A hungry group of middle school prospects hit the hardwood in Wisconsin this past weekend as the opening session of the annual Generation Next Basketball Association “GNBA” development platform took over the courts.  On the final day a number of 6th, 7th, and 8th graders had delivered quality performances once again.  Here’s a look at some that stood out at the 7th and 8th grade levels on Sunday…

Ethan Kizer - 2023 (Illinois Irish Elite) - It is not every day that you see a 14 year old kid dunk. Kizer was not only able to throw down a dunk against a very tough Quad City Elite Orange team, but he was able to have 2 put back dunks in the same game. Kizer scored 7 points on 5 shots and was able to grab plenty of rebounds in an effort to come back and win Illinois Irish’s final game of Session 1 but fell short 48-42.

Brock Harding - 2023 (Quad City Elite Orange) - Brock Harding was a matchup nightmare for Illinois Irish Elite. Harding had not scored many points prior to the matchup with the Illinois Irish but that quickly changed after scoring 20 points. He was able to break down his defender and get to the rim when he wanted. When combining the ability to get to the rim with an outside shot Harding become virtually impossible to guard. Court awareness and decision making stand out as Harding’s strongest qualities on the court. Harding does many things well and has tremendous upside. 

Carrington McNeal - 2023 (Howard Pulley) - Howard Pulley has many players who like to pressure full court on defense and push the tempo on offense. Carrington McNeal did just that and found himself and his team very successful because of it. McNeal was able to create many turnovers and blocked shots on defense due to his length and athleticism. On offence McNeal was very successful in finding ways to get transition baskets. Howard Pulley beat Team Ramey in a 47-46 contest in which McNeal led the team with 14 points. 

Kolten Monroe - 2023 (MKE Rebels) - The MKE Rebels formed an early lead on Sunday against Wisconsin Premier and never looked back in a 48-24 victory. The early lead had a large part to do with Kolten Monroe. Monroe is 6 foot 5 inches tall and can impact the game in more than one area. Monroe can be described as a playmaker who is able to score at different levels and is also able to distribute and rebound in the process. Monroe plays very hard and is challenging to out hustle. 

Graham Nelson - 2023 (Man Up)- Graham Nelson made a bid for one of the best shooting performances of the weekend when he drained 6 three pointers on 10 shots and finished the game with 29 points, 26 coming in the second half. Nelson was impossible to guard once he got hot. Man Up needed Nelson’s incredible shooting performance as they won a close battle the Kessel Heat 65-60. Nelson is a very smart player and can control the game. Although he is primarily a shooter, Nelson proved he can also handle the ball well and find his open teammates when he needs to.  Man Up as a team played very well this weekend and was led by Graham Nelson’s individual performances. 

Colin Hendrick - 2023 (Ray Allen Select) - Colin Hendrick was a very nice compliment to Mac Wrecke of Ray Allen Select. Hendrick scored 16 points on Sunday against the Wi Blizzard. With a very smooth jump shot Hendrick was able to stretch the floor with his ability to make perimeter shots which opened up the lane for his teammates to be successful as well. Hendricks speed and ability to get to the rim along with his outside shot is a deadly combination that will challenge many defenses. 

Alex Romo - 2024 (Quad City Elite Black) - When you walk into a gym Alex Romo instantly catches your attention. The 6 foot 2 forward for Quad City has a solid build and looks as if he would not leave the lane often however, in this case looks can be deceiving. Romo is one of the top shooters in the GNBA at the 13U level. Romo showed the ability to make shots from all over the floor and even connected on step back jumpers. The shot selection and perimeter shooting was impressive to watch on Sunday as Romo drained 4 three pointers and finished with 16 points in a loss to Ray Allen Select 54-47. 

Sean Brown - 2024 (Team Ten Jabari Parker) - Sean Brown of Team Ten Jabari Parker was able to be consistent with his play all weekend long. Brown is a very gifted athlete who has great size and frame. Brown is at his best when attacking and finishing around the rim. Brown muscled his way to 10 points in a 38-25 victory over Chapman Basketball Black. Rebounding also proved to be one of Brown’s strong suits as he was able to grab multiple boards on both the offensive and defensive end. When Team Ten gets into transition they are very tough to stop and Brown is a major reason why. 

Jack Daugherty - 2024 (Ray Allen Select) - As a 6-0 7th grader Jack Daugherty has the intangibles and upside to be a great player. Daugherty uses his size and instincts to box out, set screens and do all of the little things for his team. He was able to show his ability to post up and score as well as step out and hit mid-range jumpers. In a 54-47 victory over Quad City Elite Black Daugherty was able to score 17 points very efficiently. Daugherty’s passion and effort stood out during this game and made a difference in a tight matchup. 

Jayden Tyler - 2024 (Mac Irvin Fire) - If there was one word to describe Jayden Tyler of the 13U Mac Irvin Fire it would be relentless. Tyler stands at 5 foot 2 inches but plays much bigger and tougher than that. Whether it is getting to the rim, playing defense or rebounding Tyler relentlessly is always on the attack. Tyler is also a very good perimeter shooter. He was able to hit 4 three point baskets in a very chaotic 55 to 50 loss.

Filip Guzina - 2024 (Il Central Elite) - As soon as the ball tipped Filip Guzina was locked in from deep. Guzina netted 10 points very quickly in the first half against Mac Irvin Fire which gave his team an early lead which was never able to be overcome. Although Guzina caught the attention of many from his ability to score the ball, he also showed that he has a great instinctual basketball mind and is a leader on the floor for his team. Guzina finished the 55-50 victory with 14 points which included 3 three pointers. 

Amari Allen - 2024 (Wi Blizzard Nordgaard) - There are many guards who are able to score and there are many that can distribute, Amari Allen can do both. In a back and forth game with the Illinois Irish Amari Allen contributed for 9 points in a 58-53 victory. Allen scored 9 points very efficiently and was able to contribute too many other baskets by way of assists. The ball handling skills of this 7th grader is extremely impressive but what is even more impressive is his ability to see the court and for him to create for his teammates.