The first annual Middle School Madness Tournament presented By Hoopfarm Mixtapez and 252Mixtapes brought together some of the top middle school teams in the 252 area under one roof.
*MVP 5’9 Jaleek Parsons Warriors Life Elite 2028
The MVP of the 2028 division could have gone to one of 3 players from the WLE 2028 squad, but it was Jaleek’s championship game stat line that sealed the deal. He finished the game with 13 points 5 rebounds 6 assists while also coming up with 7 steals. Parson’s defensive instincts are years beyond his age, he uses quick hands and feet to force an abundance of steals and deflections while making it extremely difficult to score against.
6’3 Braylen Loftin Team Trezz 2028
If I had to put my stock into a player that I was most impressed with it would be Loftin of the Team Trezz organization. With a nice frame and long arms to match his 6’3 height, he controlled the game by dominating the glass and scoring in a nice variety from all three levels, bullying his way through the paint and knocking down a couple of threes. Braylen led the 28’ division with 9 rebounds per game while also leading in scoring with 14 points per game.
5’8 Johnterrion Cobb NC Wizards
If you’re from the 252 area code you’ve probably heard about or seen Jaylen Cobb (Kinston) play basketball. Johnterrion the younger brother of Cobb carries many of his brother’s positive traits. Long, shifty with a nice knack for causing havoc defensively, Cobb led the NC Wizards in points, assist and steals over the weekend. 7points 2rebounds 3assist 2steals
5’7 Matt Kuppinen Warriors Life Elite 2028
As mentioned above, the MVP could have gone to any of the 3 guards who played for the WLE program. Kuppinen just like Parsons was a defensive menace in terms of how he attacked the ball and managed to come up with steals. Tied for second on the team in scoring at 11.5 points per game, Matt has a nice shooting stroke and IQ to make the right reads as well as an array of nifty layup finishes. 2028 division leader in steals at 6.5 per game.
5’7 KJ McLawhorn Warriors Life Elite 2028
The last of the guard trio that suited up for the WLE program is KJ McLawhorn. The youngest player on the team playing up one age group KJ had one of the better stretches of the day and possibly the top performance of the day. In the championship game, he came off the bench to lead the team in scoring (18pts) while also dishing three assists. The 2029 guard has high IQ, a nice handle on the ball, and can knock down the three with a nice stroke and consistency. Averaged 11.5pts 2rebs 2ast
5’9 Tylik Taylor Team Trezz 2028
Speaking of a 2029 guard who held his own while playing up, Tylik Taylor of Team Trezz 2028. Taylor is a sturdily built, crafty guard that has a knack for getting downhill while also making the right play. I was super impressed with the complete stat line complied by the young 2029 guard, 12.5pts 3.5rebs 2.5ast 2.5stls over the tournament.