As we continue to build comprehensive Ballislife player profiles so our followers get to know their favorite players across the country even closer, it provides us the opportunity to dig a bit deeper on players that fall into certain categories all basketball fans can understand. We mix original content with evaluations and your fav mixtapes all on one website!
Today we take our second look at five of the country’s top “Bucket-Getters”!
Related: “Must See” Players (May Edition)
Patrick Baldwin Jr.
6'8" - SF - 2021
Patrick Baldwin Jr., Hamilton (Sussex, Wis.) 6-8 2021:
This elite wing has the disposition of a coach’s son (his father is UW-Milwaukee coach Patrick Baldwin), the body and frame of a NBA small forward and a simple approach to the game. Baldwin just knows where to attack and is hardly ever out of position or off-balance when he takes his shot. Baldwin has a smooth jumper, knows how to work in the mid-range and is effective with his back to the basket. His production level and fundamental skill has led him to be named class player of the year by Ballislife.com in each of the past two seasons. As a junior, Baldwin averaged 24.3 ppg, 10.8 rpg, 4.2 apg, and 1.7 bpg for a 22-3 club. He recently narrowed down his college list to his father’s program, Duke, Georgetown, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina, Northwestern, UCLA, Wisconsin and Virginia.
6'1" - SG - 2021
Ahamad Bynum, Simeon (Chicago, Ill.) 6-2 2021::
What makes this dynamic guard such a bucket-getter is his relentlessness. Like many Chicago-bred guard before him, Bynum loves to attack off the dribble and get in the lane to finish or dish off when the help defender slides over. What separates him from many guards who excel off the dribble is his low attacking style (low man wins) and ability to score from various angles. Bynum also has that supreme confidence to make a big bucket after missing three or four in a row, and like the trait most great scorers possess, he’s never afraid to take the big shot. Bynum earned Underclass All-American honors from Ballislife.com this past season after averaging 20.3 ppg, 5.3 reg, and 3.2 apg to help Simeon with the Chicago Public League crown.
6'3" - SG - 2022
Zion Cruz Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) 6-3 2022:
One of the most talented players in the 2022 class, Cruz can really put pressure on defenses with his ability to score from various spots on the floor. He has quality size, a nice frame and good athleticism. Cruz bodies up on and can shoot right over the top of smaller defenders, has good blow by ability and can stop his feet and elevate. Cruz had a solid sophomore season at Hudson Catholic in New Jersey, but is hoping a transfer to FAB 50 power Oak Hill Academy in Virginia helps take his game to the next level. He will team up next season in the Oak Hill Academy backcourt with friend Dior Johnson and it will be interesting to see how veteran coach Steve Smith utilizes the junior guards and tightens up their respective offensive games.
6'6" - SG - 2022
Chris Livingston Western Reserve Academy (Hudson, Ohio) 6-5 2022:
What makes Livingston a prime “Bucket-Getter” is his explosiveness. He simply is too big and has too nice a first step for even good high school defenders to keep up. That aspect of his game is noticeable right away and then when you realize how strong he is, it’s easy to see why he’s one of the elite players in the 2022 class and one of the best scorers regardless of class. His game and build reminds us a bit of former New York City high school star and current NBA player Lance Stephenson, and former Chicago high school legend Jamie Brandon, a 1990 McDonald’s All-American. This past season he was good for 32.5 ppg, 12.4 reg, and 3.2 apg while earning Underclass All-American honors.
6'5" - SF - 2021
Aminu Mohammed, Greenwood Laboratory (Springfield, Mo.) 6-5 2021:
We felt Mohammed was the top 2021 performer at last summer’s Pangos All-American Camp and he’s definitely one of the top bucket-getters in the high school ranks today. Similar to Livingston, Mohammed has a nice frame and knows how to use it to put the ball in the hole. While Livingston’s explosiveness is his biggest asset, Mohammed’s relentlessness is his. He played with a terrific motor, never takes a play off and crashes the offensive boards. What makes Mohammed such a terrific scorer is he shoots the deep ball well enough to keep defenders honest and put pressure on them at all times. Mohammed is a Washington, D.C. native who’s earned Underclass All-American honors for the past two seasons. He’s one of the players we would have loved to see more of this spring and summer to see what wrinkles he’s added to his game, but unfortunately COVID-19 changed those plans. He’ll be one of the most watched players during the 2020-21 high school season.
Ronnie Flores is the National Grassroots Editor of Ballislife.com. He can be reached at [email protected]. Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter: @RonMFlores