Sunday, February 28, 2010

Thomas "Tommy" Hamilton Jr - 6'9" 2013 - Ultimate Basketball Highlight Mixtape



There is no comparison for Tommy Hamilton- for a freshman in high school his upside is unprecedented. Standing six foot nine and weighing in at 240 pounds- with a polished post game, the court vision of a point guard, and a silky three point stroke- young Thomas possesses a unique blend of size and skills that only comes around once in a generation... or maybe less often than that. He was recently named one of ESPN.com's 15 freshman to watch; and even without having seen the others play, a lot of people in Chicago are convinced that the top spot is his to lose. He is a part of a Mac Irvin Fire AAU family that includes five-star 2011 prospects Wayne Blackshear, Mike Shaw, and Sam Thompson, and any one of them would gladly tell you that Tommy is better than they were at that age... much better... and he is only beginning to scratch the surface of what he may one day become. His upside is so tremendous that it's almost hard to believe, just like it's sometimes hard to believe when you're around him that the Giant standing in front of you has a brain in his head that's only fifteen years old- he has a presence about him that makes it seem like he's been through it all before. Maybe it's because, in a way, he has. His father, Thomas Sr, was the last chosen one- seven foot three with that oh-so-familiar stroke from the three point arc, but they say he just didn't have the mental strength and focus necessary to fulfill his vast potential. Maybe that's why Tommy's here- and why he seems so sure of it all. Because maybe, just maybe, he knew long before the rest of us could see it so crystal clearly- that it was his destiny to show us all what could've been, and maybe- just maybe- he's well on his way to achieving much, much more... DPbball.blogspot.com... DanielPoneman@gmail.com

Friday, February 26, 2010

Unsigned 2010 Juco SG Kahlil Mcdonald

2010 Blinn (Tx) Shooting Guard Kahlil Mcdonald is drawing recruiting attention from all over the country. Mcdonald, who is shooting 46% from three this year on over 150 attempts, is a quintesential shooting guard. He is strong, athletic, physical, and deadly from downtown. Mcdonald is averaging over 23 points a game for Blinn.

Last year, Kahlil had committed to Oklahoma State after his first year at Blinn, but that plan fell through due to extenuating circumstances. Now, Mcdonald is drawing recruiting attention from all over the country. Right now, Mcdonald claims interest and some offers from Western Kentucky, West Virginia, Charlotte, Rutgers, and " a lot more, too many to name even." Mcdonald plans to make his decision sometime in April, after taking visits to the schools. Kahlil says he is looking "to just be able to play my game. I want to be able to play as the all around player I am developing into."


Duje Dukan and Ryan Davis - Deerfield Warriors - Highlights and Interview with Daniel Poneman



Can you remember the last time Deerfield had a top 25 ranked basketball team?... I can't either. At a school not known for athletic excellence, Duje Dukan, Ryan Davis, and their fellow seniors have had the season of a lifetime, and in doing so they have changed the culture of their community and inspired young Warriors to believe that they might have a chance to one day do the same. With Dukan (a Wisconsin recruit) and Davis leading the way, Deerfield senior filled squad entered the season optimistic but not over confident; they knew they had a good team, but it's hard to truly believe you're going to accomplish something so truly unprecedented as what they went on to do this season. The season isn't over yet- the state playoffs are just around the corner- but even if the season ended today this season would surely be one that the Deerfield community will be talking about for generations to come. A lot of young men win games, but there aren't many kids who can inspire an entire town to believe... This video features highlights vs GBN and Mundelein, as well as an interview with Dukan and Davis by Daniel Poneman... DPbball.blogspot.com... DanielPoneman@gmail.com

More with Jereme Richmond- #1 Player in Illinois- Highlights From His Senior Night vs Evanston



The north suburban communities of Evanston and Waukegan are similar in many ways, and one of those is that our state's top basketball player, Jereme Richmond, calls both towns home. Jereme has family and friends on the court and in the stands on both sides whenever Waukegan and Evanston match up, which- needless to say- makes the already heated rivalry even more competitive. Jereme's high school career is now coming to an end, and he will soon head off to the University of Illinois, so it was only fitting that his senior night game was to be played against the team he knew oh-so-well. This video features highlights of Jereme's dominant senior night performance against Evanston, as well as a few sound bytes of Jereme talking about why he appreciates his teammates... DPBball.blogspot.com... DanielPoneman@gmail.com...

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Jereme Richmond Dunk- Throws Down an Alley-Oop on Evanston From Teammate Quan Conner



McDonald's All-American Jereme Richmond made it to the state finals with Waukegan last year, and at this point in his career it seems his chemistry with his teammates is so good that they always know where he is on the court. Every time I watch Waukegan play he gets at least one dunk, and this video from their recent game against Evanston features a really nice give and go with Jereme and teammate Quan Conner.

Jereme Richmond Talks Being a McDonald's All-American, with Sick Highlights



Throughout his career, Jereme Richmond (Waukegan 2010) has been one of the most talked about players in the history of Illinois prep basketball. From his commitment to Illinois as a freshman, to his transfer from North Shore Country Day to Waukegan, to the half court buzzer beater he sunk last year to make it downstate, to being the first junior ever to be honored as the Sun-Times State Player of the Year as a junior; and it all culminated in his recent inclusion to the prestigious basketball fraternity that is the McDonalds All-American team. This video features an interview with Daniel Poneman, where he talks all about what it was like being chosen to the All-American team, as well as highlights in a recent win over Whitney Young.... DPBball.Blogspot.com... DanielPoneman@gmail.com..

