The 60th Annual Diamond Anniversary Whataburger Basketball Tournament tipped off Thursday and it featured a number of rising young prospects in the state.
Here’s how some of the top players performed on Days 2 and 3.
Jahmar Young 6’10 C DeSoto (2018)
Jahmar Young is the player who does the dirty work for a talented Desoto squad. He is a tall and long big man who uses his athleticism to alter and block shots. On the offensive end, he is raw; however, he has great hands to catch dump-off passes and finishes them with thunderous dunks. Young has a high ceiling and will be a great player to look out for as he continues to progress at SMU. He had an eye-popping 20 point game in the loss to Spring Dekaney.
Isaac Likekele 6’5 SF Mansfield Timberview (2018)
Likekele had great performances in the final two days of the Whataburger Tournament. The Fresno State signee was back at it again leading the TimberWolves in most of their statistical categories. He competed on both ends, scoring at will in the paint and getting to the free throw line. Defensively, he helped shut down DeSoto’s talented guards & wings and held them to quiet performances. Likekele finished with 22 points in the win. On Championship Saturday, Likekele was a beast on both ends of the floor. He was a ball-hawk on the defensive end, locking down every man he guarded on the perimeter. On the offensive end, he finished at the rim with hard contact layups and a few dunks. Likekele is a player who leads his team by example. He bring energy each time he steps on the court and it earned himself the 2017 Whataburger Tournament MVP and his team the 2017 Whataburger Championship.
Daraun Clark 6’5 SG San Antonio Wagner (2018)-
Daraun Clark had a quiet first half scoring only 3 points. However, the Colorado-Colorado Springs signee exploded in the third quarter and finished with 17 points in the loss to Denton Guyer and another 17 in the win vs. Justin Northwest. Clark is a tall and long wing who is a streaky shooter. He is a confident player who does not think about his previous missed shot attempts. Clark has had a solid season for the Thunderbirds so far and is ready for district play.
JaKobe Coles 6’8 PF Denton Guyer (2020)
JaKobe Coles is one of the best big men in his class. San Antonio Wagner had no answer for the young sophomore when Guyer threw him the ball down low. He has an extremely soft touch to go along with great footwork on the block. He scored a lot of his points because of ability to finish nearly all of his attempts in the paint. Coles also knocked down 10 of his 12 attempts from the charity stripe. He runs the floor and moves well for someone his size. Coles finished with 24 points in the win.
De’Vion Harmon 6’1 PG Denton Guyer (2019)
The Oklahoma Commit lived at the foul line in the game vs San Antonio Wagner. He continuously drew fouls in the paint and converted at the foul line. Harmon also had his deep range on display, knocking down two spot-up three-pointers off the catch. Guyer has only lost one game this season and Harmon is the main reason why. He plays as if he is not satisfied with all the success the team has earned this season and continues to be a vocal leader for this talented squad. Harmon scored a game high 25 points in the win.
Sammy Freeman 6’10 C Justin Northwest (2019)
Sammy Freeman continues to get better as the season progresses. The 6’10 big man is still extremely raw, but played with more confidence in the game vs. Waxahachie. Defensively, he showed improvement as a rim protector using his long arms to alter and block shots. Offensively, he has gained more confidence, battling for position on the block and calling for the ball. Freeman scored in the paint and opened a few eyes with his thunderous dunks. He finished with 13 points in the loss to Waxahachie.
Chris Harris Jr. 6’3 SG South Garland (2019)
Chris Harris struggled to get going from the perimeter in the first half, but the sharpshooting guard was quick to bounce back to his normal self in the second half. He scored on all three levels and showcased his pretty stroke from the perimeter. Harris was aggressive when he attacked the rim and finished strong in the paint. He scored 19 points in the blowout win vs. Katy Tompkins. The next day, he did the same in the consolation game vs. South Grand Prairie. He exploded for 31 points (29 in the last 3 quarters). In this game, it was not only Harris’ scoring that stood out, it was rebounding ability for his position. He was active on the glass grabbing a bunch of boards to give his team extra possessions. With afew college coaches being in attendance, expect for Harris’ stock to take a big rise as district play starts.
Bryce Cook 5’6 PG South Grand Prairie (2019)
Bryce was cooking in the games vs North Crowley. He was at it again dialing in from long distance, knocking down tough deep threes off the dribble. He put on a show in the second half due to his great shooting from the perimeter. The Tulsa commit scored 23 in the win vs North Crowley. Safe to say it was a great tournament for the three-star competitive point guard.
Tre Hester 5’11 PG Birdville (2019)
Tre Hester is a player to look out for. He is a 5’11 sturdy guard who gets to the rim at will and does a great job creating open shots on the perimeter for his teammates. Hester’s finishing ability is what stood out at the Whataburger Tournament. He attacked the rim and finished over tall and talented bigs such as: DeAaron Tucker and four-star Arkansas signee Ethan Henderson. He is a confident guard who played well all weekend. He finished the weekend scoring 22 points in Birdville’s loss to South Garland.
Monte Gipson and Mar’Qualen Grant 6’0 PG Waxahachie (2018)
On Friday night, the Waxahachie Indians knocked off the undefeated number one team in the state (Denton Guyer) to advance them to the Whataburger Championship Game. The play of their senior backcourt has fueled their success. Montre Gibson and West Texas A&M commit Mar’Qualen Grant are tough as nails and continue to impress me this season. They’re both on a mission to prove that Waxahachie is the best team in the state regardless of class. Both guards produce every game and give their all each time they step on the court. They lead a tough and well-coached Waxahachie team that is a force to reckoned with come district play.