Session 2 of the 2017 Generation Next Basketball Association (GNBA) got underway Friday in Illinois and action in the seventh-grade division was fast and furious and several players looked to raise their profile. The action opened in the seventh-grade division as Illinois Speed Blue improved to 5-0 with a runaway win over Made Men (3-2)

Marcus Tomashek — 2022 — SG — Wisconsin Blizzard

Really good shooter with a quick release, he struggled a little with his outside shot early-on Friday in a hard-fought loss to the Iowa Barnstormers, but he got hot from deep, making four straight and finished with 14 to lead the Blizzard. He also showcased the ability to use a head fake to free himself up for drives to the bucket and flashed a runner game in the lane.

Xavier Amos — 2022 — SF — Made Men
Was a bright spot for Made Men on Friday in a tough loss to Illinois Speed Blue and he showcased an all-around game. Amos is a wing player with long arms that is a good rebounder and an active player. Was solid with the ball in the high post on Friday as Made Men faced a zone and did a good job passing the ball from the high post. Finished with 10 points and five rebounds to lead Made Men in both categories on Friday.

Kaden Cobb — 2022 — SF — Illinois Speed Blue
Cobb had a terrific performance on Friday drawing fouls and getting to the free throw line. A left hander, Cobb is a long wing player with a solid, all-around skill set. Was good on the boards against Made Men, a team that entered Friday’s action having gone 3-1 in the first GNBA session. Good defender that uses his length well, made several good look-ahead passes in transition that led to easy baskets. He finished with a game-high 11 points and six rebounds in a runaway win over Made Men to help Illinois Speed Blue remain unbeaten in GNBA play.

Zach Howell — 2022 — G — Yanders Law
Big guard with a strong physical frame at 5’10. Is a good rebounder and is terrific at attacking the bucket and finishing through contact and drawing fouls. Good free throw shooter. Showed a nice 3-point stroke that could translate with refinement. Had a game-high 12 points and eight rebounds in the first half of his team’s game against Ray Allen Select on Friday and finished with 17 points and 12 boards.

Stephen Kesti — 2022 — C — Net Gain
At 6’5, Kesti is one of the taller, longer players in the 14U GNBA division. He is a little mechanical in his movements at times, but has a really good understanding of the fundamentals for a big man. He keeps the ball high, has a nice step through move in the post and is a good passer in the high-low game. Uses his length well at the defensive end and makes it difficult for opponents to score over him in the paint.

Jaiden Carrasquillo — 2022 — F — Yanders Law

He’s an active big man that is seemingly in constant motion at both ends of the court. Can handle the ball, likes to utilize a spin move to free himself and can go end-to-end with the bounce. Carrasquillo did a good job of challenging opposing players defensively in the paint and was solid on the boards on Friday as Yanders Law pulled out a close win over Ray Allen Select.

Austin Herro — 2022 — G — Playground Elite
Herro is always playing with his head up and looking to make the kick out pass to wide open 3-point shooters. Has a nice handle, is quick off the bounce and has terrific court vision, able to set up teammates. He has a nice 3-point stroke and can get to the bucket a little as well.

Emmett Loew — 2022 — SG — Ray Allen Select
Kid can flat shoot it, made three 3-pointers in the first half against Yanders Law on Friday, including one from several feet behind the arc and also knocked down a clutch 3 on an inbounds play that tied a hard-fought game with 1:30 remaining. He is a heady guard who doesn’t force too much and doesn’t commit turnovers. He also showed the ability to put the ball on the floor a little bit as he attacked close-outs. Loew finished with 16 points to lead Ray Allen Select and finished with five 3s.

Darren Richardson — 2022 — F — Iowa Barnstormers
Richardson was simply too strong for the opposition on Friday as he came off the bench to have a day for the Barnstormers against the Wisconsin Blizzard, leading his squad with 16 points. He is a good all-around athlete and is a terrific finisher around the bucket. When he is in the post against smaller defenders he uses a quick first step to create space to get around his man. Richardson is also a terrific defender who is athletic enough to defend guards and wings on the perimeter, but strong enough to defend in the paint as well. He also came up with numerous steals on Friday and was seemingly always in the right place defensively. 

Colin Shults — 2022 — PF — Iowa Barnstormers
A 6’2 forward, Shults is a long, rangy player who uses his size and length to his advantage. He is a good rebounder at both ends of the court and flashed the ability to post up and get buckets, as well as shoot the mid-range jumper. He brings a tenacity to the front court for a good Barnstormer squad. He finished with 10 points and a game-high 10 boards in a 50-30 win on Friday.