Josh Verlin (@jmverlin)
This weekend, the two biggest hoops cities of the East Coast will pit their best high school players against each other in a three-game series, the Philly v. NY All-City Classic. One game each of sophomores, juniors and seniors will help decide which metropolis has the best crop of young ballers, and the talent on the court should be top-notch.
While the NY rosters haven’t been officially set, expected participants from the Big Apple include Memphis commit Kuran Iverson (Fisburne Military), Putnam Science Academy guard Dayshon Smith and a pair of Connecticut commits in Kentan Facey (Long Island Lutheran) and Terrance Samuel (South Shore).
The event begins at 1pm with the sophomore game; it will be held at Ben Franklin HS (500 N. Broad St.) and tickets cost $10.
Sophomores–Class of 2015
Levan Alston, Haverford School
A 6-foot-3 shooting guard, Alston should prosper from having a guard like Forman to draw defenders away. Still not quite able to create his own shot consistently.
Donovan Barnes, Strawberry Mansion
One of the few prospects in the city we at CoBL haven’t gotten to see much of yet; Barnes is a 5-10 point guard.
Traci Carter, Roman Catholic
Even at a school with as stacked a backcourt as Roman Catholic (Matt Simon, Britton Lee, Rashann London, Shep Garner), Carter is still good enough to see the court.
Chris Clover, St. Joseph’s Prep
Clover is a skinny 6-4 wing who runs the court well and likes to cut to the hoop. Still working on his shot, but shows definite D-I promise.
Sammy Foreman, Haverford School
A tough point guard with a great handle, Foreman could be in for a huge season this year. Looks and plays at least a year or two beyond his age, great court vision.
Ahmad Gilbert, Constitution
One of a few high-major athletes, Gilbert is a 6-6 forward with major ups and an improving jumper. With Savon Goodman at UNLV, it’s Gilbert’s time to step up.
Carnel Harley, Imhotep Charter
A 6-5 forward, Harley should have a chance to play big minutes this year now that Khyree Wooten and Kamani Jordan have both graduated.
Derrick Jones, Archbishop Carroll
Similar to Gilbert, Jones is an athletic 6-6 forward who’s transitioning out to the wing, where he seems destined to play at the next level. Did we mention he’s athletic?
Lamarr Kimble, Neumann-Goretti
A 5-11 point guard, Kimble has fantastic court vision and a decent jumper. Should play a big role for the Saints this season and take some pressure off Ja’Quan Newton.
TreVaughn Wilkerson, Roman Catholic
Wilkerson is 6-6 like Jones and Gilbert but much stronger and more advanced in his game, though maybe without the same upside. Good mid-range jumper and decent handle.
Juniors–Class of 2014
Conrad Chambers, Chester HS
A 6-1 point guard, Chambers is listed by ESPN as the fourth-best prospect in the state for the junior class; they list his offers as including Drexel, Rutgers, Temple and more.
Jahyde Gardiner, Friere Charter
A 6-5 forward, Gardiner is trying to make the transition out to the perimeter to show that he can be more than just a bully in the post. Still working on his game but he always plays hard.
Shep Garner, Roman Catholic
The best junior guard in the city (aside from Newton), Garner is a big (6-4) combo guard who led the Cahillites in scoring with 16 points per game in 2011-12.
Troy Harper, Neumann-Goretti
An athletic and bouncy 6-1 guard, Harper is certain to get a lot of mid-major looks now that he gets a chance to shine for the Saints. Will benefit greatly from his teammate Newton.
Sean Lloyd, Franklin Learning Center
This 6-4 shooting guard plays on AAU’s Team Final along with Thompson and Harper; a decent shooter, Lloyd is at his best getting to the hoop where he can finish with both hands.
Ja’Quan Newton, Neumann-Goretti
Maybe the best player in the city regardless of class, high-majors are already all over this 6-3 combo guard who can score at will. Had seven 20-point games last year.
Basil Thompson, Imhotep Charter
The former Math, Civics & Sciences forward transferred over to Imhotep this summer. A 6-6 forward, Thompson averaged nearly 10.0 ppg in his sophomore season.
Tony Toplyn, Neumann-Goretti
A slender 6-6 forward, Toplyn is a good athlete who projects to the low-mid D-I level. Stronger than he looks, probably from having to face John Davis in practice daily.
Mustafa Traore, Prep Charter
Prep Charter was one of the youngest teams in the city last year, led by sophomores Traore and Raheem Liggins. A 6-7 forward, Traore has a decent mid-range jumper.
Malik Starkes, Math Civics & Sciences
A tough, physical guard, Starkes nearly left MCS this summer after averaging 13.2 points per game as a sophomore. Best in the mid-range and closer, but can be tough to stop.
Seniors–Class of 2013
Brandon Austin, Imhotep Charter
Once a Penn State commit, Austin backed out after schools like Syracuse and Ohio State started to show interest. A true guard at 6-7, Austin is a unique talent in the city.
Hakeem Baxter, P.E.T.
Probably the least-known of any player on the senior roster, the 6-2 combo guard from Philly Electric had a good summer and has a few D-Is sniffing around. Much-improved shooter.
Johnnie Davis, Neumann-Goretti
One of the toughest players in the city, the 6-5 Davis will get in the post and bang with anybody around. Still working on a fairly rough jumper but a great finisher around the rim.
B.J. Johnson, Lower Merion
This 6-7 wing has come on strong in the last six months, and now lists a final four of Temple, Syracuse, Villanova and Rutgers. A left-hander with an improved jumper, he’s a young senior at 16.
Rysheed Jordan, Vaux
One of the most athletic point guards in the country, Jordan is being heavily recruited by Maryland, Temple, St. John’s and Villanova, among others. Electric ups and great court vision.
Julian Moore, Germantown Academy (Penn State)
Moore chose the Nittany Lions earlier this summer; the 6-10 center is one of two D-I commits from GA (Nick Lindner, Lafayette). Good around the rim with both hands.
Miles Overton, St. Joseph’s Prep (Wake Forest)
The most recent commit in the city, this big-bodied 6-3 shooting guard chose the Demon Deacons over a few City 6 offers. Decent shooter, draws contact well.
Amar Stukes, La Salle HS (La Salle)
The 6-2 point guard chose the Explorers over offers from Drexel and a few others; he can get to the hoop with the best but needs to work on his shooting.
Jeremiah Worthem, Math, Civics & Sciences
Worthem had a bit of a rough junior season after a strong sophomore year helped the Mighty Elephants to a 2011 state title; look for him to get back to form in his senior year.
Jai Williams, Philly Electric (Saint Joseph’s)
A 6-9 forward/center, Williams committed to Saint Joseph’s back in August. Williams has good hands and is strong to the rim but lacks top-level athleticism.