Championship Sunday capped off another intense and exciting NY2LA Basketball Association. This past weekend was full of top notch talent, excellent facilities and prospects competing at a high level. Here are a few of the players who stood out on the final day of the Lone Star Invitational in the 17U Association.

(Note: This list is not exclusive and is not in any particular order.)

Xavier Johnson – 2016 5’10” PG Grassroots Hoops Club – Xavier led all scorers on Sunday with 32 points versus RL9. Johnson came out looking to be aggressive and put up shots. While his shot selection isn’t great, there’s a part of me that appreciates his Kobe-like confidence in his next jump shot. Miss one, make one seems to be Johnson’s mental mantra. He finished 4 of 8 from beyond the arc in this game. Don’t box him in as just a jump shooter. The Hopkins senior is pretty quick off the bounce and unafraid of attacking the rim. He takes contact and gets himself to the line. Against RL9, Johnson made all ten of his free throws.

Malik Parker – 2017 6’ PG Martin Brothers – Parker came close to matching Xavier Johnson’s point output as he finished with 30 points against the New Mexico Force. Parker is best when he’s looking to attack and mixing in his three-point shooting ability. Against the New Mexico Force, however, the long ball was Parker’s go-to and with good reason; Parker drained 8 of 11 from distance. His efforts held off New Mexico Force in a five-point win.

Marlon Cunningham – 2018 6’7” PF New Mexico Force – One could argue that Cunningham has the most upside of any prospect playing on the Association’s 17U Division. The rising junior has been buzzing for a little while now and it’s hard to not feel like he’s a walking double-double at this level. Marlon is a skilled lefty who can score it inside and out. He has touch and is a very capable post player. His feel for the game is beyond his years.

Christopher Knight – 2017 6’8” PF Wisconsin Swing – There are two things I love: consistency and production. The reason Knight has been in my last two recaps? Consistency and production. On Sunday, I viewed the Swing take on MBA Select and Knight was once again a man in the paint. Not only did he show a rebounding prowess, but he also finished better today around the rim than yesterday. Additionally, he showcased a short jumper that looked good suggesting this is a part of his game and not just an anomaly. His length and ability to cover ground make him an asset on both ends. He can explode upward and finish strong and also run the floor and finish. More schools need to start paying attention.

Kyle Clow – 2017 6’4” G Wisconsin Swing – You’re probably thinking based on my thoughts on Christopher Knight that the reason I watched the Swing play again on Sunday is because of him. No, that’s incorrect. The reason I went back was to see more of Kyle Clow. On Sunday, he advanced past my “intrigued” category and proved to be a solid prospect. For starters, Clow has the cliché nose for the ball. He was always around the ball against MBA Select and rebounded the ball very well for a 6’4” guard. I believe in putting facts behind statements, so when I say he rebounds well, try 11 rebounds to go along with 12 points and five assists. He’s not going to wow you with anything, but give me a team full of guys who don’t care about anything other than making the right play and I feel good about my chances of winning.

Keion Epps – 2017 6’5” SF R.E.A.C.H. Legends – First of all, shame on me for not watching the 17U R.E.A.C.H. Legends prior to Sunday. Keion Epps made me thankful that I did. For starters, Epps is one of the better, if not the best, small forward rebounders in the 17U Association. Add to that an instinctual slasher who possesses flowing athleticism and you’ve got yourself a prospect. Epps’ field goal percentage was continuously very high in Dallas and his production was a key cog in the Legend’s perfect 4-0 weekend.

Isaiah Poor Bear-Chandler – 2017 6’9” F/C Omaha Elite – “Isaiah moves very well for a guy his size” is something you may hear a coach or scout say. For those saying it, you’re right. It’s pretty impressive to watch a guy run from the middle of the paint to close out on a three-point shooter on the perimeter; especially for a guy in the 250 pound-ish range. On Sunday, Chandler covered as much ground as a good cellphone plan; finishing with six blocks against Kessel Heat Black to go along with seven points and seven rebounds. Isaiah can be a strong finisher when he’s in front of the rim and he can finish with some touch with a short hook. While his production may not always be off the chart, he’s a player who will find ways to make his presence felt, which is what you want from your bigs.

Ayo Akinwole – 2017 5’11” PG Omaha Elite – Ayo not only crushes the name test, but is a guard you can trust to run your team. He has a feel and a maturity to him that projects to be a player who will continue to be low risk and high reward. In a close game with Kessel Heat Black, Akinwole made big shots down the stretch. He’s a player who will attack the rim, can pull up for a jumper or find teammates with the correct pass. The Omaha Elite are, in my humble opinion, one of the best teams in the Association’s 17U Division. In order to consistently win in today’s game, good guard play is an absolute must and it’s clear by watching Ayo that this team is in good hands and should expect future success.

(Note: This list is in no particular order and is not exclusive.)

Tee Aaron Powell – 2017 6’9” PF Illinois Stars IBA – Every college program needs size, that’s a fair statement to make. Because of this, I’m always on the lookout for size who can be developed. On Sunday, Powell was a pleasant find. Is he overly productive? No. Did he do anything that really leaped out at me? No again. However, there’s a foundation within Powell that can be built on. I like that he looks to seal on the post, catch and make a move. He likes to go to a short hook in the middle of the lane. On defense, he looked to protect the rim and was able to contest shots away from the rim. On top of that he communicate well on the defensive end. Powell is a player to keep tabs on to see how his game continues to evolve.

Jameel Alausa – 2017 6’7” SF All-In Athletics Y&R – Alausa has evolved into a player to know on NY2LA’s Basketball Association. Equipped with a chiseled frame and long arms, Alausa passes the eye test. Skill wise he’s still relatively raw, but he’s a serviceable and athletic front court player who scores well around the rim. Additionally he understands how to draw contact and is a pretty good free throw shooter to take advantage of being put on the line. His length and mobility make him a capable multi-position defender down the line.

Doug Wallen – 2017 6’5” SF Illinois Irish Elite – Wallen showed some nice bounce back Sunday after having a tough game against Playground Elite in a loss on Saturday. Wallen showed why he’s typically the Irish’s best and most consistent scorer. Doug can hit jumpers and score attacking the rim. He also runs the floor well and finishes on the break.