Kenny Stevenson (Seton) Highlights and Interview with Daniel Poneman: UIC Recruit



Kenny Stevenson is one of the top guards in Illinois, and won a state championship last year playing for the Seton Sting. Kenny committed before the season to stay in the windy city and play in college for the UIC Flames, and in this video he displays the skills that make him a division one recruit.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Max Biefeldt, Unsigned Junior from Peoria Notre Dame

video

Max Biefeldt has been one of the breakout Juniors in the state. The 6'8 bruiser has developed the reputation as one of the most consistant big men in his class. He is a product of Peoria Notre Dame and has been popping up on the radar of many DI programs. Check out "The Big Puppy" at work.

Peoria Manual High School Basketball

video

Since the class change almost three years ago the Peoria Manual Rams has sat atop the class 2A rankings. Currently ranked #2 in 2A the Rams have spent more times in the #1 spot than any other team in their class. Many people know Manual for there state championships and #1 national ranking in the mid-90's but these Rams have decided to write their own story have refer to themselves as "The Redeem Team". I've followed them this season on their route to what could be the second trip to state in the last three years.

Lawrence Alexander, Unsigned Senior From Peoria Manual

video

Lawrence Alexander is a senior at Peoria Manual High School. He is a sharp shooting guard who will never give up on a play. He is currently unsigned but has garned offers from DII and Juco teams from around the Mid-West. He could possibly be the diamond in the rough for this years unsigned senior class in Illinois.

Marvin Jordan, Ball State Commit

video

Marvin Jordan is one of the top point guards in the state. The Ball State Recruit is a senior at Peoria Manual High School and is hoping to close out his senior year with another trip to state. Check him out

Tobias Harris, Tennessee Commit and Number 5 Overall (2010) Tops 2,000 Point Mark


Tobias Harris of Half Hollow Hills West High School (20-0) on Long Island scored 27 points in a county quarterfinal victory on Tuesday night. This brought the number 5 overall recruit in the 2010 class, who is committed to play for Bruce Pearl at the University of Tennessee, to 2,008 career points. To put this in perspective, New York State's all-time leading scorer, Lance Stephenson, finished his career with 2,946 points. However, that number is quite skewed with the difference in number of games played between the New York City high schools and schools elsewhere throughout the state.

During Stephenson's high school career, Lincoln High School played an average of 30.4 games per season. And while Harris's senior season is not yet over, beginning with his 8th grade year, his teams have averaged playing only 22, not to mention he missed some action his junior year due to injury. Hills West could realistically play another 7 or 8 games this year. Yet even with the disparity in games played, after eclipsing the 2,000 point mark, Harris joins the likes of Stephenson, Cleveland Cavaliers guard Sebastian Telfair (2,785), and former NBA All-Star Kenny Anderson (2,621) in New York State's 2,000 point club.

In an interview with New York Newsday's Stephen Haynes, Harris showed that surpassing this plateau is not taking any focus away from his team's goals. "It's a great step in my career and it'll be nice to look back on, but for now I'm just worried about us winning states." Harris and the Colts will be back in action this Sunday night at 7PM in the Suffolk County Class AA semifinal.

Check out our videos with Tobias:
HIGHLIGHTS
INTERVIEW

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Mike Shaw (6'8" PF 2011) Dunks on Simeon, Talks About Living Up to the Hype, and Talks About Visiting Illinois, With Highlights vs. Mt Carmel





Mike Shaw has been considered one of the elite prospects in America since he was a 13 year old playing on the 17u Mac Irvin Fire squad- and his good friend Wayne Blackshear (committed to Louisville) has been with him every step of the way. Now juniors in high school, Mike, a
6'8" power forward, has just led his De La Salle Meteors squad to an undefeated conference season and Chicago Catholic League title, while Wayne just completed an improbable title run of his own, as he led his Morgan Park Mustangs to a Chicago Public League title. In the first interview with Daniel Poneman, Mike talks about working on his game, silencing the critics, living up to the hype with Wayne, and gives shoutouts to his family and teammates. This video also features highlights of Mike throwing down some sweet dunks in a blowout win over highly regarded Simeon...

In the second video, Mike talks about his recent visit to the University of Illinois where he attended
their upset win over #5 Michigan State with ESPN College GameDay on site. I caught up with Mike after a recent win against Mt. Carmel, led by Illinois point guard recruit Tracy Abrams. The second video also features an interview in which Mike talks all about the visit and about playing against Tracy, as well as highlights of the game. DPbball.blogspot.com ... For more info DanielPoneman@gmail.com

Jabari Brown Chats with Daniel Poneman About Recruiting and Drew Gooden, With Game Highlights



Jabari Brown is ranked by Rivals.com as the 28th best junior in America, and is rated a 95 by ESPN.com. Jabari was one of the stars of Findlay Prep, until recently when he left the school to return home to Oakland, California. Brown is a high scoring shooting guard who competes on the AAU circuit with the Drew Gooden Soldiers. This video features highlights of him with Findlay Prep, and an interview with Dan Poneman in which he discusses recruiting in depth, his relationship with Drew Gooden, and more.

Courtney Jones (Homewood-Flossmoor) BIG TIME Sleeper- Unsigned Senior Highlights



Courtney Jones isn't a name you hear thrown around in basketball circles as being one of the top scorers in Chicago- and in my opinion, that's a problem. From the start of the season Courtney has been a shining star in the south suburbs, putting up big numbers and leading his talented H-F squad to win after win. A long and versatile wing player, Jones can score from anywhere on the court, and does it in all kinds of ways. He still hasn't found a college that is just the right fit, but whatever college he decides on has definitely landed a steal. Highlights by Dpbball.blogspot.com ... For more info DanielPoneman@gmail.com...

Patric Young Says He Wants a Piece of Fab Melo, & Solomon Poole Tells Dan Poneman How to Guard Stacey (Part 4 of 4)

Stacey Poole Freestyle Raps, Solomon Poole Shouts Out, & Patric Young Talks Hip-Hop With Dan Poneman (Part 3 of 4)

Why Solomon Poole is the Best Freshman in America: Patric Young & Stacey Poole Tell Dan Poneman (Part 2 of 4)

Best Friends Patric Young & Stacey Poole on Why They Chose Rival Schools Florida & Kentucky (Part 1 of 4)

Fabricio de Melo highlights - Syracuse - "The Big, Bad, Brazilian Banger" - McDonalds All-American



Fabricio de Melo (7'0" C) is one of the elite prospects in the nation, and was recently selected to play in the highly prestigious McDonald's All-American game. The Syracuse recruit is one of the most physically dominant prospects around, and has all the physical tools to one day be an NBA all-star. This highlight reel is from the City of Palms holiday tournament in Fort Myers, Florida... DPbball.blogspot.com ... DanielPoneman@gmail.com

Landon Gamble (Lockport) Unsigned Senior Highlights and Interview with Daniel Poneman



Big, long, athletic, smart, skilled, and hard working- Landon Gamble is everything you could want in a high school basketball player. As the only sophomore playing varsity at Lockport in 08, Landon was a key component in leading the Porters to a final four finish in the IHSA state tournament. Now that he is a senior and centerpiece of a very talented cast of players, Landon has overcome all kinds of obstacles to produce a very good senior campaign. Still without a college to play at next year, Landon is sure to be a hot prospect for colleges looking for a late pickup that can provide post scoring, versatility, defense, rebounding, and leadership. This video features highlights from Lockport's two huge upsets over Bollingbrook and Homewood-Flossmoor, as well as an interview with Daniel Poneman... for more info email DanielPoneman@gmail.com

Demonte Hopkins (Lockport) Unsigned Senior Highlights and Interview with Daniel Poneman



Demonte Hopkins plays with a purpose. He has been through all kinds of obstacles throughout his career, but has persevered to become one of the top scorers in the South Suburbs. This video features highlights of Demonte having big time outings in upset wins over highly regarded Bollingbrook and Homewood-Flossmoor squads, as well as an interview with Daniel Poneman....for more info email DanielPoneman@gmail.com

Chris Olivier and Khameron Harper (Seton) unsigned seniors highlights and chat with Dan Poneman



Chris Olivier (6'8" PF/C) and Khameron Harper (6'3" G/F) are two of the elite unsigned seniors in Illinois, and across the midwest. Chris is a highly skilled, big bodied post presence, and Harper is a versatile and powerful high scoring wing. They won a state championship with Seton last year under coach Ken Stevenson, and this year they are looking to repeat.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Kyree Jones Commits to Northern Illinois University


2010 point guard Kyree Jones of North Carolina Tech Preparatory School recently verbally committed to Coach Ricardo Patton at Northern Illinois University. Jones, a 6'2", 205 pound scoring point guard, chose the Huskies over interest from Kent State, George Mason, Georgia Southern, Texas Southern, and IUPUI, along with an offer from Oregon.

Jones committed to NIU due to several factors, "I connected right away with Coach Patton, he's a good coach and a great person.. NIU is close to home so my family can come watch me play.. and I can go in right away and get a lot of playing time in a decent conference," said Jones. Jones figures to contribute immediately for the Huskies,"
Nothing will be given to me but if i work my tail off in the summer and fall I think I will have a shot at starting"

Jones ability to penetrate, and shoot should mesh well with current
Huskies backcourt star Xavier Silas.

"I fell great about playing with Xavier, he can score in so many ways
on the court, and he is really cool off the court. I think we will be a
good duo next season."

The well traveled Jones spent a postgraduate year this year at North
Carolina Tech Prep School. Jones went to NC Tech to raise his
recruiting profile, and readiness for college. "Carolina Tech developed
me on how to play hard and get after teams for 40 minutes. I've never
played on a team where we pressed the whole game but because of
them I'm able to do so now," said Jones.

Kyree Jones will be a freshman next year at NIU. This scoring point
guard has the talent and desire to step in and play right away for the Huskies.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

2010 All-American Games Rosters Are Announced

It's official. Both McDonald's and Jordan have announced the rosters for their 2010 High School All-American games.

