Vertical Hoops: Nutmeg State Championship

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Recruits of Connecticut’s Nutmeg Championships Review

Tournament Overview:

Vertical Hoops’ Nutmeg Championships (October 20-21, 2018) was full of high-end talent ranging from varsity all the way down to fifth grade. The weekend saw incredible back and forth games between well-established clubs, such as Connecticut Elite, CSA Velocity, Fairfield Fierce, CBA, and the New Haven Heat, and between the newly minted Riot Regime, DBC and Next Level teams. With talents such as: Connor Raines (#3 in 2019), DJ Ransom (#8 in 2019), Guy Ragland Jr (#8 in 2020), Quinn Guth (#9 in 2020), Cinceree Lash (#14 in 2020), AJ Edwards (#18 in 2019), and Aidan O’Brien (#24 in 2020) all attending, it was a highly entertaining and competitive event to say the least.


High School Gold:

Ta’Zhon Daniels (c/o 2020) – 5’9 – Riot Regime / Hillhouse High School

- Ta’Zhon absolutely exploded over the weekend, on route to an undefeated championship run for Riot Regime (who are now 8-0 during the fall). He consistently took over games down the stretch against very talented opponents. He has great shooting ability off the dribble, and has an uncanny ability to maintain control in the lane. He definitely grabbed our attention.

High School Silver:

Max Gayle (c/o 2019) – 6’5 – CT Elite-DL/ Seymour High School

- Throughout the weekend Max caught many people’s attention with a well polished and balance inside-out game. He showcased himself to be a formidable force in the lane with a soft touch around the basket and the ability to stretch the floor.

9th Grade:

Matthew Gibbs (c/o 2022) – 5’11 – New Haven Heat/ Hillhouse High School

- Matt Gibbs has one of the brightest futures in the state. For his age he has tremendous defensive instincts, shot mechanics, handle, and finishing ability. We believe him to have the potential to be a star not just in the SCC, but also in all of Connecticut. Hillhouse has once again struck gold with this young man.

8th Grade:

AJ Miles (c/o 2023) – CBA

- AJ poured in 32 points in the championship game for CBA, and proved to be an extremely talented young player, and someone who has the potential to make noise in high school.

6h Grade:

Hasan Powell (c/o 2025) – Avon Aviators

- Hasan is possibly the most talented, and flat out best, sixth grader in the state. Otherwise known as “Mr. Connecticut,” the young talent shined on almost every possession for the Aviators.

5h Grade: Evan Ennis (c/o 2026) – I95 Allstars

- One of the best 5th graders in the sate, Evan Ennis, was dominant all tournament. He has a very bright basketball future ahead of him.


Fabian Cox (c/o 2019) – 6’7 – Riot Regime / Hamden High School

- The Hamden big man showed an ability to stretch the floor and finish around the rim. His understanding of how to utilize his big frame has increased mightily, which should result in a solid senior campaign.

Aedan Using (c/o 2020) – 6’6 – CT Elite-JP/ Old Lyme High School

- The stretch-four out of Old Lyme impressed with his ability to shoot off the catch, dribble and when contested by legitimate length. Using is poised for another stellar season, and will definitely make a run for the top 25.

Alex Baressi (c/o 2020) – 6’0 – Next Level / Somers High School

- A top 25 talent, Alex had a great weekend, and should follow up his All-NCC sophomore year with a great junior season. We would not be surprised if Alex jumps into the top 25 sooner rather than later.

Cinceree Lash (c/o 2020) – 5’9 – Riot Regime / Hillhouse High School

- The electric Lash did not disappoint as he lived up to his class of 2020 ranking. Both Riot and Hillhouse are poised for a huge year.

DJ Ransom (c/o 2019) – 5’11 – CT Elite-JP/ Wilcox Tech

- The addition of the mid range game to DJ’s already well polished offensive game has made him borderline unguardable. Again, another kid who lived up to our expectations for him (#8 in 2019).

Johnathan Despinges (c/o 2020) – 5’10 – CT Elite-DL / Notre Dame (Fairfield)

- One of what really are three MVPs from CT Elite’s championship run, John proved to be yet another highly talented Notre Dame (Fairfield) young guard. He finished very well, was effective from distance, and most importantly was a great on-ball defender. We are very excited to see both he and Notre Dame this winter as they aim to defend their ring.

Jaden Mcdowe (c/o 2020) – 5’10 – CT Elite-DL / Bunnell High School

- The third head of the monster for CT Elite, and one of the key cogs for Bunnell, Jaden jumped onto our radar as a legitimate pure point guard. Pairing him with Despinges and Gayle on CT Elite, and with Maximus Edwards on Bunnell, will prove to be a recipe for sustained success. He is someone that makes everyone around him better, and will make significant impact on every game he plays.

Eddie Langs Jr (c/o 2022) – 5’10 – New Haven Heat/ Hillhouse High School

- New Haven Heat’s 9th Grade squad bulldozed their way to an uncontested championship run, and it too had a three-pronged attack. Ed’s athleticism, finishing ability, handle and vision make up yet another New Haven Heat, and Hillhouse, product that oozes with upside. He has all the tools, just like his other New Haven Heat teammates, to be a star.

Allen Myers (c/o 2022) – 5’10 – New Haven Heat/ Wilbur Cross High School

- The final prong of New Haven Heat’s attack from this past weekend, and soon to be Wilbur Cross standout, Allen Myers, has really blossomed into a serious talent. A great all around guard that has all the instincts, tools and talent to be a household name soon.