Top-Tier Talent Headlines Upcoming Event At Cape Henlopen High School
Any tournament is only as good as its field. Fortunately the return of Slam Dunk to the Beach (December 27-29 at Cape Henlopen High School in Lewes, DE) features a plethora of elite programs. Sixteen schools representing seven different states as well as the District of Columbia will spend their winter break in the First State, with three of those teams currently ranked among the top 25 in the country by USA Today.
Courtesy of that depth, several of the best high school prospects in the country will be in Delaware to compete. Six of ESPN’s top 100 players in the class of 2015 and three more of the Worldwide Leader in Sports’ top 60 players in the class of 2016 are coming to Slam Dunk to the Beach.
Here is a look at all nine of these players.
Cheick Diallo 6’9, 225, Sr. Our Savior New American
The most highly regarded player in the field is Our Savior New American School’s Cheick Diallo. The Centereach, NY native is the No. 7 senior in the country, according to ESPN, and the fourth-ranked power forward in the class of 2015. At 6-foot-9 and 225 pounds, scouts are impressed by his athleticism, but drool over his effort. USA Today said his motor “makes it nearly impossible for him to be outworked in the paint.” College coaches have taken notice, with upper echelon programs like Kentucky, Kansas, Connecticut, Villanova and Louisville–among others–offering scholarships to this undecided phenom.
Damon Wilson 6’5, 200, Sr. OSNA and Davon Dillard 6’5, 205, Sr. OSNA
Diallo’s Our Savior New American School teammates Damon Wilson and Davon Dillard are also among ESPN’s top-100 in the class of 2015. Wilson is the 73rd-ranked senior overall and the No. 13 senior point guard. He has committed to Pittsburgh after receiving offers from Florida, Florida State, Alabama, Tennessee, Virginia, Georgia Tech and others. ESPN Insider describes the Powder Springs, GA native as, ” battle-tested and ready to be a factor right away,” which indicates how advanced he is as a high school player. Dillard has not chosen where he will go to school yet, but the Gary, IN native has received offers from Indiana, Pittsburgh, California, Iowa and Providence. The No. 94 senior in the country grades out as the 17th-best small forward prospect. He brings so much energy to the court that ESPN described him as, ” a Tasmanian devil when he’s plugged in.”
Isaiah Briscoe 6’3, 200, Sr. Roselle Catholic
If great point guard play is your thing than Isaiah Briscoe is the guy you want to see. The 13th ranked overall prospect in the class of 2015 by ESPN is also that publication’s No. 1 senior point guard. He signed a national letter of intent to join Kentucky last month, spurning St John’s and defending national champion Connecticut. That commitment from the Roselle Catholic floor general single-handedly shifted the scales on the national recruiting rankings, moving John Calipari’s program back into the top spot.
Chris Silva 6’8, 205, Sr. Roselle Catholic
Briscoe’s Roselle Catholic teammate, Chris Silva, is also ranked in ESPN’s top-100. He is the No. 96 overall senior, despite the fact that he did not begin playing basketball until three years ago. The West Africa product has taken to the game quickly, picking it up so fast that he earned a full ride to South Carolina. Silva committed to the Game Cocks after being courted hard by Seton Hall and Rhode Island.
Levan Alston 6’4, 175, Sr. The Haverford School
Levan “Shawn” Alston has been around the game a bit longer than Silva. Basketball has been a part of the 86th-ranked senior in the country’s life since birth. The Haverford School star, is the son of former Temple standout Levan Alston, Sr. Now the younger Alston is following in the footsteps of his father, announcing he would commit to the Owls this summer. Alston had received offers from 20 programs before narrowing his choices down to VCU, Penn State and Temple. A big part of the reason why Alston chose Temple was the hiring of his father’s childhood friend, and former NBA star, Aaron McKie to the Owls’ coaching staff.
Lamar Stevens 6’6, 215, Jr. The Haverford School
The junior class is also well represented at this year’s Slam Dunk to the Beach. Lamar Stevens, Alston’s teammate at the Haverford School, is the No. 40 junior in the country via ESPN. He has offers from Villanova, Indiana, Temple, Penn State, St Joseph’s and LaSalle already. Stevens is in his second season at the Haverford School after transferring from Abington Friends, and is known for his dynamic ability to get to the paint off the bounce.
Tyus Battle 6’5, 179, Jr. Gill St. Bernard’s
As good as Stevens is, the most highly regarded member of the class of 2016 that is coming to the First State is Gill St. Bernard’s School shooting guard Tyus Battle, the 14th-ranked junior in the country according to ESPN. Battle has offers from Connecticut, Duke, Kentucky, Lousiville, Villanova, Virginia, Michigan and Syracuse. He has good size at 6-feet-5, and scouts love his unselfishness, which he showed off on the 2013 USA Basketball Men’s Developmental Team, where he excelled.
Rawle Alkins 6’4, 185, Jr. Christ The King
Rawle Alkins is another guy who frequently excels. The Christ The King forward is ESPN’s No. 35 player in the class of 2016. He is the epitome of a Brooklyn player– tough and physically imposing. ESPN Insider paid him rather high praise, deeming him, “a man among boys against his age group with a combination of power and athleticism that is almost unrivaled on the wing.” He has not made his college decision yet, but not due to a lack of suitors. He has received offers from Louisville, Florida, Villanova and Indiana, among others.
There are plenty of other great players coming to Delaware as well, but the nine young men listed above are the likeliest candidates to carry on Slam Dunk to the Beach’s prodigious legacy of producing household names. Will any of them become the next LeBron James, Dwight Howard or Kevin Durant—three guys who all made their presence felt at past Slam Dunk to the Beach events– only time will tell. But one thing is certain, they will all be fun to watch take the same stage in Lewes.