Dan Poneman chatting with Harrison Barnes

First, for McDonald's, which is set for Wednesday, March 31st at 8:00PM EST in Columbus, Ohio (For more information, click on each participants name to be connected to their Rivals page):



EAST
Reggie Bullock, G, Kinston, NC, North Carolina

Tobias Harris, F, Dix Hills, NY, Tennesee - Our HIGHLIGHTS and
INTERVIEW

Kyrie Irving, G, Elizabeth, NJ, Duke - Our INTERVIEW

Joe Jackson, G, Memphis, TN, Memphis

Perry Jones III, C, Duncanville, TX, Baylor

Jelan Kendrick, F, Marietta, GA, Memphis

C.J. Leslie, F, Raleigh, NC, Undecided

Kendall Marshall, G, Arlington, VA, North Carolina - Our INTERVIEW

Jayvaughn Pinkston, F, Brooklyn, NY, Villanova

Josh Selby, G, Baltimore, MD, Undecided - Our INTERVIEW

Jared Sullinger, C, Columbus, OH, Ohio State - Our INTERVIEW

Deshaun Thomas, F, Fort Wayne, IN, Ohio State


WEST

Keith Appling, G, Detroit, MI, Michigan State

Harrison Barnes, F, Ames, IA, North Carolina - Our INTERVIEW
and another INTERVIEW

Terrence Jones, F, Portland, OR, Undecided - Our Combined HIGHLIGHTS and INTERVIEW

Cory Joseph, G, Henderson, NV, Undecided - Our Combined HIGHLIGHTS and INTERVIEW

Brandon Knight, G, Fort Lauderdale, FL, Undecided

Doron Lamb, G, Mouth of Wilson, VA, Undecided

Ray McCallum, G, Detroit, MI, Undecided

Fabricio de Melo, C, Weston, FL, Syracuse

Jereme Richmond, F, Waukegan, IL, Illinois - Our Combined HIGHLIGHTS and INTERVIEW and another INTERVIEW

Josh Smith, C, Covington, WA, UCLA - Our INTERVIEW
and another INTERVIEW

Tristan Thompson, F, Henderson, NV, Texas - Our Combined HIGHLIGHTS and INTERVIEW
and another INTERVIEW

Patric Young, C, Jacksonville, FL, Florida


And now for the Jordan Classic which is set for Saturday, April 17th at 8:00PM EST at Madison Square Garden in New York City(Same links apply):


EAST
Reggie Bullock, G, Kinston, NC, North Carolina

Kyrie Irving, G, Elizabeth, NJ, Duke - Our INTERVIEW

Perry Jones III, C, Duncanville, TX, Baylor

Jelan Kendrick, F, Marietta, GA, Memphis

Brandon Knight, G, Fort Lauderdale, FL, Undecided

C.J. Leslie, F, Raleigh, NC, Undecided

Roscoe
Smith, F, Mouth of Wilson, VA, UCONN

Jared Sullinger, C, Columbus, OH, Ohio State - Our INTERVIEW

Deshaun Thomas, F, Fort Wayne, IN, Ohio State

Dion Waiters, G, Philadelphia, PA, Syracuse


West
Harrison Barnes, F, Ames, IA, North Carolina - Our INTERVIEW
and another INTERVIEW

Will Barton, G, Baltimore, MD, Memphis - Our INTERVIEW
and another INTERVIEW

Tobias Harris, F, Dix Hills, NY, Tennesee - Our HIGHLIGHTS and INTERVIEW

Terrence Jones, F, Portland, OR, Undecided - Our Combined HIGHLIGHTS and INTERVIEW

Cory Joseph, G, Henderson, NV, Undecided - Our Combined HIGHLIGHTS and INTERVIEW

Doron Lamb, G, Mouth of Wilson, VA, Undecided

Kendall Marshall, G, Arlington, VA, North Carolina - Our INTERVIEW

Josh Selby, G, Baltimore, MD, Undecided - Our INTERVIEW

Josh Smith, C, Covington, WA, UCLA - Our INTERVIEW
and another INTERVIEW

Tristan Thompson, F, Henderson, NV, Texas - Our Combined HIGHLIGHTS and INTERVIEW
and another INTERVIEW


We will be in Columbus, Ohio for the McDonald's All-American game, so make sure to check back for more videos and coverage with the nation's top players.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Marko Petrovic (Findlay Prep) Highlights and Interview with Daniel Poneman- "The Croatian Catapult"



Marko Petrovic (Findlay Prep 2010) has three point shooting in his blood. The 6'3" shooting guard was invited to come to the states from his native Croatia to ball for Findlay Prep (the top high school basketball program in America) because of his transcendent ability to knock down shots from long range. One could've reasonably inferred, however, that he may possess this extraordinary ability without even having watched him take a shot because, well, it was about time someone took over the family business. Marko's uncle- the late Drazen Petrovic- is a member of the basketball hall of fame, the father of Croatian basketball, and the one whom many point to as the individual who paved the way for the current abundance of European stars in the NBA. But don't take my word for it, take it from NBA commissioner David Stern himself: "Drazen Petrovic was an extraordinary young man, and a true pioneer in the global sports of basketball. I know that a lasting part of his athletic legacy will be that he paved the way for other international players to compete successfully in the NBA. His contributions to the sport of basketball were enormous. We are all proud of the fact we knew him." Or from Michael Jordan "It was a thrill to play against Drazen. Every time we competed, he competed with an aggressive attitude. He wasn't nervous; he came at me as hard as I came at him. So, we've had some great battles in the past and unfortunately, they were short battles." Those battles were short because Drazen tragically died in a car accident at just 28 years of age, after only four seasons in the NBA (he was the player of the year in Europe twice before coming the the states), and now Marko has returned to America to finish what uncle Drazen started. After starting the season as a little used reserve for the Pilots- a team that starts two top 20 players in the nation in the backcourt- Marko has become a starter and a key contributor for Coach Peck's squad since top 50 guard Jabari Brown left the school last month. Some of the highlights of his season include a 22 point outing, a game in which he made 6 of the 7 three pointers he took, and a 27 point, 8/11 shooting day against a very good Christian Life (TX) squad. A charismatic and confident young Croatian, Marko shows in this interview why he is the man for the job- why he the kid with the heart and desire to make the name Petrovic relevant in the basketball world once again... For more info email DanielPoneman@gmail.com.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Rayvonte Rice & Karl Madison- Highlights & Interview with Dan Poneman- "Drake Fans- Congratulations"



