The Pangos All-American Camp is an invite-only event and has served as a premier stage for high school players to showcase their skills and talents in front of national scouts, media, and video outlets. Pro Insight spent the week in Las Vegas and caught up with Wesley Yates of Beaumont United High School (TX) and LivOn/Fleur De Lis (LA).
Coming off back-to-back state titles, Yates is one of the best pure scorers in high school basketball, and has built on that foundation with flashes of playmaking and defense this AAU season. Yates currently holds offers from more than 20 programs, which includes the likes of Auburn, Gonzaga, Stanford, and Washington.
As part of the Pro Insight Q&A series, Yates illustrated what he looks for in a college program, what the Beaumont program means to him, his constant competition with his older brothers, what it meant to win back-to-back state titles, and more.
For the next installment of the Pro Insight Q&A series, we present 2023 prospect Wesley Yates, from Beaumont, Texas:
Pro Insight: Congratulations on the Pangos invite! What have you been hoping to show or prove here in Vegas?
Wesley Yates: Just show that I am an all-around player, and that I can do everything, and impact the game in different ways to help my team win. Show that I am a vocal leader on and off the court.
PI: How would you describe your game to those who haven’t seen it?
WY: I am a kid who makes the right plays and plays the game the right way. I feel like I shoot the ball pretty well and get to the rim. I feel like I can use my body pretty well, and use my physicality and strength to my advantage. Being able to bump defenders, slide in front of defenders while using my body, and not having to use my arms a lot.
PI: Is there anything you’re trying to work on over this next year?
WY: Definitely taking control of the game, mentally and physically. Just show people I am who they say I am. I want to be consistent and make it seem like every game, I’m having a great game. On-ball, off-ball defense, rebounding both offensively and defensively, it doesn’t matter — just show that I can do everything. Definitely defense for sure, I feel like I came a long way but have room to grow. Trying to be more of a gritty player.
PI: Is there anyone you try to model your game after?
WY: Not necessarily, I just take different things from different people and add it to my game to make me an all-around player.
PI: Is there a role/position you prefer at the next level?
WY: Not really, I just want to get buckets honestly (laughs). I’ve been getting buckets my whole life, I just want it to stay the same.
PI: Tell us about your back-to-back state championships and the process it took to get there?
WY: It was crazy. The whole season, everyone was going at each other. Coach split the teams up, and since there was never an advantage, it helped us a lot. Just playing against each other and going and competing and getting the best out of each other. If someone came and watched our practice, they would think we hated each other but that’s how we compete. That’s what really helped us win, just getting after it every single day, in the classroom, being leaders off the court, too. It was a tough season, we lost the first game and a few games down the road. We never held our head down, we listened to all the critics, and it motivated us to keep working hard. Terrance (Arceneaux) sacrificed all his scoring this year to help us win — he could’ve never done that, he could’ve been a selfish player, but I love him for that. He’s just a great person to be around, just knowing he can go out there and score all the time. He just gave it all to me and just did the dirty work and I really appreciate him for that. I appreciate all my other teammates for sticking through the process and getting through those hard days off the court and on the court, cause everyone got something they are going through off the court even if we don’t know about it. So, I just want to thank my teammates for staying strong.
PI: What are you looking for in a college program both on and off the court?
WY: On the court, coaches that would let me play through mistakes, and when I come in to probably play right away, hopefully start right away. Honestly, just let me be me, shoot the shots that I shoot. To let me be the player I know I am, and I am capable of being. Off the court, more of just a family atmosphere. I just need to feel comfortable there, because who knows, I may be in college all my four years, maybe five. A campus where I can be comfortable, where all the coaches treat me like their son. If I can look up to them as father figures and they can help me become a better man, I feel like that’s a place where I need to be. Just a positive atmosphere, where everything is positive, it just goes a long way with everything.
PI: Could you share a little bit about your background and where you’re from?
WY: I’m from Beaumont, Texas. I was born in Beaumont, Texas, but I was raised in Combes, Texas, and Beaumont, Texas. I used to live in both places. My grandma stayed in Combes and my dad and mom stayed in Beaumont. I always went to school in Beaumont. I grew up in a town where not a lot of people come out, but Kendrick Perkins made it out of Beaumont and that really motivates me, with people from my city that had the same dreams as me. Everybody is encouraging me and keeps me going out there. I just love the city and I want to show that people from the city can actually get somewhere in life. I just want to get to the NBA and show them that I am doing everything for my city.
PI: What made you start playing basketball, and did you play any other sports growing up?
WY: My older brothers, just watching them. I played football, too, up until the ninth grade and I stopped after I got my first division 1 basketball offer. Just watching my older brothers play football and basketball, just wanting to be like them, wanting to be better than them. I feel like I did a pretty good job at that so far.
PI: What’s something that most people don’t know about you?
WY: I am smart. I have a 3.9 GPA, and I’m top-10 in my class. I can sing, I’m funny and I like to play video games.
PI: Terrance said he can sing too, who sings better?
WY: Terrance cannot sing (laughs). I’m a better singer, for sure.
PI: Do you have any other interests outside of basketball?
WY: Shoes. I just got some shoes today, some green and gray Jordan 5s.
PI: What are your favorite shoes to hoop in?
WY: I like the GTs a lot, but I might have to go with Kobes. I have two pairs and I like the way they feel. I’ve been wearing Kobes since I was younger. KDs and Kyries are my go-to, since Kobes are a little bit pricey.
PI: Who are your top-five singers right now?
WY: SZA, Brent Faiyaz, Michael Jackson, Bruno Mars, Adele.
PI: Wrapping things up, where do you see yourself five years from now?
WY: Honestly, I can see myself in the NBA in the next five years. I feel like I can play a legitimate role in the NBA. I see myself being one of the main guys on an NBA team.