Prospect Analysis: FIBA U18 Americas Championship


Team Canada guard Vasean Allette. Credit: FIBA

Earlier this month the FIBA U18 Americas Championship wrapped up in Tijuana, Mexico with an unsurprising result, as the United States won the tournament for the sixth time in a row. While USA Basketball (deservedly) gets most of the scouts' attention in these settings, there's always a number of prospects in the rest of the field who project as valuable players for college and professional teams.


In the latest edition of ‘P.I. Pulse,’ Pro Insight’s Ignacio Rissotto recaps the 2022 FIBA U18 Centrobasket Championship by highlighting nine different international standout prospects from the event:


Vasean Allette

Canada | 6'3" Guard | Team: United Scholastic Academy (Canada) | Class: 2023


One of the most outstanding players of the past high school basketball season in Ontario, Allette more than justified his call up for the U18 National Team by leading the tournament in scoring. With his combination of positional size, shiftiness, body control and ability to keep control of the ball under pressure, Allette was able to put pressure on the defense consistently and get to the rim.


While Allette is certainly a score-first guard, he is able to take advantage of the gravity he generates as a driver to find open teammates on the perimeter with simple drive-and-kick passes, while showing sporadic moments of advanced half-court passing.


The scoring efficiency wasn’t always there for Allette (43.8 TS% in the tournament) and despite some moments of movement shooting, it’s clear that his jumper still needs some work mechanically, as his slow wind up and low release point makes his shot somewhat easy to contest.


Allette proved in the tournament that his scoring ability and aggressive mentality translated well despite the jump in competition level. Continuing to improve as a shooter will be a key for Allette’s ceiling, but with his current skillset the D1 attention he’s getting is more than justified.

Dylan Bordon

Argentina | 6'3" Guard | Team: Boca Juniors (Argentina)


Argentinian youth teams are usually characterized by their strength at the lead guard position and this U18 squad was no exception, as Bordon proved to be one of the most outstanding passers in the competition, being able to execute pick-and-rolls and half-court sets with precision, while also showing the ability to read plays and make passes on the move.


Scoring didn’t come easy for Bordon who averaged just 9 points per game on 45.4 TS% and connected on just 4 of his 20 attempts from beyond the arc. While he shows some finishing versatility and his combination of positional size and strong frame allow him to overpower and score over smaller opponents in the paint, initiating drives seems to be tough for him at this point, as he’s not quick or explosive enough to get by defenders one-on-one.


Overall, Bordon was a steady playmaking presence for an Argentinian team that obtained their ultimate goal of qualifying for next year’s FIBA U19 World Cup, while the lack of scoring gravity might put a cap on his ceiling, it’s easy to see the value that Bordon’s passing ability could bring to any college or overseas pro team down the line.

Reynan Dos Santos

Brazil | 6'4" Wing | Team: França (Brazil)


Dos Santos came into the event looking to build upon his MVP performance at the latest FIBA South American U18 Championship, and he certainly was instrumental for a silver-medal Brazilian squad, leading the team in scoring. Dos Santos is an athletic wing who utilizes his combination of length, speed, body control and leaping ability to get to the rim nearly at will. In the painted area, he’s able to not just finish strong with powerful dunks, but also to draw fouls at a good rate.


Even more impressive were his flashes of versatile shooting; Dos Santos only made 23.3% of his three-point attempts but he showed the ability to convert threes on ISO situations and was especially lethal from mid-range, where he was able to take advantage of teams dropping in coverage and giving him shots from that area.


His decision making is something he’ll have to improve, as he tends to drive to the rim with no plan at times, turning the ball over in the process, but Dos Santos plays with a high level of energy, aggressiveness and toughness. His approach to the game, combined with his athleticism, driving ability and shooting potential certainly make him a high-upside wing who could thrive at the highest levels of competition during the next few years.

Elijah Fisher

Canada | 6'7" Forward | Team: Crestwood Prep (Canada) | Class: 2022


Standing at 6’7” Fisher has the tools - size, length and strength, to thrive as a wing or as a forward in a high-major program from day one. Fisher combines his tools with a good level of body control and flexibility, which he utilizes to get to the rim. While not extremely powerful or shifty, he knows how to use his tools and his fluidity with the ball in his hands to navigate traffic and finish at the rim with versatility.


The passing moments are also enticing, as Fisher is not only able to make passes out of gravity, but he’s also proficient at using his size to pass over the top of the defense and to run some pick-and-rolls as a ball-handler. While he does have a smooth and compact shooting stroke and he was definitely able to make defenders pay for going under screens in high school, it was a different story in this tournament where he converted just 1 of his 14 three-point attempts.


Recently committed to Texas Tech, Fisher was probably the most highly-touted non-USA player in attendance. He might not have had the offensively dominant performance that could be expected from him, but the combination of tools, driving ability and passing potential certainly bode well for his immediate translation to the college game.


