These were the youngest players competing — but these eighth-graders held their own and some were among the best regardless of age at the Bank Hoops Underclassman All-State Camp.
Chukukema Donaldson 6-0 8th Grosse Pte. Academy: Chukukema wasn’t afraid to chuck it, and earned at least one heat check. Has touch in the lane as well, and can attack as well as shoot. Needs to not let offense dictate defensive effort.
Emani Hinkle 6-2 8th East Kentwood: Big and physical, angular and crafty around the basket. He also could step out and hit the 3. When the coordination and explosion comes, this Pinewood Middle Schooler will be quite a tool for Mike Thomas at EK.
Cameron Jefferson 5-7 8th West Bloomfield: Able to get separation with the dribble, and then is a heads-up passer able to slip them through defenses once he’s penetrated the lane.
“Moves efficiently,” said a coach. “Strong, aggressive, with a desire to win.”
Drew McDonald 5-0 8th Kalamazoo Home School: The smallest player in camp, but went about his business as if unaware of that fact with productive, all-around basketball — all the more impressive coming from a home school eighth-grader. Vocal, coachable, good decisions with the ball and active off it.
Eli Wolfe 5-7 8th Rockford: Maybe the fastest guard end-to-end at the camp. Timeless combination of fundamentals and flair that is inherent to the position, for the ones that can really play it. Opened things up with a slick crossover dribble and was his team’s leading scorer between slashing drives and 3s.
“Easily the most skilled 2028,” a coach said. “He was a top-ranked AAU player all season long who led his team to the UA final four.”