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From Phenom 150




Published on August 14, 2015 by Clark Francis

When you start talking about the major surprises of the summer, the Jr. Phenom 150 Camp, which was held this past weekend at Alliant University in San Diego, CA, has to be right at the top of the list, thanks to the fact that a number of major sleepers were in attendance and there also was a plethora of excellent talent on hand that included the likes 5’0 Issac Peralta from Laguna, CA, 5’2 Jared Frey from Fort Wayne, IN, 5’1 Nicholas Klaiber from Bloomington, IN, 5’4 Christopher Hammond from Los Angeles, CA, 5’7 Charles Cheatham from Plano, TX,  5’6 Jalen Lewis, Oakland, CA, 5’3 Dimitrius Dudley from San Diego, CA, 5’2 Varick Lewis from Elk Grove, CA,  5’0 Jovan Germain from Brooklyn, New York, 5’2 Jayden Lemond from Old Tappen, NJ,  5'0 Carsten Sabathia from Alpine, US, 4’10 Jayden Morris from Sacramento, CA.

Cheatham and Peralta are good enough, skilled enough, and athletic enough to project as big time players down the road and, believe it or not, the former couldn't find a club team that would pick him up and let him play with them this past month in any of the tournaments right in his own backyard.  Cheatham has the skills necessary to play any position and the court and he has the talent necessary to be much better than 5’7 Anthony Brown from Las Vegas (Crossings) NV, who has freak-like athleticism and right now is the flavor of the day on the high school basketball scene in Las Vegas, NV.  Cheatham also does a great job crashing the boards, knows how to get to the rim, can shoot the light out, has surprisingly good ball handling skills for somebody his size, and has a great basketball body.  He also was clearly the best player in the All-Star Game, as he finished with 17 points and took home co-MVP honors while playing against all of the other top players in the 6th grade Division.  Peralta has freak-like athleticism, a competitive edge, and he's equally effective with his outside shooting and ability to slash to the rim, plus he's versatile enough to play multiple positions and it looks like he still has plenty growth left in his long lean frame and, as a result, his upside and potential may be off the chart.  He finished with eight points in the All-Star Game and also is good enough to project as a prime recruiting target.  However, right now it looks like he's totally flying under the radar screen and none of those people even know he exists.  

And, if that weren't enough, 5’2 Jayden Lemond from New Jersey had 10 points of his own in the All-Star Game and it was hard not like his soft touch, great hands, unbelievable skills, and sneaky athleticism, which he used to score around the basket, get more than his share of rebounds and put-backs, and be a dominant force at both ends of the court.  He also has the talent necessary to attract some high major interest, but he will need to be careful to find the right system and several more inches of growth might be the difference in whether he ultimately ends up being just a valuable piece to the puzzle or one of the better player in the high school ranks someday.  Dudley was one of those guys who had to sacrifice what he does best and play inside during the course weekend on his camp team, but then got free rein to show what he can do out on the perimeter, as he knocked down three 3-pointers and finished with 13 points in the All-Star Game.  Ditto that for Klaiber, who knocked down three 3-pointers and finished with 15 points.  And, if that weren't enough, Klaiber also has excellent skills, is a terrific passer, and his basketball IQ and understanding of the game appears to be off the chart.  Sabathia is another big time athlete who is quick afoot on the fast break and in terms of getting to the rim and he was equally lethal with his outside shooting when we saw him in both camp games and in the All-Star Game, where he finished with eight points and a pair of treys.

These all stars weren’t the only ones to watch.  There were 5 newcomers that made a splash as well. The first is 4’9 Blake Yamada from Torrance, CA who can shoot it from anywhere.  His shooting was a great asset to Peralta’s playmaking ability.  Yamada’s leadership was also noticed by coaches. Next there was 4’10 Kobe Kambestad from Hudsonville, MI, don’t let his size fool you, he showed he could score from anywhere on the court using both hands.  Kambestad made the all defensive team by getting steals that led to him or his teammates scoring. 5’2 Gabriel Warren from McKinney, TX just missed out on being on the all star team.  His hustle and leadership caught the coaches eyes.  He is a big point guard that creates for his teammates and he uses his size to get to where he needs to go on the court.  Another kid to watch was 4’10 Luka Ressler from Caledonia, MI.  Luka made the hustle team by outworking everyone on the court. He guarded everyone from centers to guards and showed great leadership for his teammates.  Last but not least was 5’3 lefty Jakwon Hill.  He will be one to watch in the upcoming years.  This first time phenom attacked the basket hard and showed surprising range for his size.  These five, for being only their first year at Jr. Phenom showed that they could compete with the best in the country.


It was quite a weekend in San Diego, lots of talent, lots of hard work, and lots of work still to be done.  2016 will be bigger and better than ever.  I can’t wait to see who improves, who gets better and who will be on the 2016 All Star team.

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