Event Recap: 3SSB Championships


The 2021 3SSB Championships bracket

In the latest edition of ‘P.I. Pulse’, Pro Insight’s Matt McKay outlines the 3SSB Championships weekend by recapping the three title games and sharing some additional takeaways after spending three days in Omaha:


After four days to recover following an action-packed first live weekend in Birmingham, 3SSB was back in action in Omaha to crown the circuit’s 17U, 16U and 15U champions. Games were held at the Iowa West Fieldhouse, just across the river from downtown Omaha.For those not in the building or able to catch the livestream, here’s our synopsis:


3SSB Championships Review

15U Champions: Atlanta Celtics

Big man Jayden Williams is the top prospect on this team, but there were plenty of high-level prospects on the floor for the Atlanta Celtics. Throughout the weekend, their backcourt set the tone early and often, led by Langston Boyd and Mike Matthews. The two guards essentially formed a brick wall at the point of attack and Micah Smith’s nonstop motor, length and versatility jumped off the page, as well. The Celtics marched into the 15U championship game after a convincing victory over a talent-laden Arkansas Hawks squad in the semi-finals and secured the 15U crown by fending off Cooper Koch and Indiana Elite by the score of 66-49.


16U Champions: Indiana Elite

After facing an early double-digit deficit to K-Low Elite, Coach Michael Fox’s Indiana Elite team pulled off one of the largest momentum swings in recent memory and won the 16U title by a final score of 77-49, thanks to a balanced effort by Amire Robinson, Evan Ipsaro, Luke Almodovar, and JQ Roberts. Indiana Elite now sits at an astonishing 40-0 as they head to Las Vegas this weekend to conclude their 2021 AAU season.


17U Champions: Dream Vision

What a performance by a short-handed Dream Vision squad. Missing their best player (2022 big man Yohan Traore) and primarily sticking with a six-man rotation, the SoCal-based program pulled together, pushed the pace, shot the leather off the ball, and simply couldn’t be stopped in Omaha. The final score of the championship game read 74-58, but it never felt that close. EAB Tennessee, led by ‘24 Somto Cyril and ‘23 Colin Porter, played terrific all weekend, but Dream Vision was firing on all cylinders. Milos Uzan consistently gets his teammates great shots and has the ability to make everyone around him better — and he picked a great weekend to do it: Scotty Washington couldn’t miss from 3, ‘21 Maxwell Lewis got into the paint at will, and MVP Lamar Washington kept the defense on its heels every time he had the ball in his hands.

Dream Vision, the 2021 3SSB 17U champs

Stock-Boosters


It was a deep 3SSB field from top to bottom with plenty of high-level prospects in each bracket. Of the many individuals who left Omaha with more recruiting momentum than when they arrived, we focused on highlighting the following players (listed alphabetically):


Somtochukwu “Somto” Cyril

EAB Tennessee | 6’10 Big | 2024


If you walked into an NBA arena and saw Somto Cyril sitting on an NBA bench, you wouldn’t think twice. To evaluate him as a rising high school sophomore is a bit mind-bending. Despite “playing up” two years, the 2021 3SSB Defensive Player of the Summer looked like mid-90s Dikembe Mutombo while patrolling the paint, where he defines the “defensive anchor” archetype. His sheer size, physical maturity, strength, incredible length, and eagerness to affect shots is a very rare and valuable combination of traits. He’s quite raw on offense, but has pretty good hands, a nose for the ball as a rebounder, and a decent awareness of who he is as a player — that combination allows him to thrive in an opportunistic offensive role, feasting on offensive rebounds and catching lobs. Cyril’s development will be fascinating to watch over the next few years and it’s hard to imagine a very long list of bigs who are more impactful in the 2024 class.


Get to know Somto -

  • Began playing basketball: 2018

  • Favorite all-time player: Shaquille O’Neal, LeBron James and Hakeem Olajuwon

  • Go-to pregame meal: Chick-fil-A

  • Five-year goal: “My five-year goal is to make it to the NBA.”

EAB Tennessee's Somto Cyril

Romad Dean

Grassroots Elite Canada | 6’7 Forward | 2022


To keep the 90s player references going, Romad Dean is the Bahamian version of Dennis Rodman when it comes to rebounding prowess and overall motor. I’m not a big car guy, but if there’s a motor better than a Hemi, Dean has it on the basketball court. He’ll get winded from time to time, but it doesn’t seem to matter. He truly pursues 99% of rebounds when he’s in the game, whether they’re in his area, or not. Most rebounds he doesn’t snatch, he gets a finger or two on. He’s not a freak athlete, but a very functional one, which manifests itself positively on the defensive end, where he’s become an impactful weakside shot blocker and a pesky, quick-handed help defender. His ball handling is a work in progress and his range shooting has room for improvement, but he had the gym buzzing due to his unique blend of energy, rebounding, slashing, and toughness. There’s not a roster in America that can’t use a guy like Dean.


