July Live Period: The First 10 Days

Looking back at the first part of the madness that is the July evaluation period

by Josh Posner, Hal Sundt, and Kevin Esteves July 15, 2011 4:57pm ET
Nick Emory
Lone Peak's Nick Emory may have put himself on the national radar after the BasketBull Hall of Fame National Invitational.

Five-Star's staff has criscrossed the country over the last 10 days and even made a trip to the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico to keep you apprised of all the news, notes and nuances that comprise the first window of the July live period (July 6 - 15).

Here's a look back at some of the places we've been and stars we've watched. 

LeBron James Skills Academy:

80 of the best high school players and 20 of the top college players in the country met up in Akron, Ohio for the LeBron James Skills Academy. The next crop of stars, including Rodney PurvisJulius Randle and Jahlil Okafor, were all pushed to the limit as they learned from some of the game’s top coaches and even LeBron himself.

Individual Standouts: 

  • Julius Randle, 2013, Texas Titans: Randle was unstoppable the entire camp and even found ways to score against LeBron during a scrimmage.
  • Jabari Parker, 2013, No. 13 Mac Irvin Fire: Parker continued his stellar play at the camp as he was clearly riding high after a strong performance at U19 FIBA Americas Championships. Parker impressed with his ability to consistently play well regardless of who was guarding him.

J.J. Barea Super 60 Basketball Academ

The First Annual J.J. Barea Super 60 Basketball Academy kicked off in Puerto Rico last week. 60 of Puerto Rico’s best ballers between the ages of 13-18 underwent rigorous skill development and participated in full court games, while having the great fortune to receive tutelage from one of Puerto Rico’s finest, NBA Champion J.J. Barea. Part I of our Barea Academy coverage can be found here.

Adidas Invitational (Indianapolis, IN): 

In a wild tournament that saw each of the heavyweights go down, the previously unranked Florida Rams battered their way to a perfect 9-0 record, claiming the 17U title over No. 16 New Heights. Despite the loss, it was a dominating tournament for the New Heights program, which won the 16U title by narrowly edging The Ville, 57-52 in the championship game. 

This unpredictable tourney shook up our Five-Star Top 25 at both levels, with 17U CBC dropping out after a disappointing 0-4 record and 16U New Heights making a huge leap into our top-3. Kansas Pray and Play cracked our 17U rankings thanks to Perry Ellis’ dominance and the team’s upset of No. 9 Dream Vision

 Individual Standouts

  • Gabe York, 2012, Compton Magic: His Compton Magic squad may have lost 84-78 to Indiana Elite, but that margin likely would have been tripled if not for the brilliance of the recent Arizona commit. The bouncy 6-1 guard dropped 46 on Yogi Ferrell and the rest of the Indy Elite squad, including an absurd 10 three-pointers. 
  • Perry Ellis, 2012, Kansas Pray and Play: After the team lost its first game in pool play to New Orleans Elite, Ellis and Buddy Hield led their squad to a semifinal appearance in Indianapolis. During that run, Ellis hung 32 points on the Las Vegas Prospects and poured in 25 points against the eventual champion Florida Rams in the semifinal. 

Team Standouts:

  • Florida Rams: It was a coming-out party for this Florida squad, which engineered an unblemished 9-0 record en route to the championship. During the stretch run, dynamic point guard Kasey Hill led the Rams to wins over the Dallas Mustangs, the Michigan Mustangs, Kansas Pray and Play, and New Heights.
  • New Heights: The 16U players one-upped their older New Heights teammates by winning it all, taking out a number of quality opponents. In fact, on their way to the title, the coach Kimani Young-led squad handed the current #25 Spiece Indy Heat a 77-59 drubbing.

BasketBull Hall of Fame National Invitational

100 teams across three different age groups (15U-17U) met up in New England to compete for the BasketBull crown. While most of the top Nike teams were at Peach Jam, BasketBull still attracted a number of high-profile squads such as Connecticut Basketball ClubTerry Porter EliteNew England PlayazNew Heights and the Long Island Lightning

Individual Standouts:

  • Kris Dunn, 2012, CBC: Dunn finished with 23 points and 7 assists in CBC’s championship victory over IWC Lone Peak.
  • Nick Emory, Loan Peak: Emory netted 20 points in Loan Peak’s loss to CBC. Emory registered three 30-plus point games during the tournament. 

Team Standouts:

  • CBC/Mass Rivals- Unfortunately CBC and Mass Rivals had to be declared co-winners for 17U because NCAA regulations would not allow a fourth game to be played in one day.
  • L.I. Lightning- The 16U's accomplished what their 17U's could not by bringing home the championship.

Nike EYBL Peach Jam (Augusta, Georgia):

The Peach Jam was everything we thought it would be and more. One of the largest tournaments of the year was filled with elite talent and tough competition. There were many upsets highlighted by Team Takeover tarnishing their undefeated record to the Georgia Stars. Although there were many highlight-reel worthy performances, here are a few teams and players that stole the show.

Individual Standouts:

  • Kyle Anderson: The 6-8 point forward of the No. 8 New Jersey Playaz impressed in front of the nation’s top college coaches. Highlighted by a day one performance of 27 points, 14 rebounds, and seven assists against The Family. Anderson probably set an unofficial record for triple-doubles at the Peach Jam, putting in a true all-around performance. 
  • Nerlens Noel: The 6-10 PF/C, one of the younger players in the 17U division, played complete basketball, leading BABC to the finals. Highlighted by two monster triple-doubles against CIA Bounce and Oakland Soldiers. Against CIA Bounce he logged 13 points, 10 rebounds, and 12 blocks. In the semi-finals against Oakland Soldiers we propelled his squad to victory with a similar stat line of 12 points, 10 rebounds, and 11 blocks.

Team Standouts:

  • BABC: The number two team in the nation did not disappoint at the Peach Jam as they have reached the finals which will be played later tonight. En route to the finals, BABC gave a highlight performance in the semis, steam-rolling No. 3Oakland Soldiers 74-60. 
  • Memphis YOMCA: Another team in our top-5 that did not disappoint. No. 4 Memphis YOMCA showed out in numerous ways en route to the finals against BABC. Similar to BABC, Memphis YOMCA entered the finals blowing out their semi-finals opponent No. 8 Georgia Stars by more than 15. 

In case you missed any of our Peach Jam coverage, here are the links: 

Check back tomorrow for our full Peach Jam recap after the finals is played tonight, which you can watch live at 7:00pm EST on ESPNU. 

Related Jabari Parker Gabe York Perry Ellis Buddy Hield Kevin Ferrell Rodney Purvis Dream Vision Connor Devine Jahlil Okafor Kris Dunn Spiece Indy Heat Mac Irvin Fire Texas Titans Julius Randle Compton Magic Kasey Hill New Heights Indiana Elite Adidas Invitational Connecticut Basketball Club New England Playaz New Orleans Elite LeBron James Skills Academy J.J. Barea Super 60 Kansas City Pray and Play Michigan Mustangs Florida Rams The Ville Kimani Young Basketbull National Invitational Terry Porter Elite Long Island Lightning IWC Lone Peak Las Vegas Prospect Dallas Mustangs
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