Gershon: Double Pump Day One

ANAHEIM, Calif. - The Double Pump Summer Tipoff led to some important evals on Wednesday night, none bigger than 2015 shooting guard Khalil Ahmad.

Ahmad emerges

It's not like Khalil Ahmad didn't get off the bench on Corona (Calif.) Centennial's 29-4 squad last season.

"I played a lot," Ahmad says. "But I wasn't really doing anything."

The 6-foot-4, 190-pound 2015 shooting guard played in every game and was his team's fourth-leading scorer but he was clearly overshadowed by a couple talented teammates in 2015 SMU commit Sedrick Barefield and 2014 Long Beach State signee Deontae North.

If there was a future high major shooting guard on that roster, you wouldn't have noticed, and Ahmad probably wouldn't blame you for not seeing it.

"I was out there but not scoring," he said. "I would just get a stop here or there or grab a rebound."

Four months later and the difference between the Ahmad then and Ahmad now is staggering.

On Wednesday, on the first day of the July Evaluation Period at the Double Pump Summer Tipoff, Ahmad proved just how talented he actually is.

Ahmad is a terrific athlete both laterally and vertically that moves his feet tremendously well side to side but can also explode in transition to throw down a one-handed dunk. He uses his lateral quickness to menace offensive players, not giving them an inch, and coming away with plenty of steals in the process.

The rising senior rebounded very well for a shooting guard, both scoring on putbacks and grabbing defensive boards and leading the break, while using his handle and body control to glide through the lane for baskets.

He's also a terrific passer, zipping one crisp pass after another through and around the defense, leading to easy baskets for his teammates. In a blowout game, he didn't take many jumpers, but he got to the basket so effortlessly, it wasn't necessary.

"I can hit jumpers," Ahmad says.

As of now, Tulsa is his only offer, with California, Colorado, U.C. Irvine, U.C. Riverside, Washington State and Long Beach State all showing interest. Look for that list to grow, and quickly.

Ahmad had a statement performance on Wednesday, making himself the early favorite for West Coast Breakout Performer of the summer.

Team Superstar 16u is loaded

Two years ago, Team Superstar 16u had one of the West Coast's most intriguing AAU teams, featuring two then-unknown but future Top 100 prospects in Malik Pope and D.J. Wilson.

This year's Team Superstar 16u squad has several players with that kind of potential as well.

Chris Seeley, a 2016 small forward, has as much upside of any of them. He's 6-foot-7, long, athletic, can pass, rebound, block shots and knock down open jumpers.

Previously split between volleyball and basketball, 2016 power forward Donovan Mitchell says he's decided to stick with the hardwood. He's 6-foot-8, can really jump and passes very well for his position.

Alize Travis, a 2016 point guard, is all speed in the open court and is a terrific passer. He flew down the court in transition and made the right advance pass to a teammate every time.

Vittorio Reynoso-Avila is a 2016 small forward with extremely long arms who has an improved jumper, defends multiple positions, rebounds, passes and gets to the basket.

Fresno State commitment Bryson Williams, a 2016 post, has made strides with his jumper, plays very hard, cleaned up the offensive glass and scored around the basket.

On top of that, the squad features an extremely athletic 2016 center in Kenneth Wooten, a long armed 2016 defender in Ryan Chappell and an intriguing 2016 guard in Micah Elan.

That's a lot of talent for one 16u team, but there's reason to believe that this time next year, a handful of those kids are going to be highly recruited.

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