BY ANDREW FEATHER
UPPER MARLBORO, MD. — The third annual DMVelite 80 took place on Saturday, Sept. 5, gathering the top high school sophomores, juniors and seniors in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia at Henry Wise High School.
Among those in attendance were several nationally-ranked players throughout the classes. Everyone at the one-day showcase was a college-caliber player in their own right, but here are a few of the standouts:
Chyree Walker, Bullis School (Md.) 2017 Wing
Walker put an exclamation point on what has been a huge summer by taking home the DMVelite 80’s Most Valuable Player Award. The 6-foot-5 wing showed off his freakish athleticism with numerous highlight reel dunks, including one to beat the buzzer and win his team the championship trophy. He was very efficient offensively, finishing second among all participants in points per game while shooting 72 percent from the field and going to the free throw line an event-high 19 times. But his dominating performance extended well beyond the offensive side of the ball. He was one of the event’s best defenders, tipping numerous passes and igniting the fast break for his team. It’s easy to see him being a standout in a pressure defense at the next level. Walker holds offers from Central Florida, Georgia Tech, James Madison, Old Dominion, St. Francis (Pa.), Towson, and VCU.
Immanuel Quickley, John Carroll (Md.) 2018 Point Guard
Standing at 6-foot-4 with the ability to play either guard spot, Quickley has some of the highest upside of any prospects at the event, and his feel for the game is incredible for someone heading into his sophomore year. He displayed the ability to get to the rim and create for teammates. Though he didn’t have a great statistical output over the weekend, Quickley’s combination of poise, size and skill showed why many think he will be one of the top lead guards in his class.
Daquan Bracey, St. Frances (Md.) 2016 Point Guard
A pure point guard, Bracey impressed with his ability to lead his team, despite playing with them for less than a day. He brought excitement every time he touched the ball, whether it was setting up teammates with pinpoint passes or getting by defenders with jaw-dropping crossovers. But while he brought the crowd to its feet, he did so while making all the right decisions.
Naji Marshall, Eleanor Roosevelt (Md.), 2017 Wing
Marshall was absolutely unstoppable when attacking the basket, where he initiated and finished through contact on his way to a team-leading 9.7 points per game. One of the most consistent sights of the weekend was Marshall getting by a defender and finishing above the rim, but he also showed nice touch on his midrange jumper. At 6-foot-5, very long with a motor that’s always running, Marshall was a menace defensively where he harassed the ball-handler and disrupted passing lanes. His performance Saturday was good enough to earn an offer from Virginia Tech, which joins a list that includes Manhattan, Rhode Island, Rutgers and Towson.
Noah Locke, McDonogh (Md.), 2018 Guard
Definitely the best looking sophomore at the event, Locke impressed with his ability to put the ball in the basket from anywhere on the floor. He finished fifth in points while shooting 50 percent from beyond the arc. Though he’s more of scorer at this point, Locke showed an ability and willingness to get his teammates involved. So far only UNC-Greensboro has pulled the trigger with an offer, but his performance Saturday and over the summer has Locke’s stock soaring.
Ejike Obinna, Virginia Academy 2017 Center
One of the summer’s fastest risers, Obinna defended his reputation as one of the area’s best big men, showing an improved offensive game from earlier this summer. Though he still doesn’t have much of an arsenal in the post, he showed more of a willingness to back down defenders and wasn’t afraid to power through for a dunk traffic. Where Obinna really impressed was on the defensive end, where he used his length well to contest nearly every shot in the paint and clean up the defensive glass. Though he’s still pretty raw and needs to add strength, it’s easy to see Obinna’s tremendous upside.
Luka Garza, Maret (DC) 2017 Center
Another of the area’s top bigs, Garza took total control of the paint in every game he was. He was the event’s best rebounder by far, pulling down nearly two more per game than anyone else there. Garza clogged up the post on the defensive end, finishing among the event leaders in blocks and not allowing opposing players easy access to the hoop. Offensively, he displayed a variety of moves down low and the ability to stretch the defense with his shooting ability. Though not an exceptional athlete, Garza already has the body of a college big man, plays smart and always competes with energy.
Brayden Gault, Battlefield (Va.) 2018 Wing
Another rising sophomore who stood out among older players, Gault was a bastion of efficiency on Saturday. He led the entire event in scoring with 15 points per game, shooting 72 percent from the field. He showed a quick first step when attacking the basket and was able to finish through contact or get to the free throw line. Gault was active and engaged defensively and not afraid to go up against bigger players for rebounds. He wasn’t someone that wowed with any one aspect, but did everything well and was consistent throughout, which you love to see in a young player.
Justin Gorham, Calvert Hall (Md.) 2016 Wing
Gorham, who committed to Towson in August, was a do-it-all player for his team on both ends of the floor. The long 6-foot-7 wing was among the event leaders in points and showcased an ability to score both inside and out with efficiency, shooting 64 percent from the field and 67 percent from three point range. Gorham was very active defensively, denying his man access to the paint and disrupting passing lanes.
Jahlil Jenkins, Virginia Academy 2017 Point Guard
A relatively unknown commodity coming into the summer, Jenkins continued his breakout with another strong performance. He was one of the best pure point guards at the event, showing great command, a tight handle and the ability to find open teammates, leading the event with 5.3 assists per game. Though his first instinct was to set up teammates, Jenkins also displayed a nice scoring touch from outside, shooting 57 percent from beyond the arc. He had a huge impact on the game defensively, where his quickness and athleticism helped him lead the event in steals. So far the 5-foot-10 Jenkins has picked up three offers (Howard, LIU-Brooklyn and St. Peters), but expect that number to increase significantly.
Dajour Dickens, Miller School (Va.) 2017 Center
A 6-foot-11 big with tremendous upside, Dickens was one of the best players there when he played with a mean streak. Sometimes he seemed to shy away from contact, but when he didn’t he showed a polished game down low with a variety of ways he could score around the basket. Also, he displayed nice touch on his midrange jumper for a player of his size. Because of his length, defense was where Dickens was at his best. He seemed to change every shot in the paint and when he went for a rebound he nearly always got it.
Qudus Wahab, Virginia Academy 2019 Center
The lone freshman at this year’s DMVelite 80, Wahab has the potential to be one of the area’s best bigs in 2019. Already standing at 6-foot-11, Wahab is very raw offensively, but that’s to be expected for a player of his age. At Virginia Academy he will play alongside Ejike Obinna (see above) which should toughen him up and help him learn from one of the top post players in the area. While he is definitely more potential than production at this point, Wahab contributed on defense, where his size and athleticism make him a natural, finishing among the event leaders in blocks and rebounds.
- 2018 wing Myles Dread of Gonzaga (DC) was one of the best sophomores at the event and should see his recruitment pick up significantly with more playing time at the varsity level.
- 2016 forward AJ Wilson is a freak athlete who played stingy defense and had a few highlight-reel dunks. He transferred from Montrose Christian to Elev8 Academy (FL) this summer and is choosing between Nevada, Rhode Island and Central Florida, among others.
- DeMatha (Md.) 2017 guard Ryan Allen is known mostly as a shooter but he showed he could do much more at DMVelite 80, distributing and impressing on the defensive end.
- National Christian (Md.) 2016 forward Christian Matthews displayed creativity when attacking the rim, scoring in a variety of ways. He should give Georgia Tech immediate scoring relief next year.
- 2016 Miller School (Va.) wing Ron Alston committed to NJIT at the DMVelite 80.