We took within the two-day Pangos All-American Pageant in Lengthy Seaside, Calif.,and got here away with 5 lasting impressions because the grassroots basketball season involves an finish. The Pangos All-American Pageant is a derivative of each the annual Pangos All-American Camp and the regionally-based Fullcourt Press Frosh/Soph Camps with a format that brings collectively most of the nation’s high gamers damaged up into 4 region-based groups.
1. Flory Bidunga is Ranked Too Low
The 6-foot-9 heart from Kokomo (Ind.) had a monster summer season in main Indiana Elite to the 3SSB title and capped it by main the Midwest group to the 2022 pageant title. Bidunga made his presence instantly felt and was simply too sturdy, explosive and disciplined for any of the opposite three groups to deal with, no matter whom was on the ground. Bidunga is aware of what he’s, has an old-school work ethic and advantages from nice group idea ideas taught by his highschool and journey ball coaches. Probably the most spectacular factor we noticed him do en path to co-MVP honors alongside teammate Jeremy Fears (6-foot-2 level guard from Joliet West in Illinois headed to Michigan State) was his defensive skills in hedging and guarding perimeter gamers. He was simply as spectacular guarding on the perimeter as within the publish and even blocked some rhythm jumpers that you just usually don’t see in video games involving elite gamers. Now, we delight ourselves in chronicling the historical past of highschool rankings on Ballislife.com, however all the key rankings companies have the proficient lefty too low. All of them. He’s a serious contender to complete ranked No. 1 within the nationwide 2024 class.
2. Mercy Miller Has Extra Sport Than Title
It’s simple to suspect the son of long-time rap mogul “Grasp P” receives entry or the good thing about the doubt due to his rich and well-known father, however that may’t be farther from the reality. The rising 6-foot-3 junior at Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks, Calif.) had a breakthrough camp and must be thought of one of many higher scorers within the Class of 2024. Miller, a Houston commit, netted 31 factors in his South group’s 126-116 semifinal victory over the West membership. Miller got here again and put up 32 factors in his group’s 120-99 championship sport loss to the Midwest membership. Greater than numbers, the very fact it was a necessity for him to place up a excessive quantity of excellent appears to be like in an effort to preserve his group aggressive in each video games was his defining second on the occasion. Defenders merely couldn’t preserve him in entrance due to his three-level scoring capacity, sturdy body and offensive strategy to the sport. His cousin Vyctorius Miller (AZ Compass Prep in Chandler, Ariz.) is taken into account one of many nation’s greatest guards within the nationwide 2024 class and Mercy must be on the transfer up as properly. The soft-spoken capturing guard advised Ballislife.com he was happy together with his efficiency on the pageant and is fired up for the upcoming season. Miller may have loads of alternatives to shine as Notre Dame performs in arguably the hardest league in California (the Mission League) alongside FAB 50-ranked groups akin to Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood, Calif.) and Sierra Canyon (Sherman Oaks, Calif.).
3. Youngsters Are Being Overwhelmed
Younger proficient basketball gamers are bombarded with some many issues, it’s wonderful the overwhelming majority of them are nonetheless a pleasure to speak to, well mannered and appreciative of legit media protection. Not solely are they bombarded with inbox messages to hitch different journey groups, to switch excessive faculties and to play in occasions each single weekend, they’re now hit by self-proclaimed consultants desirous to lecture them on Title, Picture, Likeness (NIL) and all that comes with it. NIL and the way it has influenced each single side of basketball beneath the NBA degree is the speak of the city. The flexibility to be compensated for one thing that must be a elementary American proper is certain to show heads, however there may be nonetheless an enormous portion of the basketball neighborhood that doesn’t know what NIL is and the place to get good data on the topic. It exists as a result of the tide of public notion turned on the NCAA and its bylaws relating to student-athletes’ rights in comparison with its fellow college students and since NIL stakeholders lobbied state legislatures to cross legal guidelines that supersede NCAA bylaws. NIL changing into a actuality was a 20-year course of from its beginnings and went into have an effect on July 1, 2021, when the NCAA had no alternative however to observe go well with on legal guidelines being handed in states throughout the nation. As a result of the NCAA held out within the title of greed till the final minute it might, it opened the NIL floodgates. As a substitute of the general public getting educated over time, the floodgates have created a situation the place many individuals assume schools pay student-athletes and that they’re entitled to it. Now, there are folks with no expertise in NIL issues with athletes’ greatest intentions at coronary heart and there are folks with self-interests seeking to reap the benefits of the present state of affairs. Regardless, there are few consultants within the discipline of NIL. For one, it hasn’t been authorized for very lengthy and years of information to again up claims doesn’t exist or information to make use of as a information to what has labored or not labored prior to now . As one trusted NIL skilled (Marc Isenberg) mentioned on the pageant, NIL is all in regards to the alternative and changing into financially literate is essential. Monetary literacy is tied to schooling and schooling is tied to studying. Our youth merely don’t learn sufficient (in comparison with previous generations) on a wide range of matters and spent an excessive amount of time scrolling on their telephones video content material or at issues with little instructional worth. Training must be the main target of NIL literacy as a result of formal schooling continues to be way more necessary, long-term, than NIL alternatives are for the common student-athlete. There may be merely not sufficient speak in regards to the significance of schooling as brief time period alternatives for compensation develop into obtainable.
4. Youngsters Love The All-American Pageant Idea
It was refreshing to see Jeremy Fears state that he’s not all that centered on NIL initiatives or constructing his model; he needs to concentrate on his on-court growth as he prepares to just accept his scholarship to Michigan St. Fears additionally talked about how he beloved the format of the Pangos All-American Pageant. Typically in basketball, much less is best and on this case with solely eight or 9 gamers on every of the 4 groups, Fears felt the gamers might lock in and carry out at their greatest with out worrying about enjoying time or mass substitutions. It helped gamers discover their strengths. The occasion’s format additionally offers the members one thing to shoot for and a bit extra incentive to win with regional delight on the road. Fears was stoked for this group to win to finish his summer season on a excessive word. In its first three years, the occasion has created some memorable performances, together with an absolute block-party by Chet Holmgren and a popping out social gathering for TyTy Washington in 2020, a 53-point, 21-rebound efficiency by Jaxon Kohler (Michigan St.) within the 2021 title sport, and the dominance of Bidunga this yr. The one area of 4 that has but to win a pageant title is the East squad.
5. Garwey Twin Can Do it All.
The prolonged enjoying time for every participant allowed for a deep have a look at gamers who maybe haven’t been evaluated in a while or by no means in particular person. The participant who took benefit of the chance probably the most was all-tourney choice Twin, a 6-foot-4 defensive wizard from SoCal Academy (Valencia, Calif.) by way of Carmel (Ind.) and certain for Windfall. Twin was famous for his ever-moving ft and fast palms and simply picked the pocket of high-major lead guards greater than as soon as for the victorious Midwest membership. Twin is in search of consistency together with his deep jumper, however is a shot-maker and terrific scorer. He went for 21 factors and 11 rebounds and practically turned in a triple-double efficiency with steals within the Midwest’s semifinal victory over the West. Within the title sport, Twin went for 34 factors and 7 rebounds, with the identical stellar defensive depth. Twin advised Ballislife.com his previous Pangos experiences helped him are available in with a assured mindset and it translated right into a efficiency that put him within the occasion MVP dialogue.
Ronnie Flores is the nationwide Grassroots editor of Ballislife.com. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t overlook to observe him on Twitter: @RonMFlores