Always living up to the hype, opening night of the 2016 NY2LA Sports Summer Jam did not disappoint. An electric atmosphere surrounded Mequon Homestead as there was a definite buzz in the air as some of the nation’s top programs took the floor. In the 17U division, Mac Irvin Fire won arguably the game of the day as Illinois commit Da’Monte Williams and Justin Smith came up big in a double overtime thriller.

Here are the top performers and stock boosters from day one…

TOP PERFORMERS
J’Raan Brooks – 2018 – PF – Dreavision

Brooks controlled the paint on both ends of the floor and also opened some eyes with his ability to get up and down the floor. Brooks scored 14 points and also contributed a ton of rebounds and blocks in Wednesday’s win over the Wisconsin Playground Warriors. The 6-foot-9 forward was imposing, collecting offensive rebounds and muscling his way to easy buckets. When the opposition attacked the basket, Brooks didn’t give up anything easy. Most of the attempts were unsuccessful, but each time Brooks did a good job of making sure his presence was felt. 

Roberto Gittens – 2017 – SG – Team Bradley NW Panthers
Gittens put on a show during a double overtime loss to Mac Irvin Fire on opening night. Gittnes came out firing, hitting a couple three-pointers from way beyond the arc. The 6-foot-4, 200-pound shooting guard got hot a couple of times on Wednesday. Gittens is a very good scorer 1-on-1. Often times, his teammates would just clear out and let Gittens make something happen. Gittens also impressed with his unselfishness. He was definitely deserving of more looks, but often passed up a good look for a great one. Gittens scored a game-high 29 points in the loss. 

Charles O’Bannon – 2017 – SG – Las Vegas Prospects
A flat out shot maker, O’Bannon knocked down some impressive looks during Wednesday’s loss to MBA Hoops. At 6-foot-6, his shot is very hard to bother. It’s intriguing to watch players like him who don’t make the game harder than it has to be. O’Bannon doesn’t feel like every shot has to be on the highlight reel. He takes what the defense gives him and rarely takes shots that are forced or not in rhythm. O’Bannon led the Las Vegas Prospects with 17 points in the defeat.

Justin Smith – 2017 – SF – Mac Irvin Fire
One of the highest upside players in the class of 2017, Smith is a treat to watch. The 6-foot-7 wing has some scary athleticism and seems like he floats in the air forever when he takes off. Smith is working on his outside game, but did knock down two triples in Wednesday’s win over Team Bradley NW Panthers. An exciting transition player, Smith loves to get out and run and his teammates love feeding him the ball on the go. Smith missed a couple of shots around the rim he usually converts, but still finished with a team-high 22 points. 

Nick Weatherspoon – 2017 – G – MBA Hoops
Weatherspoon made great decisions down the stretch to help MBA Hoops get past the Las Vegas Prospects. The strong, fast combo guard got into the paint at will and was able to go all the way or drop it off to a teammate. Weatherspoon finished with 20 points and took control in the waning minutes. An excellent, three-level scorer, Weatherspoon is a threat wherever he is on the floor. The 6-foot-2 senior can play either guard position and serve as a scorer or facilitator for his squad. 

Joe Wieskamp – 2018 – G/F – Iowa Barnstormers
Iowa has to be thrilled about this pickup. Wieskamp is a terrific all-around scorer and player and absolutely dominated during Wednesday’s win over SYF Players. Wieskamp scored all 20 of his points in the first half as the Barnstormers put the game away early and won by 20. Wieskamp is as versatile as it gets for a wing. He can post up effectively, stretch the floor with his three-point shooting, and pull-up from mid-range. Wieskamp has also greatly improved his transition play and finishing against contact. He showed no inability to absorb hits and finish over and around shot blockers. 

Da’Monte Williams – 2017 – G – Mac Irvin Fire
Williams came up big down the stretch to help Mac Irvin Fire survive a close call from Team Bradley NW Panthers. Maybe it was the haircut, but the Illinois commit seemed to have an extra bounce, including a huge throw down after taking off just inside the free throw line. Williams hit a couple of big three’s late to help regain the lead and eventually force the game into overtime. Even though he was hot, Williams did a good job of not settling and continuing to attack the rim. He scored the majority of his 18 points in the final period. 

STOCK BOOSTERS
Demetrius Lake – 2017 – PG – Michigan Basketball Academy

Lake was the straw that stirred the drink for Michigan Basketball Academy in their blowout win over the Illiana Warriors. An offensive-minded point guard, Lake stayed aggressive for the entire 15 minutes he was on the floor and never wasted an opportunity to attack. The strong, quick, 5-foot-11 senior found gaps in the defense and also mixed it up with perimeter and md-range jumpers. Lake didn’t finish around the rim as well he would have liked, but still converted a number of other impressive shots in traffic. He scored a game-high 24 points in just one half of action.

Adam Smith – 2017 – SG – Wisconsin Playground Warriors
Smith shot the ball well and made some plays at the rim, but the Playground Warriors fell in overtime to Kingdom Hoops. Smith is a terrific sharpshooter with a clean, smooth stroke. He’s not overly quick or athletic, but understands how to use screens, play angles, and get himself open. Smith is also a very underrated finisher at the rim. He’s got a strong frame and is able to absorb contact well. 

Max Watson – 2018 – SG – Dreamvision
Watson was on fire in the first half and finished with a game-high 18 points in a win over the Wisconsin Playground Warriors. The 6-foot-4 sniper made the defense pay when he was left open, draining four triples. Watson also adjusted his game very well as defenders began flying out to him. Watson showed good patience and the ability to score off the bounce against the over-aggressive defense. 

Douglas Wilson – 2017 – F – Kingdom Hoops
Wilson was dominant on both ends of the floor in Wednesday’s come from behind win over the Wisconsin Playground Warriors. Wilson seemed to be everywhere, recording points, rebounds, and blocks at a high rate. Wilson finished off some impressive dunks in transition and used that athleticism to swat the opposition’s shots. An athletic, high-motor forward, Wilson plays much bigger than his 6-foot-7 frame. He finished with a team-high 16 points in the victory. 

RECRUITING NOTES
Max Watson is receiving interest from Boise State, Santa Clara, Utah State, Harvard, and Yale. 

Roberto Gittens has offers from Washington, Montana, Portland, and Hofstra. He’s also getting interest from Washington State, Oregon, and Oregon State among others. 

J’Raan Brooks has offers from Washington State, Washington, and Montana. Kansas, Oregon State, Stanford, Nebraska, UCLA, Notre Dame, California, and Harvard are currently interested. 

Justin Smith named Stanford, Illinois, Indiana, Villanova, Wisconsin, and Iowa State as the schools currently recruiting him hardest. 

2018 PG Courtney Ramey of Ramey/Jets United picked up an offer from Iowa State on Wednesday after a scintillating performance in a victory over UPLAY Canada.