Rayvonte Rice (Champaign Centennial) and Karl Madison (Springfield Lanphier) both are kids who had plenty of options as to where they could've chosen to play their college ball. Rayvonte is one of the top ten players in Illinois, and is having arguably the best senior season of any player in the state, including McDonald's All-American Jereme Richmond, who Rayvonte outplayed when his Centennial Chargers defeated Jereme's Waukegan Bulldogs to claim the title of top ranked team. A 6'4" wing player with a big body and big time hops, "Trey" doesn't have many flaws to his game on offense or defense, and has been proving all season long that he deserves some consideration for a national ranking. Karl Madison is a point guard's point guard, and the 41st in the nation, according to ESPN.com. A lighting quick floor general with a tight handle and a basketball IQ that's through the roof, Karl can dominate a game by driving and dishing to set up his teammates just as easily as he can take over in the blink of an eye with his deadly three point stroke. Just like his buddy Trey in Champaign, Karl often gets left out of the conversation for the state's best players due to his distance from the Windy City, but when one sits down to watch him play it's almost comical to think that people forget to bring him up when discussing the state's elite back court players. Both of these kids had a lot of college options, there's no doubt about that, and they would've had many more suitors had they waited to commit until after their senior season; so, you may ask, why did they commit to Drake? A mid major school in Iowa that's going through a rebuilding process with a new coaching staff? For real guys? Easy...where you see a question mark, they see an opportunity. Some kids like following others, but kids like Trey and Karl like blazing their own trail. Where you a mid major school that's rebuilding, they see a program with great fans, in a great conference, with a passionate and energetic coach- a program that just needs a couple of players to believe- a team with potential to do extraordinary things with the addition of a few perfect pieces. Where you see fear, they see excitement; where you see a risk, they are so confident in their skills that that same risk looks to them like a sure thing. Drake fans: You better buckle your seat belts, because for the next four year's you'll be in for the ride of your life. Congratulations... For more info email DanielPoneman@gmail.com.

Winston Shepard (Findlay Prep) - Too Big For Texas - Interview with Daniel Poneman and Highlights



If you are lucky enough to have ever encountered Winston Shepard, then you can vouch for me when I say that he defines one of a kind. A 6'7" wing with freakish athletic ability and a flair for the spectacular- Shepard is considered one of the top ten sophomores in America thanks to a collection of natural abilities that you only see in a handful of players per generation. Strangely enough though, it isn't until he steps off the court that Mr. Shepard truly enters his element. With a big, bright, white smile that he flashes at all the right times, extra long limbs that fit perfectly into his navy blue sweatsuit- and seem to move in just the right way as he glides out of the locker room and down the hall to greet his adoring fans, and a innate confidence that only can come from being arguably the top prospect on the top high school basketball program in the world- Shepard's social presence might just surpass that which he has on the basketball court. By the time Winston had finished his freshman season at Hightower High (TX), there was an undeniable buzz that stretched far beyond the Lone Star State about the unbelievably talented kid from Houston. With enough talent to garner early offers from a long list of schools including Texas, Okahoma, and Arizona, it would've been easy for Winston to have ridden out the rest of his high school years in Texas being "the man," living (what most kids his age consider) "the dream" and never having a care in the world. But that dream wasn't Winston's dream; his dream involved a decorated NCAA career, an NBA contract, and a life filled with choices that he could be proud of when it was all said and done- a dream that he knew would take hard work, dedication, and a whole lot of sacrifice. So Winston packed his bags and left home to go out west to the desert of Henderson, Nevada- passing up being big man on campus back home for the opportunity to be a part of the most prestigious and highly regarded high school basketball program in the world. Winston knew that the private school academics, college style training program, and national travel schedule was going to be a challenge to say the least, but he knew that if he wanted to truly become the best, that meant becoming a Findlay Prep Pilot. In his first season at Findlay, Winston is thriving; he competes with and learns from teammates like Tristan Thompson (going to Texas), Nick Johnson (#18 junior in the nation), and Cory Joseph (McDonalds All-American), he provides a spark plug off the bench as a role player for the #1 ranked Pilots, and, if it wasn't already a given, he makes hoards of new friends and adds members to the Winston Shepard fan club in every city they stop in. Winston Shepard may still be young, but that might just be the best part about him- the future is his canvas- and I couldn't be more excited to see what this young man is going to paint... For more information email DanielPoneman@gmail.com.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Thomas Laerke (Findlay Prep) Highlights and Interview with Daniel Poneman at City of Palms



Thomas Laerke, a native of Denmark, is the newest member of the Findlay Prep Pilots. Findlay Prep is a school in Henerson, Nevada that is designed for the best and brightest young basketball players in the world to have the opportunity to play for an elite, around the clock, college style program to better prepare them for their respective NCAA futures. Laerke joins a team that is absolutely loaded with talent from top to bottom; some of the top players on the team are Tristan Thomson (Texas recruit), Cory Joseph (top 10 in the nation), Nick Johnson (top 20 in the nation), and Winston Shepard (top 10 in the nation). I got a chance to watch Laerke in action in his first tournament with the Pilots, the prestigious City of Palms Holiday Tournament, and he put on quite a show. In two of his three games at the event he poured in 17 points per, and he caught the attention of the many college scouts and recruiting analysts in the building with his outstanding play. A long range marksmen, Laerke has gone from having only one college suitor (Idaho) to having tons of schools from across the country vying for his services, and the list is only going to keep on growing.... For more info email DanielPoneman@gmail.com

