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After a four year hiatus, Ballislife came back to Cerritos College for their 10th annual Ballislife All-American Game (BILAAG). The 2023 edition was one to remember as it took overtime to finalize a winner. Team Future surpassed Team Elite, 157-154, as soon-to-be Kentucky Wildcat Justin Edwards of FAB 50 ranked Imhotep Charter (Philadelphia, Pa.) won MVP for Future group with 27 points on 63% shooting (12-19 FG). Edwards packs a heavy scoring punch with good positional size at 6’7, coupled with an advanced mid-range game.
For Team Future, future Kansas Jayhawk Marcus Adams of Narbonne (Harbor City, Calif.) shattered a few individual event records set by Stanley Johnson of Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) in 2014. Adams accumulated 44 points (Johnson’s record was 39) and made eight triples (Previous record was 5). Adams actually had 23 points entering the fourth quarter and his team was down by 10 points in the last period of regulation. Adams overall exuded confidence with his game and overall perimeter scoring package. Amazingly, Adams had 21 points in the final 4:46 of regulation and overtime. (Watch FULL REPLAY of the game below)
It was an all-star game of runs as the guys had fun but, still competed and looked to win. But let’s go back some and prior to the game, Wesley Yates of FAB 50 ranked Beaumont United (Beaumont, Texas), who’s going to Washington to play for Mike Hopkins, took the Red Bull Run The Racks 3-point contest crown, beating out New Mexico Lobo pledge Tru Washington of AZ Compass Prep (Chandler, Ariz.) in the final round. Next was our highly anticipated slam dunk contest and Coen Carr (Legacy Early College in South Carolina) and Jahki Howard (OTE) put on a dunking exhibition. Just like the game, we needed to go extra rounds to decide a champion and Carr, who will be attending Michigan State, showed extraterrestrial vertical pop. Now, let’s get to the game and a breakdown of our nine standouts.
Coen Carr, 6’7 Forward – Team Future (Michigan State Signee): Coen saw his stock grow from this past week as he dunked everything…. And I mean everything! During the game, he broke the rebounding record of Jordan Bell of Poly (Long Beach, Calif.) with 16 rebounds in 2013 with 18 boards himself (including 12 in the first half) to go with 23 points. We will hear more about him during his tenure at East Lansing, Mich. Carr’s early play set the tone for the entire game.
Justin Edwards, 6’7 Wing – Team Future (Kentucky Signee): A lot to like about Edwards. Positional size, length to deflect passes and can score the basketball in a multitude of ways. He showcased his versatility on the offensive end and looks to bring some of his North Philly toughness to Lexington.
Jeremy Fears, 6’0 PG – Team Future (Michigan State Signee): Jeremy came with it from an intensity standpoint. Competed on the defensive end, made plays for others and showed off his explosiveness jumping off two feet. A natural leader that’s about winning, Fears finished with 11 points and 9 assists and the win. His defensive effort and intensity down the stretch made a difference and was refreshing to see in an all-star game setting.
Mikey Price, 6’2 CG – Team Future (Undecided): Hardworking guard that can make an impact on both ends. Defended, made open perimeter shots and got downhill. Liked his constant assertiveness with the ball in his hands and he finished with 21 points.
Marcus Adams, 6’8 Wing-Forward – Team Elite (Kansas Signee): First time I got to watch him live and Adams’ game popped out to me during the practices. His journey to a record-breaking 44 points showed him utilizing his broad frame on drives to finish, connecting on step-back triples, jumpers in the fast break and the ability to attack closeouts and finish.
Wesley Yates III, 6’4 SG – Team Future (Washington Signee): Wesley can get hot quick from deep and on Saturday he showed once he’s feeling it from three point land, Yates needs little space to launch and connect. The Beaumont, Texas native finished the game with 26 points and I project we will see performances like this during his tenure in Seattle, Wash.
Andrew Meadow, 6’6 SF – Team Elite (Boise State Signee): Leon Rice got him a quality player. Meadows fits right in with his play style, as he has good size for a wing, high IQ, plus motor and can shoot the ball from 3-point land. Andrew was efficient from the field (9-14 FG) on his way to 22 points and six rebounds.
Jared McCain, 6’2 CG – Team Elite (Duke Signee): Jared’s performance wasn’t talked about much, but he had a quiet 22-point, 8-rebound performance for Team Elite. He did struggle a little bit early with his shooting but he steadily grabbed rebounds, ignited breaks and made deep threes from the 2nd quarter on. He’s someone that has grown as a playmaker and overall scorer throughout his high school career and impacts game with his strength and IQ.
AJ Johnson, 6’5 PG – Team Elite (NBL): Heading to the Australian Pro League, Johnson will play for the Illawarra Hawks. The same one Josh Giddy & Lamelo Ball played on. At the game he showed his tight handle, passing vision, finishing and shooting upside. Johnson finished the game with 17 points and I still don’t think he has scratched the surface of his ceiling.