Opening night of the 2019 Generation Next Basketball Championships saw pool play tip off at the 6th-8th grade levels.  Here’s a quick look at some that stood out Friday in Illinois…

Drew Edmond - 2023 (WI Phenoms Orange) - There are many players that are very skilled for the WI Phenoms Orange team but a clear standout in their 47-38 victory over Il Irish Elite. Edmond is a very confident and scrappy player who does a little bit of everything for his team. When the ball is in Edmond’s hands good things constantly happen. Whether it is facilitating for teammates, getting to the rim or shooting jumpers, Edmond is successful in what he does and always plays extremely hard. Edmond led the Phenoms to their first win of the weekend, contributing 12 points. 

Seth Bunders - 2023 (WI Dynasty) - When the WI Dynasty took the floor Friday night they were instantly locked in. The Dynasty took an early lead and never looked back. A large reason for their early success was due to Seth Bunders. Bunders is an extremely intelligent basketball player who has a full package of skills at his arsenal. He is able to stretch the floor and hit jump shots with range and balances that ability by being able to get to the rim and finish. Bunders plays finished with 13 points in a 54-21 victory over All In Athletics.

Drew Regnier - 2023 (WI Swing) - If there is ball loose on the floor when the WI Swing is playing, there is a high chance that Drew Regnier is going to get it. Regnier is a very tough and strong player who is always hustling for rebounds and takes pride in his defense. His ability to grab rebounds and box out was a major reason that Regnier stood out on Friday night. With his strength and skill Regnier scores many baskets inside the lane and is capable of hitting jump shots to round out his game. In a 41-21 victory over the Young Legends Regnier netted 11 points. 

Demond Laongoen - 2024 (WI Premier) - There are many talented guards in the 13U GNBA division and Demond Laongoen is definitely one of them. When the ball is in Laongoen’s hands there is no doubt something good will happen. Laongoen is a tremendous ball handler who controls the game with his decision making and instincts. Not many defenders can check his quickness or can stop him from getting to the hoop. Laongoen has many skills but is able to help out his team the most with his vision and finding open teammates. The WI Premier defeated Man Up in a 51-30 contest where Laongoen added 8 points.

Jaidan Martin - 2024 (Ray Allen Select) - In a back in forth matchup with Chapman Basketball academy Ray Allen Select benefited from the solid play of Jaidan Martin. Martin is a talented guard who has a motor that does not quit. Martin barely ever exits the game and is able to play at a high level while he is on the court. Ray Allen Select relies on his decision making to get make their offence run efficiently and smoothly. Martin has great vision, can handle the ball very well and can score when he is called upon to do so. In the 48-43 win Martin had 9 points. 

Dave Flowers - 2024 (Il Central Elite) - Dave Flowers of IL Central Elite constantly finds a way to score the basketball. He does the little things well and is always hunting his next shot. Flowers is able to stretch the floor and hit three pointers consistently, making 3 long balls on Friday night. When Flowers is not spotting up for a jump shot he finds open lanes on the court and runs the floor extremely well in transition. Flowers poured in 22 points in a 44-38 over WI Phenoms. 

Isaiah Robinson - 2025 (Closed Gyms) - A player who showed his ability to effect the game in many different areas was Isaiah Robinson of Closed Gyms. Robinson is equipped with great physical abilities of height, strength and athleticism that make him stand out on the floor. He is a great rebounder and can handle the ball well for being the biggest player on the court. Robinson showed his capability to run the floor and finish around the rim in their opening against All In Athletics. Robinson can play on both sides of the ball at a high level. Closed Gyms won 49-30 and Robinson finished with 9 points.  

Makai Kramme - 2025 (Il Central Elite Grey) - Il Central Elite Gray has the luxury of having multiple skilled guards but the one that stood out on Friday night was Makai Kramme. Kramme is a crafty, quick guard who is constantly active on both sides of the ball. There is rarely a time in which Kramme is not pressuring the ball on defense and then once he or his team gets it is not the first one down the floor. Kramme is fearless in attacking the rim and finishes very well around the rim. Il Central Elite Gray was victorious over Ray Allen Select 56-42 and Kramme scored 14 points. 

Tarez Lee - 2025 (Mac Irvin Fire) - Mac Irvin Fire has been dominant for most of the GNBA this spring and they continued their high level of play in a lopsided win over the WI Blizzard. A big contributor to the success of this team is Tarez Lee. Lee is a quick and confident guard who does not back down from anyone. He is relentless in getting into the paint and can score the ball or find his teammates to create points for his team. Lee has a certain skill set that changes the game in many different ways. Lee scored 11 points in the victory.