Orr vs. Hyde Park- CPS Playoff Highlights- Fabyon Harris, Mycheal Henry, CJ Jones, Treyshawn Jones



Everyone high school athlete wants to win a state title; this much is obvious. For many young men in the city of Chicago, however, there is one crown that is in many ways more desirable: the Chicago Public League City Championship. Chicago is a big city, and basketball is far more than just a game from Lake Michigan to the West side- from the Evanston border to the wild 100's. At the end of the season there can only be one champion; only one team who can truly claim to be the best Chi-town has to offer, and many young Chicagoans are ready to give every once of effort they've got for the chance to make that claim. The game featured in this video, a match-up between Orr (west side) and Hyde Park (south side), was a hard fought and tightly contested game that featured no fewer than four future division one players, and they were only playing to get to the quarterfinals! Fabyon Harris vs. Mycheal Henry, Curtis Jones vs. Treyshawn Jones: a battle for the ages... Enjoy... For more info email DanielPoneman@gmail.com

Friday, February 12, 2010

Vincent "Air Boy Entertainment" Garrett: Dunks, Blocks, and an Interview with Dan Poneman



Vincent Garrett is the best dunker in the city of Chicago; I think at this point that's indisputable. In this video though, he states on camera that he feels he is the best dunker in America, and it's hard to argue with his claim after you see the footage of some of the dunks he threw down at the MLK classic. Vincent isn't all flash and highlights though; the kid has worked hard and made his way from unpolished, raw athlete to a versatile and dynamic combo forward in no time flat. Garrett has the Marshall Commandos on a roll, and if he takes care of business this week they will roll right to the city championship on the shoulders of "Air Boy Entertainment." A baller on the court- Vince knows how to handle himself off it too; he is smooth, charismatic, and always goofy. He will probably be attending junior college next year, but chances he will have high major options after he has done his two years, and be dunking on fools in the NCAA tourney in no time... For more info email danielponeman@gmail.com

Mike McCall- "Chi-City's Silent Killer" - St. Louis Recruit Clips & Chat with Dan Poneman



Mike McCall has been a presence on the Chicago basketball scene for as far back as my memory goes; from throwing down on the AAU circuit on the Illinois Heat to starting as a freshman on varsity for Foreman, there was never any doubt Mike could play. Yeah, Mike was always there alright, but it wasn't until this past year- when he helped lead Foreman to a surprise run to the championship game of the CPS Holiday tournament- that people stopped just watching and started paying attention. See, Mike has never been alone in the backcourt, which in many ways was a blessing and a curse. Every step of the way Mike was side by side with his friend (his "brother") Lavonte Dority. Lavonte - who will play in the Big East next year at South Florida- was always the one with the brightest spotlight on him, the one getting the newspaper headlines and internet buzz, well Mike was stuck being labeled Robin to Lavonte's Batman. Now don't get me wrong, Mike didn't mind his role- he loves his brother and is as humble and appreciative kid as can be- but that didn't mean he was going to sit back and be second fiddle forever. With nothing but heart and desire driving him, Mike worked and worked until he made it clear to the world that he was ready to change his title from sidekick to partner, and since then he has continued his steady ascent to the top of the city hierarchy and into the national rankings. Mike and Lavonte (as well as Eastern Illinois recruit Tommy Woolridge) team up to form arguably the best backcourt in the state, and undoubtedly among the most dominant in the entire midwest. With Mike's lethal outside shot and quickness, Lavonte's strength, explosiveness, and basketball IQ, and the magnificent chemistry that they have formed over the past six years, the Foreman Hornets are legitimate state title contenders- and the newspapers currently rank them as the #2 team in the Chicagoland area. McCall, who Foreman coach Terry Head has labeled "The Silent Killer," because of his deadly scoring ability and humble and focused demeanor, has gone from overlooked kid in the shadows to legitimate candidate for Illinois Mr. Basketball, and in this interview we discuss everything about his journey. There are also some highlight clips mixed in so you can see what Mr. McCall is made of. Enjoy.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Quinton Chievous (Niles Notre Dame 2011) The ESCC's Super Sleeper- Ready to Awake



I had heard all the rumblings over the past few months about some kid with an NBA dad in the north burbs that had a little bit of game, but I had already seen the kid with my own two eyes- sitting on the bench for the Mac Irvin Fire- so I wasn't ready to buy into the hype just yet. I talked to people in the know, asked their opinion, and it was pretty consistent: the kid has serious game- just go see for yourself. So thats what I did, I went and watched him play a game against Lincoln Park- a tough senior led squad from Chicago's north side, and all I can say is I got my money's worth and then some. Quinton Chievious (6'5" SF) poured in 23 points in the second half and overtime, and scored his points in a variety of ways, often while facing double and triple teams. This kid is not all hype- no way jose- his game is almost as real as his bloodline (his dad Derrick was a star at Missouri and played 5 years in the league), and he is stock will only keep on rising. Watch out for the sleeper in the ESCC, because before long he's going to be dunking on you, just don't say I didn't warn you... For more info email DanielPoneman@gmail.com

Sam Thompson - The Best Athlete in Chicago - Sick Highlight Reel - He's a Freak of Nature 2011