Get to know Romad -

  • Began playing basketball: “I started playing basketball when I was 12 and started to take it seriously when I turned 14.”

  • Favorite all-time player: LeBron James

  • Go-to pregame meal: “I don’t really have a go-to pre-game meal but I’ll have a snack like some fruits or a nutrient bar.”

  • Five-year goal: “Five years from now I would like to be in the NBA, have my goals accomplished like making my parents proud and getting a college degree.”

Grassroots Elite Canada forward Romad Dean

Joshua Dix

OSA Crusaders | 6’5 Guard | 2022


Though Dix entered the weekend with a nice list of low to high-major offers, he cemented his legitimacy to be considered a Power 5 prospect with his play in Omaha. The local product brings terrific positional size to the backcourt at 6’5+ and seemed comfortable playing 1-through-3 for the Crusaders, depending on who he was sharing the court with. He showed more than just straight-line handling with some glimpses of self-creation as a playmaker. He had no issues getting his shot off, had plenty of success from range and clearly projects as a three-point shooting threat. As impressive as he was on offense, Dix made his mark on the defensive end, as well. Whether he was, or not, he looked healthy after getting banged up a bit the previous weekend in Birmingham and displayed lateral agility and active hands while guarding the ball. Iowa seems to currently lead his list of suitors, but after his play throughout 3SSB, the list of coaches vying for his services has undoubtedly grown.


Get to know Joshua -

  • Began playing basketball: 3 years old

  • Favorite all-time player: LeBron James

  • Go-to pregame meal: Qdoba

  • Five-year goal: “In five years, my goal is to graduate college and be playing professional basketball.”

OSA Crusaders guard Joshua Dix

Rylan Griffen

Team Trae Young | 6’5 Guard | 2022


Our group has been fortunate enough to catch Griffen live several times throughout the spring and early summer and he’s consistently been a standout, but in Omaha he was on another level. Simply put, Griffen has become one of the most polished scorers in the 3SSB pool of players. He’s a big guard with an elusive handle, advanced footwork, ambidextrous finishing ability and shooting range out to the college 3 line. He has several high-level teammates (Vandy-bound Lee Dort and Noah Shelby, Ja’Kobe Walter, Shawn Jones, etc.), but consistently showed not only the ability to carry a heavy offensive burden, but to do it with efficiency. He doesn’t need any help generating offense and gets into the paint on a regular basis. He also has as a knack for attracting contact and getting to the line while on the attack. He has room to grow as a defender and could better use his lanky frame on the ball and in passing lanes, but if this past weekend was any indication of what’s to come, he’ll wind up significantly higher than the #68 (current 247Sports Composite Ranking) recruit in the country.

Get to know Rylan -

  • Began playing basketball: 3 years old

  • Favorite all-time player: Kobe

  • Go-to pregame meal: Pasta

  • Five-year goal: “My five-year goal would be to be in college getting a degree, playing good basketball, just trying to be a great man.”

Team Trae Young's Rylan Griffen

London Johnson

Game Elite | 6’4 Guard | 2023


There’s no other way to say this: London Johnson is elite. Regardless of what he’s ranked, I’m confident writing this in sharpie. From a physical tools and foundational skillset perspective, there’s not much more one could ask for in a modern combo guard: positional size, quick-twitch athleticism, space creation, basketball IQ, passing feel, shooting touch, lateral mobility, and the list goes on. Johnson didn’t put up ridiculous numbers in either of the 3SSB weekends, but what he did show every few possessions were tangible, translatable tools that you don’t see every day from a college player, much less a rising high school junior. Between the hundreds of players I watched in Omaha, London Johnson tops the list of prospects I’m excited about long term. If he stays the course, it’ll only be a short while until he’s showing up as a League Pass regular.


Get to know London -

  • Began playing basketball: 6 years old back in DC

  • Favorite all-time player: LeBron James

  • Go-to pregame meal: “Chicken Alfredo pasta. I try to stay away from red meats before the games because it causes the blood to become thicker and doesn’t allow oxygen to flow through to your muscles which causes you to not be as loose as possible.”

  • Five-year goal: “In the next five years I would like to have gone to a college and hopefully be in the NBA.”

