Get in early on these 2024 standouts from the Bank Hoops All-State Camp, rising sophomores with the lucky congruence of college positional size, athleticism and skill foundation to already project as next level, full scholarship players.
Merritt Alderink 6-7 So Zeeland West: Not just an AAU dunking phenom he was productive here against older players as he mixed up a physical back-to-basket game with a left-handed shot to behind the arc, while both making and capitalizing on chances by staying active with good hands. Can post up or invert and feed guys himself. Played hard through the last whistle of the last round of games. Naturally strong frame but moves very well and gets off the floor easily. Plays similarly at same age to Chris Crawford.
Travis Ambrose 6-8 So Muskegon Reeths-Puffer: Not just tall but with a wide frame too — plays football — and already knows how to use his shoulder to create separation for a half-hook. Saw him in glimpses in 15U AAU, and appears bigger yet runs more easily, which is an ideal trajectory. Should have a spot as a defensive presence/rim-runner/screener, with the chance to write his own ticket with offensive skill development. Ambrose won’t lack for opportunity at Reeths-Puffer, the alma mater of high major big men Mark Hughes and Brian Montonati, with the Rockets’ leading scorer and rebounder, Unsigned Seniors Camp MVP Kendall Smith, matriculating to Lake Superior State.
Deunte Phifer 6-4 So Lansing Waverly: He was Waverly’s second-leading scorer as a freshman. He would be an impact varsity player on length and athleticism alone, but is skilled and can shoot it. Covers ground easily, to get buy his man or catch up on D. Also boding well for his recruiting future — Doesn’t look done growing at still just 15; comes from hoop family; plays at Waverly for Rod Watts who has coached boatloads of future Division 1 standouts.
Jake Vermaas 6-2 So Grand Rapids South Christian: Came at you in a one-man wave with a flurry of different talents, but all built upon aggression, quickness and confidence. Typical South Christian toughness and core basketball values, but with bells and whistles. His Dutch basketball forebear would be Holland High’s Dan Kuipers crossing over Mateen Cleaves than climbing over Antonio Smith in a state quarterfinal. Hard to keep Jake out of the lane and was a dynamic pair in games with 6-4 Grosse Pointe North junior Adam Ayrault. In one game blocked shots on successive defensive possessions sandwiching an and-one finish on the other end; in another game had a five-minute stretch where Vermaas knocked down four shots all from different distances while mixing in assists and rebounds.