Sam Thompson is widely considered by recruiting experts and scouts to be a top 25 player in the nation for the class of 2011. That would be an honor for some players, but I think they are selling him short. The 6'6 wing has more natural athletic ability than any player I've ever seen, and his skills are no joke either. Sam wowed basketball fans and college coaches across America with ridiculous dunks and big time blocks throughout the AAU season, with the Mac Irvin Fire, and he carried that momentum into the season for #1 ranked Young until an injury sidelined him for most of their conference games. Sam is considering Kentucky, Illinois, Ohio State, Kansas, Oregon State, and Florida, and no matter which school he chooses he is almost guaranteed to be featured more than a handful of times on ESPNs top plays. This highlight reel features a few big time blocks and dunks from two games in December... For more info email DanielPoneman@gmail.com.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Chad Palmer's Player Impressions From '09-'10 Holiday Tournaments

Proviso West

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Thomas Hamilton Jr.: I would be shocked if there was another freshman post player in the nation better than Thomas Hamilton. He has good footwork (using nice drop-steps to get himself closer to the basket), nice hands, and to top it off he shoots well out to the 3pt. line. He made two 3’s in the championship game. His dad is 7’2” so if he grows to be 7’0”, he’s got to be the favorite to be the top player in the nation his senior year.

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Anthony Johnson: Anthony struggled a bit his junior year due in part to his injury. His play during the Proviso West tournament showed why he was projected in the top 100 nationally his sophomore year. He will end up being good player for Purdue.

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Sam Thompson: Dan Poneman has been saying that Sam is the best player in junior class and after seeing him play in the championship game, I may have to start believing him. I always knew he was athletic, my concern has been that he would be another Brian Randle; extremely athletic but doesn’t know how to put the ball in the basket other than a dunk. In the last game he showed a decent outside shot, a nice drive-pull up shot, and a nice drive baseline for a reverse lay-up. If he can create a shot for himself on a consistent basis, the sky is the limit.

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Mike McCall: I’ve been hearing people talk about how much of a steal Eastern Illinois got with Tommy Woolridge (which they are absolutely correct in that statement) but what about the steal St. Louis got in Mike McCall? Mike is hard to guard because he can beat you on the dribble and he can shoot, not only off the catch, but also off the dribble.

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Alex Dragicevich: This guy doesn’t get talked about enough; he is really good. He needs to be a candidate for Mr. Basketball; not saying he should get it, just saying he should be in the mix. He is so strong with the ball. When he has the ball in his hands, something good usually happens. He either gets in the lane for a good shot, gets fouled or passes to an open player. Coach Weber is smart to put him at the point guard; a lot of other coaches would have put him at the 3 or 4 position.

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Jacob Williams: College coaches need to keep an eye him. He’s one of those players that could break out and catch everyone off guard. He’s long, athletic, and shoots the three well. He needs to get stronger with the ball. If he can work on his ball handling and can score off the bounce a little more, his stock will rise. I am not sure Jacob himself knows how good he could be.

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Keith Carter: I think Keith will be the most improved player over the next couple of years. He has got a lot of potential. He can blow by defenders on the dribble; he just needs to work on his decision making once he gets by them. I think he will end up being the best point guard in Illinois in his class.

Pontiac:

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Jereme Richmond: What can I say about Jereme that has not already been said? Well, here it goes… I have never heard any talk about how smart of a basketball player Jereme is. Because people get so wrapped up in his attitude, they miss his good basketball I.Q. He knows the game of basketball. I think he will understand to motion offense better than any freshman Illinois has had in the last 6 years. I also like that he doesn’t force shots. I firmly believe he has better head on his shoulders than people give him credit for.

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Jabari Parker: I am 50/50 right now on whether I like Thomas Hamilton or Jabari Parker better. Jabari’s skills and high basketball IQ will exceed his athleticism. He plays more like a senior than he does a freshman. In his hoops report Joe Henricksen is dead on when he says “He’s old school in many ways – from the skills he possesses at a young age to the way he thinks about the game and carries himself on and off the floor”.

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Lawrence Alexander: When Peoria Manual gets talked about, the names I always hear are Andrew Jordan, Jeff Stokes, or Marvin Jordan but what about Lawrence Alexander? This 6’3” senior guard/forward is just as valuable as the other three and probably more athletic. He needs to work on his ball handling a little more but he is a decent mid-major player.

Pekin

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Tracy Abrams: We still haven’t seen the finished product with him yet. He has improved his three point shot from last year but still needs to be consistent with it. He needs to finish better in the lane after beating his defender. He doesn’t have a problem getting by his defender, but he doesn’t capitalize from it by finishing. His decision- making will continue to get better. The best of Tracy Abrams is still yet to come.

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Adonis Filer: This 6’2” junior two guard from Mount Carmel had a nice tournament with point totals of 11, 29, 17, and 19. He should increase his stock among other two guards in the state of Illinois if he keeps playing like this. He is a good compliment to Tracy Abrams.

State Farm:

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Chassen Randle: The game I watched him play was probably the worst I have seen him play and I’ve seen him play at least a dozen times. He is still one my favorite players in the junior class. He is such a smart player. I don’t think I have seen him take a bad shot. He’s very patient and selective on his shots. He shoots the ball well from three and finishes well around the basket. I think some fans wanted him take over in the 4th quarter when Rock Island was behind, but that is not Chassen’s game; he is not a take over a game type player. Rock Island could have set some double or triple screens to get him open shot though.

