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  • Jared Exler

Zero Gravity Boys National Finals Report

Updated: Sep 11, 2021

* Any college coach seeking additional information on any players, including projected collegiate level, may make an inquiry at necorridorhoops@gmail.com


*All class of 2022 prospects unless listed




Rise Above-Carter vs Pro Level Titans (Rise Above-Carter Win)


Nate Amado 6’3 Shooting Guard 2021 (Rise Above-Carter/Whitman-Hanson Regional HS): Amado makes three-pointers at a solid rate off the dribble. Hit a pair of treys off the bounce in the contest. These included a transition three in an opponent’s face, as well as a one dribble stepback trey. Amado also has good burst off the bounce and finishing abilities around the rim with his explosiveness. Had a nice straight line drive to finish a layup through contact, in addition to after another blow by drive, using a jump stop on a defender to get them up in the air and give himself a better angle to score. Showed he was not afraid of the moment, drawing a shooting foul and hitting both shots as time expired with his team down two after using a nice crossover move on an opponent to get to the rim. Finished the game with 28 points. Averaged 24.2 points per game this past high school season. Defensively, Amado uses his quick hands and sharp instincts to create steals at a solid rate. Plucked the ball away from an opponent for a two hand slam the other way when they tried to use a crossover on him, as well as jumping into a passing lane when an opponent was doubled. He also is very good at blocking shots for his position, using his athleticism to make it difficult for opponents to shoot over the top of him. Had an impressive five rejections in the contest, which included swatting an opponent’s shot on a foul line jumper and eight foot pull-up. Also had another nice block on his matchup when they tried to create space on him from beyond the arc using a step back. Amado is a consistent presence on the glass, using his toughness and leaping ability to corral tough rebounds against bigger opponents. Pulled down nine boards in this contest, to go with averaging 9.3 per game this past high school season. He is committed to Babson College and should make an early impact in the NEWMAC.


Maxwell Davis 6’4 Shooting Guard (Pro Level Titans/IMG Academy): Davis is an outstanding shooter with deep range while needing very little time and space to get it off, making three-pointers effectively when spotting up, on the move, or off the dribble. Hit an NBA range trey on a baseline out of bounds play when an opponent gave him too much space, in addition to nailing a long ball after a teammate got an offensive rebound and kicked it out to him. Had a nice play relocating to an open spot after passing to a teammate and getting the ball back to drain another trifecta. Davis showed his off the bounce abilities from deep, hitting a three off a ball screen when bringing it up. He complements his potent shooting ability nicely with his pull-up and runner in the lane. Scored on a soft one dribble pull-up from fifteen feet after driving by his defender. Also finished a nice runner off the glass after getting by an opponent with a straight line drive, along with scoring another runner off the glass when using a double cross to get by an opponent. Finished the game with 20 points.


Middlesex Magic-Crotty vs Expressions Premier (Middlesex Magic-Crotty Win)


Xavier McKenzie 6’1 Point Guard (Middlesex Magic-Crotty/Central Catholic HS): McKenzie has a smooth mid-range game with his pull-up and floater. Drained a one dribble pull-up from fifteen feet, along with finishing a floater in the lane over an opponent. McKenzie uses his speed and sharp ball handling moves to get to the rim at a very good rate. He has skillful touch and body control on layups to finish efficiently at the basket against taller defenders. Used a nice crossover move to get by an opponent and finish at the rim with a finger roll. Scored 10 points in the contest. Averaged 19.5 points per game this past high school season. While his bread and butter is getting to his spots in the mid-range or finishing crafty layups at the rim, he still cannot be left open from beyond the arc as he makes three-pointers effectively when spotting up. McKenzie is also a solid passer who can make others better. Finds teammates particularly well on drive and kicks for open three-pointers, drop-offs in the lane for high percentage layups, as well as making unselfish extra passes to teammates for open treys. He is a pesky defender, limiting opposing point guards from getting dribble penetration on him with his solid lateral quickness, along with using good intuition creating steals at a good rate. McKenzie had a pair of steals in the game, with one of them being when he jumped into a passing lane for a theft after an opponent threw a lazy pass.


