Over this past weekend I had the chance to assist with showcasing some of the top talent from the 252 and surrounding area codes. The #252Invitational brought some of the top teams and talent from the east side of the state to Snow Hill, NC, where they battle for the illustrious first title in event history. Over the next couple of days I will be dropping selections for top performers/all tournament teams starting with the 17U division.
2023 6’0 Jordan Cooper, Wayne Country Day School, NC INVASION
Time in and out when we see Jordan Cooper he looks the par of a college level guard with his shooting, poise and overall PG play. But this weekend at the #252Invitational Cooper showed a combination of athleticism and defense that very much resembled his brother (Columbia Guard Jaden Cooper). Cooper walked away MVP of the 17u division with 14 points in the first game and a impressive 22 point 2 rebound 3 assists game in the championship that included an array of impress dunks in the open court and traffic.
2024 6’3 JaQuan Green, Wayne Prep, NC INVASION
Just like his running mate for the weekend mentioned above, if you are from the Goldsboro area Green is probably a household name. Over the weekend the younger Green differed to the older guys and picked his spots really well overall. He finished with a few nice dunks and blocks, while also knocking down the 3 ball with some consistency, his calling will almost always be as a scorer so the recent upping on the defensive in is a huge plus. Finished game 1 with 11pts 3rebs 2blks and game 2 with 26pts 3rebs 3ast 2blks.
2023 6’8 Abraham Driver, Bull City Prep, Big Shots McBride
The #252Invitational didn’t feature a lot of true bigs in the 17U Division, but AD was a bright spot. Finishing both games with over 20 points, mostly with nifty footwork before a tough finish or a mid range jumper, he was easily one of the top players in attendance. Game 1 he finished with 28 points and game 2 he had 26pts 7rebs 2blks.
2023 6’4 Jah Short, Farmville Central, Big Shots McBride
One of the more known players at the event, Short came in already sporting a couple of offers and state championship appearances. Jah was his typical self in regards to his willingness to attack the basket and put pressure on the defense, while also defending the other teams best player. In game 1 Jah had 17points and in the championship he had 23pts 4rebs 3ast performance.
2023 6’4 Isreal Powell, Hertford County, Team Dolo
Isreal Powell was getting busy at the #252Invitational. IP strung together an impressive 20 point 15 rebound game, that also included 4 steals and 3 blocks. Followed by a 25 point performance that included some tough acrobatic layups and a couple of catch and shoot 3s. At 6’4 with a decent frame Powell should be a 2023 to track over the next live period sessions.
2023 6’0 Darius Lewis, Riverside-Martin, Team Dolo
After a relatively quiet first outing of 5pts 4reb 3ast in game one of the week, Darius Lewis went off. Darius’ 2nd game was one of if not the top shooting performance of the weekend. He knocked down 9 three pointers in a array of was from coming off of screens, to shifting defenders into tough off the dribble moves and even hit one of the biggest 3pt shots of the weekend in overtime of the consolation game. Long story short the kid has range.
6’2 Treshaud Lynch, North Lenior, YBE
You must really leave your mark on the evaluators at the event to make the top performers list while missing a half of your two games. That is exactly what Lynch did, he put together a nice 23 point performance in game 2 and a 13 point half in game one. Lynch impressed most in his ability to rise up over defenders of the dribble and finish tough layups in traffic.