The 2016 NY2LA Sports Spring Extravaganza tips off on Friday, featuring the inaugural weekend of the NY2LA Association. In the 17U West Division, a group of strong teams from the Midwest make their way to Minneapolis, featuring some of the best hidden talent in the area. One such player includes Nana Akenton of the Illinois Celtics/Hoopers, one of the more intriguing prospects in his division.  


(Note – This is not an exclusive list)

Nana Akenten – 2017 – SF – Illinois Celtics/Hoopers
Akenten has offers from Chicago State, Western Michigan, Northern Colorado, Illinois-Chicago, Green Bay, Illinois State, and Northern Illinois going into the spring evaluation period. A wing with tremendous length, Akenten is a great three-point shooter that’s difficult to bother on the perimeter. A player with budding perimeter skills, Akenten can slash and play in transition. One of the highest upsides in the league, Akenten will be looking to take his game to the next level. 

Teddy Allen – 2017 – SF – OSA Crusaders
A smooth talent with the ability to score the basketball, Allen has a nice stroke and he can knock down the jumper at the mid-range level and from beyond the arc.  He has the ability to catch and shoot in half court sets and is strong in transition with his ability to spot up and knock down the jumper.  Mix in solid intangibles and an ability to score around the basket and he’s a quality scorer who should open lots of eyes this spring and summer.

Parker Bland – 2017 – F – Quad City Elite
A skilled forward who can stretch the floor a bit, Bland does a variety of different things for Quad City Elite. A high energy player that makes plays with or without the basketball, Bland can fill the box score across the board. An instinctive combo forward with some skills as a stretch forward as well, Bland has a number of intriguing tools. 

Jamaris Johnson – 2017 – F – Minnesota Select
A high motor forward, Johnson simply outworks people around the basket. While he’s a little undersized as a post presence, Johnson makes up for it with length, athleticism, and most importantly, heart. A hard-nosed rebounder that doesn’t quit on the glass, Johnson does an excellent job of creating and finishing second chance opportunities. 

Brandon Lawani – 2017 – PF – Illinois Celtics/Hoopers
Lawani has an offer from Chicago State on the table going into the spring evaluation period. The 6-foot-7 junior is a physical post presence with a soft touch around the rim. A player with a nice combination of finesse and strength, Lawani can beat defenders in different ways. Always creating contact, Lawani makes a lot of post players uncomfortable when he catches on the block. 

Jeff Mayberry – 2017 – G/F – Mercury Elite Fano
A strong wing talent who can attack the rim and finish and stroke the jump shot.  Mayberry can finish with consistency and dominance from multiple levels.  His range extends beyond the arc but his ability to attack off the bounce and finish in transition is his strength.  One to watch.

Joey Reader – 2017 – F – Wisconsin Blizzard
Part of a very good high school team this past season, Reader isn’t afraid to work. A strong, athletic, and versatile forward, Reader is an excellent glue guy that will do the dirty work for his team. Also able to produce offensively, Reader is a good slasher from the high post and attacks the glass aggressively to keep plays alive for second chance opportunities.

Landon Walker – 2017 – PF – The Force
Also a standout football player, Walker will bring the physicality in the West Division. A 6-foot-8, 225-pound junior, Walker can play the power forward or center positions. A big that moves his feet well on defense, Walker has the ability to shut down the paint with his shot blocking skills. 

Xavier Womack – 2017 – G/F – Missouri Hustle
Womack is a player with a lot of upside if he rounds out the finer points of his game. Sprouting to 6-foot-6, Womack is a difficult cover with his ability to slash and finish over defenders. Womack has the tools to be a tremendous defender and uses those to play the passing lanes. We’re eager to see if he’s expanded his offensive game to the perimeter in order to take that next step as a prospect. 

Stay tuned to NY2LABASKETBALLASSOCIATION.COM for complete coverage of the NY2LA Basketball Association all spring and summer.