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Event Recap: Nike Hoop Summit


Credit: @picturethispdx (IG)

In the latest edition of ‘P.I. Pulse’, Pro Insight’s Tyler Glazier assigns superlatives to prospects who differentiated themselves this past week while participating in the Nike Hoop Summit in Portland, Oregon:

Following large events, it’s not uncommon for us to tweet out our ‘post-event superlatives’ list, where we choose both fun and functional categories and assign a prospect who fits best into each slot, based on their performance at the given event. This time, it felt appropriate to add some reasoning and context behind our superlatives following a full week of practice, scrimmages and last Friday night’s Hoop Summit game, itself.

2022 Nike Hoop Summit Superlatives

MVP

Dariq Whitehead (Team USA) | Montverde Academy (FL) | 6’5” Guard *Duke commit

Game Stats: 20 MIN, 17 PTS (6-12 FG, 5-7 3FG), 5 REB, 4 AST, 3 STL, 3 TO

Few high school peers have had the run Dariq Whitehead has had over the past three weeks, seeing him win the prestigious McDonald’s All-American game MVP, followed by a GEICO National Championship and most recently donning the USA logo across his chest as a select invite to the Nike Hoop Summit. However, while most players might get overwhelmed or fatigued by the grind, Whitehead was his typical focused self and took care of business against some of the top young talent in the world. Whitehead was ‘Mr. Reliable’ for team USA and quietly dominated practice on both ends throughout the week, culminating in an efficient stat line against the World Team on Friday night. In a game that saw a total of five Duke commits take the court between the two teams, Whitehead did an excellent job asserting himself and making winning plays on both ends of the floor. His shooting consistency, BBIQ, leadership, etc. have all come a long way since he stepped foot on campus at Monteverde five years ago as he’s morphed into a much more complete player. With the Jon Scheyer era kicking off in Durham, Whitehead will be a much needed productive leader and steady influence for the first-year head coach as he aims to sustain the program’s storied history of success.

Duke-bound Dariq Whitehead. Credit: @picturethispdx (IG)

Stockriser

Cam Whitmore (Team USA) | Archbishop Spalding (MD) | 6’6” Wing *Villanova

Game Stats: 15 MIN, 19 PTS (7-8 FG, 2-3 3FG, 3-4 FT), 0 REB, 2 AST, 1 STL, 2 TO

After a productive McDonald’s All-American game, Whitmore continued the circuit rounds by suiting up for team USA in the prestigious Nike Hoop Summit. As a first-time Team USA participant as well as the lowest-ranked recruit entering the event, Whitmore quickly established himself as one of the more intriguing prospects playing for either team. At 6’6” and 200 pounds, Whitmore has the requisite physical tools to step on Villanova’s campus and be an immediate contributor from day one. And while he’s known for his highlight finishes from his time at Archbishop Spalding (MD), Whitmore showed everyone in attendance that he’s more than just a dunker as he showcased his secondary creating, playmaking, outside shooting, rebounding, toughness, and defensive versatility throughout the week. Still only 17 years old, Whitmore is on an excellent developmental track and projects to get even better under Coach Jay Wright as he and future running mate Mark Armstrong look to keep the legacy going for the Wildcats.

Upside

Kel’el Ware (Team USA) | North Little Rock (AR) | 7’0” Big *Oregon

Game Stats: 18 MIN, 11 PTS (4-5 FG, 1-1 3FG, 2-2 FT), 5 REB, 0 AST, 1 STL, 0 TO

While taking in his newfound celebrity status throughout the week in Portland, Ware gave Ducks fans a little taste of what the future looks like in Eugene, (hint: it’s bright). While Ware stock has been slowly building momentum over the past year or so, his performances at both the McDonald’s All-American game and now the Nike Hoop Summit felt like a coming out party for the 5-star big. At a legit 7’0” tall, Ware showed off his unique blend of fluidity, interior scoring, rim protection, pace and range shooting touch throughout the week. Rarely in a rush, Ware made the game look easy at times and was a tough cover for other skilled bigs in attendance such as Vincent Iwuchukwu, Felix Okpara and Yohan Traore of the World Team. While it’s strange to say the 10th ranked player in the country is underrated, after what he just showed at Hoop Summit, the case for the 9 players in front of him got that much harder to argue. The Ducks got a good one.

Future Oregon Duck Kel'el Ware. Credit: @picturethispdx (IG)

Sleeper

Lamar Washington (Portland Generals) | Arizona Compass Prep (AZ) | 6’4” Guard *Texas Tech

Game Stats: 22 PTS (8-15 FG, 3-8 3FG, 3-4 FT), 5 REB, 2 AST, 3 TO *Scrimmage Stats

While the majority of these superlatives belong to official Nike Hoop Summit invites, it was tough to leave the AZ Compass Prep product and Portland native off the list based on his admirable one-day performance where he went toe-to-toe against the USA team as a member of the Portland Generals, the Hoop Summit scrimmage squad that seems to be growing a cult following. After being unable to participate in the scrimmage against the World Team on Wednesday due to conflicts, Lamar “Mar Mar” Washington made the most of his opportunity in a scrimmage against Team USA on Thursday in the Moda Center on an NBA floor in front of NBA GMs. With a strong 6’4” frame, fearless attitude and layered offensive game, Washington showcased his ability to break down defenses, pull-up from deep and finish at the rim on his way to a statement 22p-5r-2a statline. The goal of the Portland Generals team is not only to tune up each team before they face-off Friday night, but to also provide an opportunity for talented, albeit sometimes overlooked prospects to prove themselves in front of NBA evaluators. And while Washington wasn’t the only one who made a positive impression, he was definitely the guy who made the most of his limited time and is a sleeper prospect to follow in Lubbock, going forward.

