With the summer basketball season all but over, it is time to take a look at the top players from the past few months:
Oxon Hill senior center Michael Sweetney demonstrated why many consider him one of the top prospects in the country. The 6-foot-8 All-Met center, who orally committed to Georgetown as a junior, was one of the top post players at the prestigious Nike camp, was selected MVP of his team in the Kenner League All-Star Game and helped lead the Clippers to the Reebok League final.
Montrose Christian senior center Mohammed Diakite also had a strong summer, earning MVP honors at the Kenner All-Star Game. Expect the 6-9 Diakite, who has orally committed to St. John's, to have classic collegiate battles with Sweetney.
Just about everywhere he went, Archbishop Spaulding senior point guard Derrick Snowden was impressive. At the 17-and-under AAU nationals in Orlando two weeks ago, he was a second-team all-America pick. He also was one of the top players at the adidas camp last month in New Jersey.
Montrose Christian 6-3 senior swingman Marvin Lewis criss-crossed the country to improve his stock. After helping Montrose win the D.C. Board Games, he traveled to Augusta, Ga., and San Diego with a Georgia-based AAU team. Several Atlantic Coast Conference schools are said to be interested.
McNamara senior forward Maurice Young led his AAU team in scoring (19.2 points per game) at the Big Time Tournament in Las Vegas. It's a toss-up who saw more of his games this summer -- Young's mother or Virginia Coach Pete Gillen. Young has orally committed to play for the Cavaliers.
Eleanor Roosevelt 6-5 senior forward Delonte Holland was named to the Reebok and Kenner all-star teams. Several Big East schools are interested.
After waiting his turn behind second-team All-Met Donnell Pope, Surrattsville senior guard Terrell Millington could be ready to break out in his senior season. Millington scored 10 points to lead the Hornets to the Falconers League title.
College coaches loved the way Lake Braddock senior swingman RaMell Ross played at the adidas camp. Unfortunately, he separated his shoulder in the first game at the Big Time Tournament and did not get a chance to showcase his talents there.
Other seniors who raised their stock: Carroll guard David Hawkins, Central center Sean Brooks, DeMatha forward Robin Wentt, Spingarn forward Deon Saunders, Wheaton forward Marvin Moss, South Lakes guard Dustin Hellenga and Mount Vernon guard Kelvin Coggins.
Here Today . . .
These seniors played well but are expected to attend nonlocal schools this fall: Forward Mauriceo Branwell plans to leave Paint Branch and transfer to a school closer to home in New York; point guard Cliff Hawkins, who was an All-Met at Potomac (Va.), will return to Oak Hill Academy; forward Bernard Robinson is expected to attend Winchendon (Mass.) School after playing at Dunbar last year; forward Andre Scott, who left DeMatha for Eleanor Roosevelt during his junior year, is likely to attend Washington College, a prep school in Tennessee.
Juniors whose strong summers make them good bets to be key contributors: Eleanor Roosevelt guard Eddie Basden, McNamara guard Tony Bethel, DeMatha guard Billy Edelin, Paul VI forward Tyree Spinner, Montrose Christian forward Levi Watkins and Newport School forward James White.
Don't be surprised to see these teams among the Washington area's best next winter: Carroll, DeMatha, Eleanor Roosevelt, Gwynn Park, Montrose Christian, Newport School, Oxon Hill, South Lakes, Spingarn, Surrattsville, Wheaton, H.D. Woodson.
W.T. Woodson, which won four regular season games the last two seasons, went a combined 11-9 in the Sleepy Thompson and Flint Hill leagues. The Cavaliers also took first place out of 70 teams at a team camp in Richmond two weeks ago. Senior forward Greg Hinnant was selected to the Sleepy Thompson and Flint Hill all-star teams.
Annandale, which lost all of its starters from a 7-15 team, played in three summer leagues and won eight games. The Atoms have a strong senior backcourt tandem of Sam Hagos and Saden Cenkci.