Game Elite guard London Johnson. Credit: Marcus Mease

Colin Porter

EAB Tennessee | 5’11 Guard | 2023


He might not jump out at you in warmups, but make no mistake — Colin Porter is a prospect. The undersized floor general is a pure, set-the-table PG who has the ability to get going himself, as well. He’s a below-the-rim player, but what immediately stands out is his confident, fearless court presence. No matter the matchup, this guy never seems to get rattled. Even against intense ball pressure, Porter does a consistently great job of shielding the ball with his body and rarely coughs it up or turns it over. His rock-solid handle was on display throughout the weekend as was his BBIQ and smart decision making. He’s very comfortable playing in pick-and-roll, where he constantly seemed to put himself in positions to have 2-3 good options once getting past the first line of defense. Range shooting is another strength, as he routinely makes defenses pay for going under on screens. I personally wasn’t familiar with Colin Porter a month ago, but his advanced offensive repertoire and bandana quickly won me over. I fully expect his offer list (currently seven low majors, per Verbal Commits) to quickly grow.


Get to know Colin -

  • Began playing basketball: 4 years old

  • Favorite all-time player: Michael Jordan

  • Go-to pregame meal: Chick-fil-A

  • Five-year goal: “In five years I want to have won a Kentucky State Championship and be in a place to compete for an NCAA Championship.”

EAB Tennessee PG Colin Porter

Liron “LJ” Thomas

Team Loaded NC | 6’4 Guard | 2022


LJ Thomas is another guard that left Omaha with more momentum than when he arrived. Formerly a member of the 2021 high school class, Thomas has a sturdy, physically mature build with good positional size as a lead guard. He understandably plays more of a secondary role when five-star teammate MJ Rice is in the game, but proved to be fully capable of shouldering a large chunk of the offensive load when called upon. He was provided that opportunity on Sunday with Rice on the shelf, and pieced together a really impressive performance in a win against the NY Jayhawks in Team Loaded NC’s final game of the weekend. Thomas’ game begins with his defensive energy — he’s capable of sitting down and really disrupting opposing ball handlers. His motor seamlessly translates to the offensive end of the floor, too. He’s shifty with the ball, makes good decisions, balances scoring with distributing and projects as a range shooting threat at the next level. More than anything, Thomas is someone that seems truly invested in winning, with exhibit A being that 9:00 AM Sunday morning performance where he competed on both ends as if his team was in the championship game.


Get to know LJ -

  • Began playing basketball: 7 years old

  • Favorite all-time player: Allen Iverson

  • Go-to pregame meal: pasta and fruit

  • Five-year goal: “In five years I would like to be a pro NBA player, have had a great college career and be giving back to my community to inspire and impact other kids in positive ways.”

Team Loaded NC's Liron "LJ" Thomas

Scotty Washington

Dream Vision | 6’5 Guard | 2022


Scotty Washington is another former class of 2021 guard who made some noise in Omaha. He was a major catalyst in the short-handed Dream Vision squad’s championship run. Washington is all arms and legs with a frame that’s still filling out. He brings translatable functional athleticism that reveals itself on both ends. He also really endears himself to evaluators with how hard he plays. His investment and focus as a team defender paid dividends throughout the weekend. He’s a fluid mover both east-west and north-south, which allows him to slide and switch on the perimeter as well as get out and make things happen in transition. His confidence as a shooter seemed to increase by the game, culminating in four (my unofficial count) 3PM in the 17U championship game vs. EAB Tennessee. As Washington continues to fill out and round out his game, he’ll have a good chance to be an impact player for the right college program.


Get to know Scotty -

  • Began playing basketball: Four years old

  • Favorite all-time player: Tracy McGrady

  • Go-to pregame meal: Chicken and rice bowl from Maxx Grill

  • Five-year goal: “In five years I see myself giving back to my community with the blessings I’ve received.”

Dream Vision's Scotty Washington

Cody Williams

AZ Firestorm | 6’7 Guard | 2023


Cody Williams: hands down one of the most interesting, intriguing prospects in the 3SSB field. Tall and lanky enough to play 1-3, Williams personifies modern positionless basketball. He brings top-notch versatility and a calm, poised court demeanor whenever he steps onto the floor. He really shined with his high school team at Section 7 last month and had some really successful stretches this weekend, as well. At the end of the day, he has the potential to be a match-up nightmare on offense while guarding 3-4 positions on defense. It’s evident that the game comes naturally to Williams and he’s the type of athlete that gets to his spots without looking like he’s trying, but sometimes that factor teeters the dangerous line between boredom due to ease and a general willingness to disappear. Williams left some on the table this past weekend, but it's important to note that no player is perfect, no rising high school junior is a finished product, and, ultimately, it is impossible to ignore the positional versatility and massive defensive upside, here.


Get to know Cody -

  • Began playing basketball: 6 years old

  • Favorite all-time player: Kobe

  • Go-to pregame meal: Grilled cod or tilapia

  • Five-year goal: “In five years my goal is to have a high school state championship and to be in the league.”


2021 3SSB award recipients