Motor

Omaha Biliew (World Team) | Link Academy (MO) | 6’8” Forward *Undecided

Game Stats: 20 MIN, 12 PTS (5-12 FG, 0-3 3FG, 2-4 FT), 6 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 2 TO

The lone representative of the newly formed prep powerhouse Link Academy, Biliew showed up ready to make an impact with his temporary teammates on and off the court as well as have a strong showing in front of NBA evaluators. The most vocal prospect on the World Team throughout the week, Biliew’s energy helped raise the intensity and focus of each practice session that would have him leaving in a sweat-soaked jersey. Gifted with an excellent physical profile at 6’8” with an uber-long 7’2” wingspan, Biliew acted as a versatile two-way option for the World Team that could slide between positions defensively, slash to the basket, crash the glass, and knock down open looks with his much-improved jumper. Always active in practice, Biliew brought that same high motor to the game on Friday night as he plugged holes and took advantage of scoring opportunities. Still only a high school junior, the Nike Hoop Summit served as a positive litmus test for Biliew to see where he stacks up against the competition in this type of setting while also providing an excellent learning experience. Expect Biliew to continue improving as he applies the absorbed information from the week into AAU on the Nike EYBL Circuit as well as into his senior season.

World Team wing Omaha Biliew. Credit: @picturethispdx (IG)

Swiss Army Knife

Leonard Miller (World Team) | Ft. Erie Int'l Acad. (CAN) | 6’11” Wing *2022 NBA draft eligible

Game Stats: 18 MIN, 11 PTS (4-9 FG, 2-4 3FG, 1-1 FT), 5 REB, 2 AST, 2 BLK, 1 STL, 2 TO

After an extremely unique high school journey which saw Miller balling in Canada, Utah, Florida then back to his native Canada, he’s gone from a mostly unknown prospect to now one of the most intriguing players in the 2022 class in a several month time span. At 6’11” tall, big hands, length and broad shoulders, Miller’s physical maturation has been incredible to watch as he went from a lanky junior at Wasatch Academy (UT) to a grown man as a Fort Erie (CAN) post-graduate in approximately two years. Now draft-eligible with NBA size and a guard-like skill-set, Miller is a toolsy athlete who can slice his way to the hoop to finish strong over length, knock down quick step-back threes from NBA range against guards and punish unset defenses as a transition playmaker or productive slasher, all while playing with a care-free, been-there-before attitude, regardless of environment. While he’s still rounding out his maturity as a decision-maker, Miller’s upside and versatility were on full display against some of the top talent in the USA. Look for him to continue his rise to potential stardom with whatever college, NBA, or alternative pro program he decides to join.

Alpha Dog

Keyonte George (Team USA) | IMG Academy (FL) | 6’4” Guard *Baylor

Game Stats: 16 MIN, 8 PTS (2-6 FG, 1-3 3FG, 3-3 FT), 0 REB, 1 AST, 0 TO

After a successful senior season with IMG Academy (FL) where he routinely filled up the box score, George currently sits as the number-four prospect in the country (per 247 composite rankings). At a filled-out 6’4”, George is a lethal scorer when he’s got it going, as evidenced in a range shooting barrage to end the USA vs. Portland Generals scrimmage on Thursday afternoon, the day before USA took on the World Team. Aside from scoring, George flashed his defensive upside when locked in and was more than comfortable acting as a lead guard on a team that lacked a traditional floor general. While he remained mostly quiet throughout the week until the onslaught against the Generals, George’s confident demeanor and court presence never dropped off as he carried himself like an apex predator who could strike at any moment. More of a gamer, George came alive when the bright lights were on Friday night in the Moda Center as he was knocking down shot after shot during pregame warmups and seemed ready to unleash against NBA All-Stars let alone the World Team. As Baylor’s highest-ranked commit since the ESPN recruiting database began in 2007, it’s a perfect marriage between star power and program grit that should help shape George into the rising NBA star he currently views himself as while simultaneously taking Baylor for a potential deep tournament ride next spring. It should be another fun season in Waco.

Baylor signee Keyonte George. Credit: @picturethispdx (IG)

Entertaining

Dillon Mitchell (Team USA) | Montverde Academy (FL) | 6’7” Wing *Texas

Game Stats: 24 MIN, 6 PTS (3-5 FG), 8 REB, 4 AST, 1 TO