Event Recap: Sports Academy National Cup - East Session 2
Updated: Mar 8
In the latest edition of ‘P.I. Pulse’, Pro Insight’s Michael Visenberg highlights prospects who stood out at Sports Academy National Cup after spending the weekend in Hamilton, Ohio for East Session 2:
With the first weekend in the books for the West, South and East sessions of the Sports Academy National Cup powered by Matt Barnes, it was time for tournament play in East Session 2, which took place February 26-27 at Spooky Nook Sports at Champion Mill in Hamilton, Ohio. With the ability to play on up to eight courts at once, the gym was buzzing and the stakes were high with automatic bids for the finals (which will be at Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, California May 19-21) and prize money on the line.
East Session 2 featured teams from East Session 1 from DC, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Virginia. It also featured teams that were recently eligible to play AAU basketball from the Midwest (Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio), plus saw Tre Mann Elite from Florida switch their 2027-29 teams from the South to the East to compete at Spooky Nook.
Both teams that finished with perfect 4-0 records in the first East Session, #1 seed Team Takeover (DC) and #2 seed Boo Williams (VA), faced each other in the final. Boo Williams came out the champion and will have a very high seed going into the finals in May. The third-place game went to new entry, George Hill All Indy (IN), who bested Team Durant (MD) 60-37, with both rounding out the automatic bids to Thousand Oaks.
There will be possible play-in opportunities for the remaining teams, with NJ Scholars (NJ) and New World McNeil (DC) facing off in the finals of the consolation bracket, with Scholars winning the 5th place game 56-55. 2028 will feature East Session 2 champion Team Future (PA), along with runner-up Team Durant 2028 (MD), along with Team Takeover 2028 (DC) and Tre Mann Elite 2028 (FL). 2029 had NJ Scholars 2029 (NJ) taking home the championship at Spooky Nook with NJ Legacy 2029 (NJ) finishing as runner-up who will be joined by additional qualifiers for Thousand Oaks in Battle-Tested (MD) and All Ohio BNU (OH).
Seeding is yet to be decided, as it will be after West Session 2 (April 1-2 at Inspire Courts in Gilbert, Arizona) and South Session 2 (April 22-23 in Deerfield Beach, Florida). The East Session 2 tournament gave us a great look into some prospects that will make noise in California in May, and players to monitor moving forward in the Class of 2027. We were also able to catch a few 2028s who had stood previously, along with a few new players that were intriguing prospects, as well. Below, we’ve analyzed just some of the noteworthy standouts we evaluated in Ohio.
Jordyn Houston | Boo Williams (VA)
At around 6’6” with an impressive frame, Houston is a major presence who also adds some ball handling ability and flashes of shooting touch. He’s fully capable of taking it full court off a rebound or blocked shot to make a soft finish in transition. He finishes through contact as well and is a force on the offensive boards. Houston is not the quickest in a straight line, and uses more of a change of pace and his strength to get to his spots. He certainly asserted himself in Ohio, and couples an intriguing positional skillet with impressive physical strength.
NaVorro Bowman | Team Takeover (DC)
The toughness and energy that Bowman plays with exemplifies the style one typically expects from Team Takeover. The son of former Penn State and NFL linebacker NaVorro Bowman, the younger Bowman is a crafty finisher and scrappy defender. He notably converted a lay-up in the closing seconds of the championship game that tied it up with 3 seconds left. He has a functional handle, is an unselfish playmaker and a threat from long range. He is not very tall for his position and still quite skinny, but plays bigger than his size, with leadership and a skillset that makes Team Takeover a Sports Academy National Cup contender. He recently announced he will be attending Paul VI (VA), a school with a tremendous history of producing elite guards.
Peyton Kemp | George Hill All Indy (IN)
With a tight handle and good balance on his jumpshot, Kemp has a complete scoring package and does a great job initiating the offense for his team. He is a killer in transition, where he can lead the break and create easy offense. He has range out to the NBA three-point line and a high level of comfort in his ability to create separation. Defensively, he moves his feet well and is a good anticipator while playing the passing lanes. He still does tend to gamble and can be turnover-prone at times, but overall had a positive weekend at Spooky Nook, showing why he’s such a highly-touted prospect.
Jamaal McKnight | Team Durant (MD)
The first East Session MVP had to deal with an injured ankle in the quarterfinal match-up with Tre Mann Elite and even still, McKnight flashed his playmaking and ability to break down a defense, traits that make him such a well-regarded point guard. Creative as a handler with an extra gear of speed, he is quite adept at finding cutters and shooters. He finds ways to get into the paint and is a big threat with his shooting, as well. Still diminutive in size, he plays bigger, is a pesky defender and a leader for Durant. This is a very talented team who had a tough Sunday at Spooky Nook, but with a fully healthy McKnight at the finals in May, they will not be an easy team to deal with.
Cooper Zachary | George Hill All Indy (IN)
Another huge component of the George Hill All Indy offensive arsenal, Zachary brings feathery touch from deep, quick processing speed, smart decision-making, an advanced floater game, creativity as a finisher, and some pick-and-roll acumen. He’s also a ball hawk as a defender and can quickly turn defense into offense. His physical growth will be something to keep an eye on, but he really knows how to play and displays many of the skills you look for in a PG prospect.
Babatunde Oladotun | Team Durant (MD)
At 6’6” with long limbs, Oladotun has such an easy release and seems to get his shot over anyone at this level. His father is 6’8.5”, so it is likely that he keeps growing and fills out his frame. “Baba” can also handle the ball and is a good passer. It appears that down the line he will be able to play either forward spot, while making an impact as a versatile shooter and defender. In Ohio, he was still able to finish near the basket at times, though he’ll have to work on improving his strength to maximize that aspect of his game. The size and skillset are both tantalizing, making him a potentially very scalable prospect.
Callen Morrison | Boo Williams (VA)
The key to the Boo Williams offense is Morrison, who provides rim pressure, great start-and-stop ability and defensive energy. He’s noticeably crafty as a paint finisher with some tricks up his sleeve. He possesses touch and ability both from midrange and from beyond the arc as a shooter. He also has some real live dribble passing ability a