There was future high-major, and in one case and possibly more, NBA, talent at City High School for the Red Hawks Showcase. To stand out from a lineup that included Scooby Johnson, Emoni Bates, Tyson Acuff, Kobe Bufkin, Jaden Akins, Lorne Bowman, Julian Roper et al. well, you gotta bring it. And that’s just what 6-5 Saginaw junior Lavell Brodnex did. A double-double machine since his sophomore season, he had 13 points, 15 rebounds and six blocked shots in the Trojans’ close loss to Muskegon. Like neighboring Jaylen Hodges, a Bridgeport guard, this is a junior quickly rising the recruiting charts.
With 6-8 senior James Baber hurt, Brodnex is Saginaw’s center by default. He gets away with it because he plays hard and can really rebound. He’s a leaper who high-points and two-hands every board, then can take off and finish on the other end. Sprinted on transition D as well — a must given the pace at which the Muskegon game was played. His quick leaping allowed Brodnex to twice block shots on the same defensive series. He got off the floor for a dunk too, but is skilled enough to have finished one fastbreak with a Eurostep layup, and creative enough to still finish from weird angles after taking a hit. Still needs to work on his basic footwork, get more done off the jump stop. He’s wing guard size for college, but didn’t see an outside shot. The shooting for Saginaw was mostly done by Leeland Summes, a 6-2 senior who came off the bench firing against Muskegon to score 18 points, all on three-pointers.
Hodges is similar to Brodnex in that they play both ways with energy and can contribute with or without the ball all over the court. Hodges is a true guard already, who can shoot it as well as get to the hole and finish. He’s averaging 15 points, 2 assists and 2.5 steals per game for undefeated Bridgeport. He’s the 12-0 Bearcats’ only double-digit scorer.