Some of the country’s best prep hoop recruits will descend on the Kansas City area this weekend for the Jayhawk Invitational, an Under Armour-sponsored grassroots basketball tournament.
The three-day event, which will begin on Friday in locations in Olathe, Gardner and De Soto, comes with a little added cache this time around.
Previous versions of the tourney were held in Lawrence without NCAA certification, meaning college coaches were barred from watching. But this event, according to local AAU coach L.J. Goolsby of the Run GMC organization, is NCAA certified, meaning college coaches can attend and evaluate during this April evaluation period.
“It’s a certified event for the first time,” Goolsby said. “There should be plenty of coaches in town to watch.”
And they should have some solid talent to scout.
Among the top players expected to play this weekend: Diamond Stone, a 6-10 center, is the No. 4 overall recruit in the class of 2015, according to Rivals.com. Stone, a native of Milwaukee, will play for Young Legends (Wis.).
Dom Collier, a 6-1 junior guard from Denver, will play for Kansas City-based Run GMC’s U-17 squad. Collier, the No. 61-ranked player in the class of 2014, has offers from Arizona, Kansas State, Missouri and Oregon, among others, according to Rivals.com.
Blue Valley Northwest junior Clayton Custer, who led the Huskies to the Kansas 6A state title, will play for Team YOBO. Custer, the 101st-ranked player in the class of 2014, has verbally committed to Iowa State.
Here's a full list of players to watch this weekend. For a full schedule of the games and locations, go to:http://www.jayhawkinvitational.com/Schedule.
Class of 2014 (Rivals' national class ranking)
Malik Pope, 6-8 SF, Team Superstar (No. 7 )A Kansas target, Pope has been battling injury and may not play this weekend.
Keita Bates-Diop, 6-7 SF, Illinois Wolves (No. 20) (Ohio State commit)
Quentin Snyder, 6-0 PG, Louisville Magic (No. 29)
Dominique Collier, 6-2 PG, KC Run GMC (No. 61)
Melvin Swift, 6-7 PF, Houston Defenders (No. 72) (Xavier commit)
Myles Turner, 6-10 C, Texas Select (No. 78)Rising center is on Kansas’ radar.
Shaquille Carr, 6-0 PG, Las Vegas Prospects (No. 84)
Brekkott Chapman, 6-8 F, Utah Prospects (No. 87)Another rising talent who has drawn interest from Kansas. Class of 2015
Diamond Stone, 6-10 C, Young Legends (U-16) (No. 4)High major prospect will draw interest from dozens of major programs. Locals players to watch
Clayton Custer, 6-0 PG, Team YOBO (No. 101 in 2014) (Iowa State commit)Blue Valley Northwest junior is slated to play for Fred Hoiberg at Iowa State.
Tyrone Taylor, 6-2 PG, KC Run GMCGrandview junior has interest from Missouri Valley schools Wichita State, Missouri State and Creighton, according to Rivals.
Ezra Talbert, 6-7 F, KC Run GMC (Creighton commit)
Olathe East junior has committed to play for Greg McDermott at Creighton.
Ahmaad Wainright, 6-2 SG, KC KeysYounger brother of Ishmail Wainright, a former Ray-South standout who has signed with Baylor
Kevin Puryear, 6-7 PF, KC Run GMC (U-16)Blue Springs South sophomore has drawn early interest from Missouri and K-State.
Jimmy Whitt, 6-3 SG/PG, KC Run GMC (U-16)Columbia Hickman sophomore guard could mature into a top-75 talent.