Eduardo Klafke

Brazil | 6'1" Guard | Team: França (Brazil)


Klafke was one of the most versatile and consistent shooters in the tournament, as he was able to convert 45.2% of his three-pointers on 7 attempts per game. Klafke was unfazed by defensive pressure, showing the combination of touch, handles and footwork to create space against opponents and convert jumpers off movement from deep range.


Just as impressive as his shooting ability were his contributions on the defensive end of the floor, an area in which he has shown improvement from previous events; Klafke plays bigger than his listed 6’1” size and he’s able to stay in front of opponents and contest shots at the rim with his length.


The next step for Klafke is to continue to grow as a playmaker, as he’s definitely not a primary and he still needs to refine his decision-making and shot selection, but considering that he will not turn 17 years old for another five months, Klafke projects as one of the top scoring guards in the 2005 international generation given his performance in the tournament.

Edwin Daniel Linares

Dominican Republic | 6'9" Big | Team: Central Pointe Christian Academy (FL) | Class: 2023


Linares was a bright spot on the defensive end of the floor for Dominican Republic, leading the tournament with 3.2 blocks per game and providing a deterring presence around the basket, showing the size, length and strong frame to be a factor as a rim protector and rebounder.


Offensively things didn’t go as smoothly for Linares. Despite showing multiple flashes of ball-handling and passing vision for his size, he struggled with efficiency, shooting a dismal 22.6 TS% and converting just 2 of his 14 attempts from beyond the arc. Linares seemed to be walking in the fine line between stepping out of his comfort zone and “doing too much.”


Linares has impressive tools and will be a defensive contributor from day one at the next level, but finding his offensive role will be key to his ceiling. It’s an interesting bet for multiple D1 programs, which can pay off big time if the flashes of perimeter play become consistent weapons in his offensive arsenal.


Michael Nwoko

Canada | 6'10" Big | Team: The Burlington School (NC) | Class: 2023


Standing at 6’10” Nwoko has prototypical size, length and strength for a big man and he uses those tools to thrive near the basket. Nwoko uses his combination of touch, coordination and sheer size to convert catch-and-finish opportunities around the basket efficiently, as he shot 62.2% from the field during the tournament.


Nwoko didn’t have as many opportunities to self-create from the post, but he resolves situations well, showing touch, coordination, strength and finishing versatility, which allows him to convert field goals in awkward angles and against physical defenders. Nwoko also possesses a good level of vertical explosiveness off a standstill, which not only allows him to finish strong at the rim, but also to be a prolific rebounder.


While Nwoko doesn’t really participate actively in perimeter offense beyond screening, he is extremely efficient in the role he plays as a play finisher and rebounder and has the requisite tools to thrive at the next level which more than justifies the attention he’s receiving from high-major programs.


Edir Ortiz

Puerto Rico | 6'7" Forward | Team: Colegio Adianez (PR) | Class: 2022


Ortiz had already shown his two-way potential at U17 Centrobasket, but he seems to have taken a leap in the months leading up to this tournament. Ortiz was impressive as a shot blocker and rebounder, providing a strong presence below the rim, making up for his lack of elite size for a center with his length and his toughness.


While Ortiz mixes in some passing moments from the post and flashes of attacking closeouts from the perimeter, offensively Ortiz works mainly within two levels. He's able to impose his will in the paint, collecting offensive rebounds and converting catch-and-finish situations below the rim. On the perimeter, he shows a repeatable stroke which made him a pick-and-pop threat for Puerto Rico.


Efficiency was not always there for Ortiz, but his combination of big man skills and perimeter potential should certainly be enticing for many D1 programs.

Victor Valdes

Mexico | 6'5" Forward | Team: Zentro (Spain)


Valdes’ game is deceiving. At 6'5" he plays more as a forward than as a wing or guard, since he's not the quickest or most explosive athlete - but what he lacks in burst he makes up for with strength, balance, body control, and basketball IQ.


Valdes was the main offensive initiator for Mexico, showing the ability to read and react to plays on the move, while flashing some moments of advanced playmaking in pick-and-roll situations, where he is able to manipulate defenders and make the right reads and deliveries.


When creating for himself, Valdes' compact and repeatable mechanics and his flashes of shooting off the bounce indicate some potential as a floor-spacer despite his sub-par percentages in the tournament (28.2% on 6.5 attempts per game), but the bulk of his offense comes on drives, where he uses his size, body control, touch, and fluid handles to power his way to the rim, finishing through contact and drawing fouls.


The lack of elite explosiveness for his size will likely limit Valdes' ceiling as a pro, especially when it comes to finishing at the rim (as he relies on tough shots) and keeping up with quicker guards/wings as a perimeter defender. But despite these shortcomings, with his ability to convert drives and his shooting potential there's no reason why he shouldn't develop into an impact player in any good-to-great overseas league in the future.





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