schools looking for a point guard that should take a look at this stud guard.

Chuma Okeke – 2017 F – Westlake (GA)
It’s not as if Chuma was unknown prior to this weekend, he just played on an entirely different level than everyone else this weekend. He can do EVERYTHING on the court and makes his money from the elbow and in. He is already becoming a priority recruit for a lot of schools and will look to lead Westlake to a state title this season in Georgia’s biggest classification.

Emmitt Williams – 2018 F – IMG Academy (FL)
We’re not a huge fan of comparisons, but its hard to ignore Emmitt’s similarities to Kentucky signee Bam Adebayo. He is a freak athlete who plays hard on both ends of the court as a rebounding machine and someone who will dunk through opposing players. He has amazing long term potential and has definitely established himself as one of the premier 2018 players in the nation.

Jamie Lewis – 2018 PG – Westlake (GA)
Jamie was one of the best scorers in the entire event, showing off how quickly he’s getting back to the level of where he was pre-injury as one of the best guards in his class nationally. He has a super smooth pull-up jumper and is automatic in the mid-range area. He can also score on tough takes to the rim and may lead Westlake in scoring this season.

Wendell Carter – 2017 PF – Pace Academy (GA)
As one of the best 2017 players in the country, Wendell did not disappoint. He got off to a very hot start, scoring 15 points to go along with 10 rebounds and 5 blocks in the first half of his game Saturday. He got in foul trouble on some questionable calls and eventually fouled out with 20 points, 17 rebounds, and 6 blocks. He has added to his already good offensive game, showing off floaters, pull-up jumpers, and range to 3 to go along with his dominate interior presence.

Note: We did not see the Wasatch Academy (UT) vs. Sandy Creek game but we are aware that Utah State signee Koby McEwen played outstanding. 

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