Updated: Sep 7, 2021
In the latest edition of ‘P.I. Pulse’, Pro Insight’s Tyler Glazier highlights a group of standouts from the ninth annual CrossRoads Elite Invitational in Wichita, Kansas:
With the conclusion of AAU, the CrossRoads Elite Invitational functions as one of the summer’s final nationwide invite-only events featuring the country’s elite underclassmen. Located at the YMCA Farha Sports Centers, the spacious eight-court fieldhouse was an ideal facility to host an event of this caliber. USA Basketball’s Director of Coach Development Don Showalter kicked off the event by imparting knowledge and setting expectations early. That mindset carried over throughout the weekend during drills, scrimmages, and ultimately a competitive All-Star playoff tournament consisting of the top-80 prospects on Sunday afternoon. CrossRoads Elite Invitational has produced dozens of McDonald’s and Jordan Brand All-American selections over the years such as Michael Porter, Jr, Chet Holmgren, Darius Garland, etc. and is a must-attend event for those looking to get an educated look at up-and-coming prospects. For those not in the building or able to catch the live streams on SUVtv, here’s our analysis from the 2021 CrossRoads Elite Invitational:
Link Academy (MO) | 6’7” Forward | 2023
One of the headliners coming into the event, Biliew didn’t disappoint when it came to putting his stamp on the weekend as a versatile hybrid forward who can play both ends of the ball. Standing at 6’7” and weighing in at 200 pounds with a 7’0” wingspan, Biliew immediately pops as someone with the tools to be a future pro. Combine that with his burst, improved footwork, strength to power through contact, and explosiveness at the rim and you get one of the higher-upside prospects in the class of 2023. While still adding polish on the perimeter, Biliew flashed his ability to functionally take opponents off the bounce and knock down open jumpers. Currently on an encouraging developmental track, look for Biliew to take his game to the next level under the oversight of the newly-minted Link Academy this upcoming season.
Sunrise Christian Academy (KS) | 6’2” Guard | 2023
Arguably one of the more impressive players at the event regardless of class, Blocker plays with a high motor and constantly looks to push the pace and turn defense into offense. Although he’s more of a downhill player due to his quick accelerator and explosive finishing ability, Blocker also showcased his ability to stretch the floor and generate easy looks for others as a point guard. A welcomed addition to Sunrise Christian Academy, Blocker aims to fine-tune his floor general skills in addition to sharpening what he already brings to the table. Watch for him to be a fast-riser in the class of 2023 as he gains more exposure on a national schedule this upcoming season.
Christopher Columbus HS (FL) | 6’8” Power Forward | 2025
One of the more intriguing long term prospects at the entire event, Boozer looks the part of a future top-level prospect in the class of 2025. Already equipped with a 6’8'' well-proportioned muscular build, Boozer does a good job using his physical advantage to get past defenders on his way to the basket for thunderous finishes. As an athlete, Boozer impressed in Wichita with his efficient body mechanics, dexterity, and blend of finesse and power. While he’s still developing into a consistent scorer, the foundational skill-set was evident as he was actively looking to stretch the floor with his compact mechanics and finish at the rim as an interior presence. Defensively, Boozer flashed his ability to switch onto the perimeter as well as muscle up other bigs in the post. Look for his ascent to continue as he begins his high school career at Christopher Columbus in 2021-22.
Brewster Academy (NH) | 6’10” Forward | 2023
The long, slender 6’10” point-forward didn’t waste any time establishing himself early amongst a talented group of prospects ranging from the 2023-2026 classes, this weekend. An extremely agile Buzelis was one of the most consistent producers on a game-to-game basis and showed off the total package on both ends of the floor as he would routinely generate stops and look to get easy baskets in transition. Few players his size are able to change speeds/direction and finish at the basket as gracefully as Buzelis. Package that with his natural feel for the game, shooting touch, footwork, and competitiveness, and you have someone who looks to not only make it to the NBA, but have an impact in the league. Already slated as the 22nd overall player in the class of 2023 via ESPN, expect Buzelis to continue rising throughout his junior season at Brewster Academy.
Denver Prep Academy (CO) | 6’11” Big | 2023
Recently coming in as the number-two overall 2023 prospect via ESPN, Baye Fall immediately showed why he’s been climbing up rankings the past year. Standing at 6’11” with plus-length, Fall is able to run the floor with ease, actively protect the rim, finish at the basket, crash the glass, and cover multiple positions defensively. The unseen hours in the gym are starting to manifest in positive ways on the court as he showcased an ever-developing feel for the game while flashing some potential to stretch the floor and take opponents off the bounce. While his frame is on the thinner side, Fall wasn’t afraid to battle in the paint, finish through contact, and insert himself into the fray. Pairing up with other talented players at Denver Prep Academy for this upcoming season, expect Fall to embrace competition and look to continue making the most of his opportunities as he progresses toward his end goal of making the NBA.
Paul McNeil, Jr.
