Take Aways: CP3 Rising Stars Camp
This past weekend Chris Paul held his annual Rising Stars National Camp at the Greensboro Sportsplex in Greensboro, NC. The camped featured approximately 250 players from all over the country; including some already being nationally ranked. Being in this atmosphere is like a little slice of heaven for any basketball junky. With so many players in one event, there’s a lot to take in and a lot that can be missed. For the most part, there was a ton of talent under one roof. Here are a few players that caught my eye:
Jaden Bradley – 6’2/G/Cannon HS; B. Maze Elite AAU/Concord, NC:
Bradley was one of the more intriguing players at the camp. Standing at 6’2 he has good size and length that he knows how to use to his advantage. Bradley has a smoothness to his game to the point where it almost seems as if he’s playing with no effort – but still very energetic. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Defensively, he’s active, he does well staying in front of the ball and is able to change the offender if they are trying to drive to the basket. Offensively, he has an excellent shot that he can knock down off of the dribble or off the spot-up. One more aspect of his game, which is easily the most exciting is his sneaky bounce. Bradley gets off the floor effortlessly and is physical enough to absorb contact in-flight. Here’s a sample from BucketReel:
Jalen Hood-Schifino – 6’3/PG/Northside Christian HS; Team Charlotte AAU/Charlotte, NC:
Watching Hood-Schifino play, it’s immediately noticeable that he’s a floor general. It’s not uncommon to see a situation when you’re that size, and that young a player is groomed to play in the paint with his back to the basket, but with Hood-Schifino it’s almost like he was born to play the point guard position. He plays with great poise and composure, that allows him to lead whatever team he’s on. It’s not easy to display good floor general skills in a camp setting (usually because all the players don’t know one another and everyone is playing for self) so you can imagine the type of talent a player needs to have to show his ability to run a team at a national camp. Not only does Hood-Schifino know how to lead, but he has excellent court vision, an exceptional passer, and can knock down shots. Overall, he’s a great decision maker, solid defender, and mature player – which is why he played 17u for Team Charlotte this past AAU season. He’s going to make a great addition to Northside Christain varsity team this upcoming high school season.
Zion Cruz – 6’3/G/Hudson Catholic HS; Renaissance Hoops AAU/Trenton, NJ:
Cruz was a fun player to watch during the CP3 Rising Stars camp. He was conveniently one of the most, if not the most, athletic player in the gym. His speed and agility made him a nightmare for players on the defensive end. Cruz was easily able to stay in front of his man and utilized his quickness to jump out in the passing lanes, which converted into fast-break highlights! Offensively, Cruz is just as quick with the ball in his hands (while having the ball on a string). Coupling that with his insane athleticism, it made for exciting finishes above the rim.
Marquise Rice – 6’5/CG/Durham Academy; Team Wall AAU/Creedmore, NC:
If you haven’t heard of Rice at this point, you should make it a priority to look him up ASAP. As a matter of fact, there will be a link from BucketReel so you can see for yourself (You’re Welcome). On the first day of the camp, Rice didn’t show much, but by the next day every player, scout, videographer and staff member knew who he was. He sports a solid frame and stands at 6 foot 5 inches tall. He’s well coordinated, robust, athletic and fast – especially going downhill. Rice can get to the rim at will and exceptional finishing around the basket. He’s a player that knows how to produce, even without the ball in his hands. He’s just as strong defensively and able to defend multiple positions, convincingly! Rice also plays well above the rim – any chance he gets he’s going to dunk the ball. He also excels in fast-paced games (what you usually find in camps), and he’s impressive in the open floor. As promised, here’s a highlight video of him doing work: