The last weekend of March, the 26th - 28th, West Coast Elite Basketball wrapped up their successful League of Legend Event in Phoenix, Arizona at The AZ Grand and The PHHacility. The League of Legends ran throughout the month of March at various locations in Arizona, and hosted teams from states all over the Western Region. West Coast Elite has branches throughout various cities in the Western Region, with the Central Program (based in Central California) as one of the new branches debuting last weekend at the League of Legends. This article looks at 8 players from the Central Program that performed well over the final weekend of play, breaks down some of their top games, and their overall skill sets. The evaluations are based on players that I watched play live, feedback from the coaching staff, and film from Be The Beast live stream. There is no specific rank or order to the players discussed in this article.
Webb made his West Coast Elite debut at the final weekend of the League of Legends Event, and he put scouts and coaches on notice with his ability to impact the game on both ends at a high level. Webb started the weekend off with a 13 point performance, helping lead his team in a win over a very talented AZ Select squad. Webb wrapped up the weekend with a dominant display of his ability to knockdown extremely difficult shots in crunch time, as his team defeated WCE SD 18U Tate (62-61). Webb scored 18 of his 22 points in the 2nd half, and over the final 7 minutes of the game he hit contested shot after shot. Webb has good handles, does a great job changing pace with the ball, keeps pressure on the defense by attacking the paint, is a true 3 level scorer, plays solid perimeter defense, plays the passing lanes well creating transition offense, and his shot making ability from anywhere on the floor make it nightmarish for defenders. I had seen Jarod play a few times prior to the League of Legends, but this was the toughest competition he faced game in game out, and he showed that he is capable of scoring against any opponent. D2+ prospect that would be a great get for a program looking for a combo guard that is able to create his own offense. Webb has a 3.5+ GPA.
I have known Latu since middle school, and have watched him develop over the last 5 years into a player that can be a primary scoring option for his team. The final weekend of League of Legends was Latu’s debut for the WCE Central Program, and once he found his groove, he asserted himself as the lead scorer on the 18U Graham team. Latu started to get comfortable in the team’s 2nd game of the event against Eagle Nation (Rancho Christian HS), as he finished with a team high 12 points. Latu had 12 points in a loss against College Prep Academy, but his best performance came in the team’s last game against WCE 16U LA-UAA team. After falling behind big early on, Latu led his team in an impressive 2nd half display of his overall offensive skill set. Latu finished with a team high 21 points, and was scoring from deep, the midrange and at the rim. Latu has improved as a primary ball handler, has become a legit 3 level scorer, rebounds well for his position, creates turnovers with his tenacity on defense, does a great job of creating off the dribble and getting to his mid range shot, makes solid plays when attacking the defense, and plays with toughness and grit at all times.
Silva has been the primary lead guard for the WCE 17U National Team (Griffin), and has been one of the key reasons that his team finished 7-1 overall at the League of Legends Event in Arizona. Silva came out on fire in his team’s 1st game against the Seattle Stars. Despite a tough loss, Silva was crucial in keeping the team close. Silva finished with a team high 19 points, connecting on three 3’s, and making timely shots or plays to get his teammates open looks off the assist. Silva has really good court vision, keeps his dribble alive to survey the defense, gets downhill effectively and uses his physical build to bully his way to the rim. Silva has shown to be an effective scorer from various spots on the court, and does not shy away from the bigger moments of the game. Silva has a good feel for the game and plays with good pace and confidence needed at the lead guard position.
Frank has had an impressive month of March for the WCE Central Program at the League of Legends Event. The WCE Central 18U National squad has a lot of talented guard play, so players have to take advantage when they get hot from the field. Frank has done this in several games and has been the spark much needed by his team in a few big victories. During the last weekend of the League of Legends, Frank caught fire from deep and connected on four 3’s, as his team got a big win over WCE SD 18U Tate. Frank has a nice shooting form and is efficient from beyond the arc. Frank has the handles and ball control to play at the lead guard spot, as well as the shooting ability to play off ball. Frank moves very well off the ball, moving off screens, and creating separation from his defender. Frank also has the perimeter moves to create off the dribble, and when he is cooking from deep, driving lanes open up to create open looks.
Clifton has been a solid complementary guard alongside the primary lead guards for WCE 16U National Team, while effectively playing at the lead guard spot when necessary. Clifton had an impressive showing at the last weekend of the League of Legends Event, while also participating in the All-Academic Basketball Camp the same weekend. Clifton is a highly efficient shooter from beyond the arc, moves nicely off the ball to get open for catch and shoot opportunities, is a shifty ball handler that can create offense off the wing, and has good court vision to find open teammates. Impressive student in the classroom, with a 4.0 GPA! High Academic Prospect.
Perry has been the primary lead guard for the WCE Central 16U National team throughout the month of March at the League of Legends Event. Perry has impressive lead guard skills and has shown to be a high impact player on both ends of the court. Perry, as the main point guard, does a solid job of controlling the pace of play, runs the offense efficiently, puts pressure on the defense with his ability to get into the teeth of the defense, and the strength to absorb contact and get his shot off or make the right read to a teammate. Perry does a nice job of adjusting to the flow of the game. He can play with more physicality if needed, or get up and down when the game opens up. Perry sees the court well and uses his court vision to make plays in the half court setting. Tough minded defender, that is not afraid to go after loose balls or battle for rebounds amongst bigger players.
Hernandez has been the primary lead guard for the WCE Central 18U Graham squad. Despite the team's struggles at the League of Legends Event in March, Hernandez displayed quality lead guard play against some of the top guards at the League of Legends Event. Hernandez finished off the last weekend of the League of Legends with his best overall game since the WCE Central Program started playing. Playing against the talented WCE LA 16U UAA squad, that featured the likes of Vyctorius Miller, Zack Davidson, Isaac Hymes, and a few other projected D1 prospects, Hernandez finished with 8 points, 7 assists, and 6 rebounds, and showed why he is a prototypical 2-way point guard that could help out a JUCO program next year. Hernandez does a great job of setting up and running the offensive sets, has really improved as an extension of the coach on the court, shifty handles to get by his initial defender routinely, gets into the paint often and makes some great reads to find open teammates around the basket, and is an effective threat from deep. Hernandez does a solid job on the glass for his size, has put on some muscle to help his tenacious style of play, gets on the ground for 50/50 balls, and has continued to show development in playing the game at his pace and controlling the tempo.
I have really enjoyed watching Hiebert play at the League of Legends Event with the WCE Central 17U National Program. It had been well over a year since I had last seen Hiebert play club basketball, and it has been fun to see the growth of his all around game. I have watched him play a lot over that same time period for his high school team, where his primary role has been the 3 point sharp shooter. Hiebert has flourished in that role for the Bakersfield Chrisrian Eagles, as he has had some big time games from beyond the arc (games of 5 or more 3’s have not been uncommon for the 3 point sniper). However, with the WCE Central team, Hiebert has been able to display other facets of his game on a more consistent basis, and with his ability to shoot from deep, he creates plenty of openings in the opposing defense. Hibert has really improved his overall handle of the ball. Although I would not call him a true combo guard, he has enough in his bag to push the ball in the open court, get by his defender when they over pursue him on the perimeter, and improved court vision to find teammates moving off the ball. Hiebert has a solid grasp of floor spacing and gets to his sweet spots for open threes when he is playing off the ball. Hiebert is deadly from the corner or the wings from deep, and when he catches fire it can turn into a long game for the opponent.