Richmond Senior HS (NC) | 6’6” Guard | 2024
In a camp full of talented guards, McNeil popped due to his blend of physical/athletic tools and scoring prowess. The smooth guard showed the ability to heat up in a hurry due to his quick shooting mechanics off the bounce, confidence navigating to his spots with the ball, and touch at the basket. While McNeil is able to play in an uptempo system and thrives at snaking his way through defenders in the open court, he also displayed the ability to be productive as a slasher, catch-and-shoot prospect, and go-to option in half-court situations. Defensively, McNeil uses his strong frame and quick feet to cover multiple positions along the perimeter. After having already opened some eyes playing for Garner Road (NC) on the 3SSB circuit, look for McNeil to continue adding to his offensive arsenal and drawing more national attention this upcoming season.
Sunrise Christian Academy (KS) | 6’7” Wing | 2023
Equipped with ideal positional size on the wing, Middleton’s physical tools are adequately matched with talent and upside. Routinely initiating the offense, Middleton showed off his budding ability to play with pace, set up teammates in pick-and-roll, and generate his own offense within the flow of the game. The confident wing was also not shy about taking it strong to the basket, getting a bucket when needed, and playing with a chip on his shoulder throughout the weekend. After a productive summer with the New York Renaissance on the Nike EYBL circuit, Middleton is poised to become more of a national household name as he joins Sunrise Christian Academy this upcoming season.
Choctawhatchee HS (FL) | 6’8” Forward | 2024
Fresh off being named as a top-10 performer at the CP3 camp the weekend prior, Newell continued his impressive play at CrossRoads. Although only a 2024 prospect, the skilled hybrid forward possesses an ideal blend of positional size, fluidity, and two-way versatility. While he’s currently only just scratching the surface of his full potential, Newell did a good job pushing the boundaries of his game and displayed some soft touch as both an inside and outside scorer. As of now, the only major thing lacking for Newell is consistent experience playing against top high school competition —once that’s achieved, watch out for him to become one of the premier recruits in his class.
Archbishop Carroll (DC) | 6’7” Guard | 2024
A native of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Okitondo has battled the odds to not only get to the United States, but to become a significant player in the class of 2024. Gifted with ideal positional tools at 6’7”, a quick first step, the ability to change gears, and explosiveness around the basket, Okitondo checks all of the initial boxes you’d want to see out of a young high-upside wing. Combine his natural tools with a functional handle, expanding shooting repertoire, and a high motor on both sides of the ball and you’ve got a prospect who’s impossible to ignore. While there’s a level of polish that needs to be added as more reps are acquired, look for Okitondo to make an immediate impact at Archbishop Carroll as he strives to open evaluators’ eyes across the country.
Modesto Christian (CA) | 6’3” Guard | 2024
Perhaps one of the faster stock-risers on the west coast since coming onto the scene earlier this year, Phillips was an absolute bucket throughout the weekend at CrossRoads. While the 6’3” combo guard only needs a sliver of daylight to get his smooth stroke off, he’s more than just a one-dimensional shooter. Phillips does a good job of effortlessly putting up points due to his heady style of play, the way he generates more-than-adequate space off the bounce, and his ability to get downhill when attacking the basket. Already highly efficient in most of what he does well, look for the 2024 prospect to take his game to the next level if he can become a more consistent facilitator and a peskier defender as he continues to develop.
Perry HS (AZ) | 6’8” Guard | 2023
Coming off a strong showing at the Section 7 tournament with Perry High School earlier this summer, Williams came out firing early and with confidence at CrossRoads, this weekend. Standing at what appears to be close to 6’8”, Williams brings an eye-catching blend of size and agility. Aside from his impressive two-way ability, Williams separated himself as a prospect by taking advantage of what the defense gave him, playmaking for others as a lead handler, converting tough shots at the rim, knocking down open looks, and embracing competition while leading his squad to a championship in the top-80 playoff tournament. Already holding a number of offers, expect this tough prospect to continue rising up the ranks as he plays a valuable role for his high school team alongside Dylan Anderson and Koa Peat this upcoming season.
Additional Noteworthy Prospects
Jameel Aleem, Jr., Ezekiel Avit, Patrick Bath, Carey Booth, Rodney Brown, Jr., Trey Green, Jarred Hall, Donovan Holcombe, AJ Johnson, Connor Kraft, AJ Labeau, Laronte McHenry, Bobby McWard, Malachi Miller, Mavrick Miller, Emanuel Richards, Eddie Ricks III, Samuel-Eduoard Same, Eli Shetlar, Archer VanSickle, Maxsamus Wilson
Airious Bailey, Alec Blair, Cayden Boozer, Chase Coleman, Lorenzo Contreras, Jeremiah Green, Isiah Harwell, Chuck Love, Trey McKenney III, Kaidon Rayfield, Isaiah Sealy, Curtis Stinson, Jr., Avian Webb, Xavier Wilson
Christian Popoola, Elijah Popoola