Black Bear North vs XL Thunder-Abi (Black Bear North Win)


TJ Henaghen 6’8 Power Forward (Black Bear North/Hampden Academy): Henaghen has a nice stroke from beyond the arc, making three-pointers effectively when spotting up. He hit a pair of spot up treys. Also can get by opponents off the dribble from the perimeter, using long strides off his first step to get to the rim efficiently. Drew a pair of shooting fouls on straight line drives to the basket from the perimeter. Henaghen is active on the offensive glass, showing good instincts on where the ball will come off the rim to create easy second chance opportunities for himself. Scored a layup, as well as drawing a shooting foul on putbacks after teammates’ misses. Finished the game with 17 points. He shows intriguing playmaking upside when passing out of the post. Had two assists in the contest, including throwing a nice crosscourt pass from the block to a teammate in the corner for a three. Defensively, Henaghen uses his good mobility and leaping ability to protect the rim effectively. He blocked an opponent’s shot when they tried to rise up over him in the paint with a hook shot, in addition to rejecting another opponent’s shot off the backboard on a drive to the rim from the perimeter. Had another play when he came over from the help side to stuff an opponent at the basket after they attempted a cutting layup. Finished the game with four blocks. Henaghen is a good rebounder, using his explosiveness and consistency putting a body on opponents to make his presence felt in this area. Had eight boards in the game.


ASA Select-Smith vs Brooklyn Kings (ASA Select-Smith Win)


Nate Kasper 5’10 Point Guard (ASA Select-Smith/Hopkinton HS): Kasper Is a good playmaker, finding teammates effectively on drive and kicks for open three-pointers and drop-offs in the lane for high percentage layups. Kasper had a pair of nice plays, penetrating the opponent’s zone to find an open teammate for a trey, in addition to hitting a teammate for a layup on a drive and dish in the lane after pushing the ball on a sideline out of bounds play from the other end of the court. Had three assists in the contest. He gets to the basket and finishes at a solid rate with his quick first step and nifty finger roll layups around the rim. Kasper had a nice drive to the bucket, scoring a finger roll layup off the glass. Also does a good job seeking contact when penetrating to the rim, drawing shooting fouls well for a player of his size. Drew three shooting fouls in the contest, including two on layup attempts at the rim, with the other one coming on a floater in the lane. Finished the game with nine points. Defensively, he is quick with his movements, taking advantage when opponents telegraph passes in his area for steals. Kasper is also rarely out of position on his rotations at this end.


BCRI 2022 ZGXL vs Metro Boston (BCRI 2022 ZGXL Win)


Jake Bender 6’3 Shooting Guard (BCRI 2022 ZGXL/St. George’s School): Bender has very good mechanics on his shot to go with deep range, making three-pointers at an excellent rate when spotting up. Had three treys in the contest, including one from NBA range off good ball movement, along with hitting another trifecta off a drive and kick from a teammate. Finished the game with 13 points. While Bender did not score in any of these ways during this particular game, he has shown over the course of his high school career to complement his dynamic shooting ability with a smooth mid-range pull-up, as well as getting to the rim and finishing strong with good burst and explosiveness. Defensively, he does a nice job forcing opponents into lower percentage attempts, using his length and leaping ability when closing out on shooters or coming over from the help side to challenge shots around the rim. Had a pair of blocks in the contest, coming over from the help side in transition and the half court to reject layup attempts at the basket.


New Haven Heat-Doc vs Expressions Premier (New Haven Heat-Doc Win)


Jaiden Gilzene 6’4 Shooting Guard (New Haven Heat-Doc/Connecticut River Academy): Gilzene creates good three-point opportunities for himself with his crisp step back move. Hit a pair of treys in the contest using this move. He has very deep range on his shot. Drained an NBA range three off one dribble in the second half. Gilzene uses a crisp crossover move to create opportunities for himself in the mid-range. Used this move to score on two separate occasions, getting by an opponent to drain a fifteen foot pull-up, in addition to rejecting a ball screen to hit a floater from five feet. Gilzene also moves well without the ball, creating high percentage layup opportunities for himself on sharp cuts to the basket. Scored an and-1 layup when cutting hard to the hoop after a teammate got an offensive rebound. Finished the game with 20 points. He uses his solid leaping ability and intuition for being around the ball when it comes off the rim to rebound productively for his position. Pulled down seven boards in the contest.


Copyright © 2021 Jared Exler, All rights reserved.


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