The 2017 Generation Next Basketball Association season came to a close on Sunday with the championships in Milwaukee as a host of top middle school prospects hit the hardwood in search of championship hardware.  Here’s a quick look at some that stood out on Sunday in Wisconsin…

TOP PERFORMERS
Amar Augillard – 8th Grade – SF – Kessel Heat Black

In a semifinal loss to Quad City Elite, Augillard stepped up big. Augillard had Kessel Heat on his back for much of the game, hitting tough, contested shots from beyond the arc. Knowing his team needed a spark, Augillard was willing to take chances from the outside and they paid off. Already 6-foot-4 and 185-pounds, Augillard has some exciting physical tools and versatility. He can score from all over the floor and has the strength, athleticism, and skills to be a big mismatch problem in the future. 

Cameron Davis – 8th Grade – G – Iowa Barnstormers Gold
An outstanding floor general and leader, Davis is the straw that stirs the drink for the Iowa Barnstormers. Although his team has a lot of weapons offensively, Davis has the respect and trust of his teammates, who deferred to him during a big second half run that helped the Barnstormers advance past UA G3 Grind in the Gold Semifinals. Davis has complete command of the offense, whether it’s scoring or facilitating. A guard with good size and terrific handles, Davis has the ability to make just about any play he wants on the floor. When he’s shooting as well as he was and drawing defenders, Davis’ vision makes the Barnstormers extremely difficult to beat. 

Michael Foster – 8th Grade – F/C – Milwaukee Rebels-Spartans 
There’s rarely a game in which Foster doesn’t impress. Foster had a total of 45 points in his first two games Sunday in the Silver Division. A very intriguing 6-foot-7 post prospect, Foster has exciting length and athleticism, but also some skills to back it up. Like most raw big men, Foster dominates in the paint with shot blocking and second chance points. However, Foster can step away from the rim and shows a good-looking jumper. He’s also terrific in transition and runs like a deer in the open floor. Foster had 20 in a win over the Illinois Irish and then came up with 25 to knock off Team Ramey.

David Joplin – 8th Grade – F – Ray Allen Select
Joplin pushed Ray Allen Select to the championship game with a dominating defensive effort. An athletic, bouncy forward, Joplin swatted shots at a high rate. Joplin times shots very well and doesn’t leave the ground until the offensive player does so first. The 6-foot-4 180-pound forward runs the floor well and is very aggressive on the offensive glass. Going for 19 points in a semifinal win over All-In Athletics, Joplin changed the game with a flurry of second chance put backs. A likely instant impact freshman at the varsity level, Joplin proved throughout the season he’s one of the top Badger State prospects in his class. 

Jordan Rice – 8th Grade – PG – Quad City Elite
Rice is the heartbeat of his team and led Quad City Elite to the 8th grade title game. He was unstoppable in a semifinal victory over Kessel Heat, going off for 30 points. Rice is an electrifying floor general and a deadly mid-range game. With his speed and touch from 12-15 feet, Rice is very difficult to contain. So quick with the basketball, defenders have to give him a step or two. That’s when Rice pulls out the long range artillery and he was on fire Sunday from beyond the arc. Don’t be fooled by the 5-foot-3, 105-pound frame. Rice has big time game with an assassin-like approach offensively. 

STOCK BOOSTERS
JaShawnn Bates – 8th Grade – F – UA G3 Grind

Bates performed well in a Gold Semifinal loss to the Iowa Barnstormers. The 6-foot-2, 190-pound forward has some exciting versatility, able to drive past bigger forwards, but pound away inside against smaller ones. Bates’ ability to put the ball on the deck and slash and finish around the rim was a welcomed addition to the offense. 

Eferin Burns – 8th Grade – SG – Milwaukee Rebels-Spartans
Burns jumpstarted the Rebels-Spartans past the Illinois Irish. Burns racked up a ton of steals that led to transition buckets for himself and others. The 5-foot-9 guard hounded guards up and down the floor and forced a number of turnovers. In the half court, Burns also converted some difficult finishes around the rim, showing the capability to hang and finish in traffic. 

Carter Capstran – 8th Grade – F/C – Ray Allen Select
Capstran had some huge buckets to hold off All-In Athletics in the semifinals. A skilled and patient post prospect, Capstran has a nice skillset on the block and is comfortable getting to his primary and secondary moves. At 6-foot-3, 210-pounds, Capstran has a strong frame and works hard on the offensive glass. He understands how to get good post position without fouling and plays with a strong base to move opponents away from the hoop where he can then collect offensive rebounds for put back opportunities. 

Luke Haertle – 7th Grade – G/F – Playground Elite
Haertle had a nice outing in the semifinal victory over Quad City Elite. The 5-foot-9 prospect does a little bit of everything and can play multiple positions. Filling a variety of roles, Haertle scores, rebounds, distributes the basketball, and makes hustle plays for Playground Elite. While he may not have lit up the scoreboard, Haertle was instrumental in Playground Elite’s run to the 7th grade championship.  

Ethan Kizer – 6th Grade – F/C – Illinois Irish
Kizer had 14 points in the Gold Championship win over the Iowa Barnstormers. Kizer is an imposing presence in the paint, but has been much more polished away from the rim. He’s able to go coast-to-coast in transition or attack from the high post. Already 6-foot-2 with some plus-length, Kizer runs the floor very well for his size. Defensively, Kizer does an outstanding job of playing vertical. He challenged a number of shots successfully without fouling. When blocking shots, his times his opponent very well, not leaving the ground until the shooter is airborne.