CINCINNATI, Ohio — Launch Day for 275 Hoops will be remembered as nothing other than a success. The crew was down at Hughes High School and immediately hit the ground running. Head coach Bryan Wyant of the Big Red held his ninth-annual Summer Shoot-Out that featured nine teams and showcased a talented cast of hoopers from the Queen City and he gave us the opportunity to take in the action. Let’s dive in to some players that stood out Saturday:
Greg Stewart (6’3 SF/Aiken/2020): The highlight of the entire day was when the senior took flight and threw it down over a Toledo Start defender that drew quite a reaction from those watching. Stewart showed a constant ability to get to the rim for Aiken and delivered more often than not when he did so. I overheard others stating that Stewart definitely improved his game since the conclusion of last season. From what we saw, we are anticipating that Stewart will put a nice cap on his high school career with the Falcons and he will likely play a more extensive role for the Purple and Gold with last year’s leading scorer D’Arris Dean graduating.
Mark Wise (6’4 SG/Deer Park/2020): The senior guard for the Wildcats has the prowess to get to the rim and battle down in the box. For Wise, Saturday was more of the same for him as the city is already well aware of his expertise at putting the ball in the hoop seeing that he sits atop Deer Park’s All-Time scoring list but he showed off his unselfishness and willingness to get others around him involved and did a good job on the glass this weekend. From a leadership standpoint, Wise stood out by being vocal on the defensive end and uplifting his teammates when needed. Wise seemed to have the most college ready body in the gym yesterday.
CamRon Mckenzie (6’1 SG/Hughes/2021): I’m not sure there was a better pure scorer in the gym than Mckenzie. He does it in a variety of ways. He can get it done on the perimeter and he got to the rim with success, much like he did against Thurgood Marshall in the final contest of the event where he delivered an impressive spin move and floater in the lane. He additionally has the strength to finish through contact. Expect a bigger responsibility to be placed on Mckenzie with Paul McMillan IV off to Woodward and another big year for the junior who averaged 15.7 for the Big Red last season.
Kaden Warner (5’10 PG/Gamble Montessori/2021): The very first game that we saw at the event was the Gators squaring off against Colerain. Warner immediately flashed with his aggressiveness on the offensive end and his artistry when handling the ball. For my money, Warner had the best vision and even added some flair on his passes when it came to finding teammates. There may be some that have concerns with the size of the junior but nonetheless, he got it done and was big-time this weekend. Perhaps my personal favorite trait that the junior guard showed was his effort and hustle. There was several times that I saw Warner diving on the floor for loose balls. That is a tone-setter for the guys around you
Rayvon Griffith (6’4 SF/Hughes/2023): Just like we’ve all already become accustomed to, the newest addition to Hughes has elite athleticism. He had a nice throw down in transition and elevated over a Columbus South defender that would have been his very first poster dunk had he finished it off. Athleticism aside, the freshman phenom also can be productive outside of the paint and often goes to a pull-up jumper when the time calls for it. The soon-to-be freshman was a key piece in all three of the games that he played on Saturday despite only having three open gym’s with his new team under his belt. Once they work out all of the kinks and the familiarity comes, this will be another stud for Coach Wyant and the Big Red.
275 Hoops wants to thank everyone involved on Saturday for making our launch day a success. We were able to meet some of the coaches, fans, and players throughout the city of Cincinnati and we look forward to building a relationship with everyone and providing you guys with the best content this city has ever seen.