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Aaron Simpson: 6’0” sophomore combo guard from North Chicago. I haven’t seen a sophomore guard score in bunches so much since Rich Mcbride was a sophomore. He’s a very good shooter from the 3pt line and can put it on the floor and get by defenders as well. Once in a while he can get out of control when attacking the basket. I think I agree with chicagohoops.com ranking him #1 in the sophomore class for right now.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Aaron Simpson: Scoring Machine: #1 Sophomore in Illinois Highlights 32 points- 2 four point plays and Interview





Aaron Simpson (North Chicago 2012) is a flat out scoring machine, and many consider him to be the #1 sophomore in the state of Illinois. The 6'0" combo guard gets his points from all over the floor, and in this game he does his damage from the outside; he hit 7 threes, including 2 four point plays, against a loaded Chicago Marshall squad at the MLK classic. Simpson plays on the AAU circuit with Team NLP, coached by former NBA player and current ESPN commentator Dickey Simpkins... for more info email DanielPoneman@gmail.com

Michael Simpson (North Chicago) Unsigned Senior Highlights vs. Chicago Marshall and Interview





Michael Simpson of North Chicago High School may get overshadowed at times by his younger brother (Aaron- top sophomore in Illinois), which is a shame because this kid has some serious game himself. He may be small, but he is quick, strong, smart, and tough, and when I caught a recent North Chicago game against Chicago Marshall he displayed all of these qualities and showed why he is one of the elite unsigned prospects in Illinois. Michael is trained by former NBA player Dickey Simpkins (CEO of Team NLP), who raves about Mike's work ethic and leadership... for more info email DanielPoneman@gmail.com

Monday, February 1, 2010

Nick Johnson (Findlay Prep 2011) Highlight Reel and Interview with Daniel Poneman





Nick Johnson (6'3" Combo Guard 2011) has been having a fantastic season for the Findlay Prep Pilots: the #1 ranked team in America. ESPN.com ranks Johnson, who is the nephew of NBA legend Dennis Johnson, as the #19 prospect overall in the 2011 class and he has an impressive overall ESPN Scouts Inc. rating of 96/100. Johnson is a big time athlete with a versatile game, and can play both guard slots very affectively. In this interview Nick talks about the best players he has faced this season, his basketball bloodline, of course we go in depth about recruiting (he is considering Arizona, Arizona State, Kentucky and more), and don't think we didn't leave a little time at the end for shoutouts... for more info email DanielPoneman@gmail.com

Nus Kahn (Maine East 2010) "The Indian Iso" Unsigned Senior Highlight Reel



Nus Kahn (6'0" G) may not be a household name, but he has quietly put together quite a resume through his career at Maine East. The CSL conference is one that is headlined by big time recruits on the wing and in the front court (Jereme Richmond, Duje Dukan, Alex Dragicevich etc), but there aren't many guards in the CSL, or any conference in Illinois for that matter, who can go toe to toe with The Indian Iso. A high scoring combo guard, Nus has a tight handle, an explosive first step, and a nack for finding a way to get to ball in the basket. Nus is still not committed to play anywhere in college yet, but theres no doubt that he should have some pretty good options to play at the next level when decision time comes... for more info email Danielponeman@gmail.com

George Marshall (Wisconsin Recruit) "A Young Man Chi-Town Can Be Proud Of" Interview w/ Dan Poneman



George Marshall (6'0 PG Chicago Brooks 2011) has been at the front and center of the Chicago basketball stage since he was a middle schooler getting national recognition for his tight handle, potent mid range jumper, and his gritty effort and desire that covered every inch of every court he stepped onto. When Marshall entered Gwendolyn Brooks High School of the Chicago Public League he started on varsity from the first game of his freshman season, because even when he was 14 it was clear that he had the poise and fundamentals necessary to compete at such a high level. Now in his junior season, Marshall is nationally ranked and has more than solidified his reputation has one of the elite players in the city, and it is looking like he will be next in a long line of legendary point guards to come out of the city he loves. A true leader in every sense of the word, Marshall recently decided to pull the trigger and commit to play for Coach Bo Ryan's Wisconsin Badgers. He will join a program that is known for making the NCAA tournament every year because of the value they put in the concept of team- groups of kids that give extraordinary effort, buy into Coach Ryan's coaching, and play to win games- not to win individual awards or to be "one and done" (though Coach Ryan has produced his fair share of NBA draft picks.) Anyone who knows George can tell you that there couldn't be a better fit for this talented young Chicagoan who already plays with a mid set and maturity well beyond his years. This video features an interview with George, as well as a couple of highlights from a recent win over Von Steuben at the Whitney Young Shootout...For more info email DanielPoneman@gmail.com.

ABOUT ME

Basketball is not what I do, it is who I am. When I was a senior in high school I made the decision to forego college so that I could commit every waking moment to my passion. I've tried to give my job a label, but there really is no one title that describes it. My old site focused on covering high school basketball in Illinois and reporting recruiting news, and DP B-ball was created to enable my staff and I to do much much more. This blog is a transition site until the real DPBball.com gets released, and my staff and I will be updating daily with tons of fun and exciting content about everything high school hoops. With highlight videos, interviews on camera and off, recruiting news from around the globe, compelling feature articles, and much more, DP B-ball is the place to be for anybody who shares my passion. It's YOU, the people of the basketball community, that make it possible for me to do what I love every day, and for that I am forever grateful and willing to do whatever I can to help you all just like you do for me. So email me anytime, and if you love hoops like I do, consider me your friend. Thanks, and enjoy!

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