All City Classic 2016 Game Notebook

On Friday night, the 21st annual All City Classic was played at Girard College. The night's finale, the rising seniors game, was highlighted by the play of Lamar Stevens (pictured). Nysier Brooks, Nazeer Bostick, and DeAndre Hunter also impressed. Full notebook inside.

I went to Friday night's All City Classic primarily to see recent Saint Joseph's commit, 6'6 Philly Pride wing Charles Brown. Brown, who is a 2015 George Washington High (PA) graduate, will do a prep year at St. Thomas More next year before coming to Hawk Hill as a member of the class of 2016. He was slated to play Friday night, and was even on the roster, but did not play. 6'9 Hershey (PA) big man Dylan Painter was also set to play Friday night, but missed due to an ankle injury. Painter holds offers from the likes of St. Joe's, Xavier, Georgia Tech, George Washington, La Salle, and many, many more. While Brown and Painter, disappointingly, did not play, there were still a handful of prospects that caught my eye.

One of the most physically and athletically impressive wings nationally in the class of 2016 is Roman Catholic (PA) small forward Lamar Stevens. Stevens got off to a torrid start Friday night, scoring 8 of his team's first 9 points. Stevens did almost all of his damage going at the rim. He can bully his way to the rim, and in a game where defense is, at best, optional, he was able to get to the rim at will. He had one of the night's highlight plays too, when he punched home a violent, one-handed, windmill dunk on the break. Temple, Villanova, Indiana, Maryland, Xavier, Iowa, and more are in on the hyper-athletic 6'6 wing. Stevens has talked about possibly being a package deal with 6'4 point guard Tony Carr, who also played Friday night. Going into the game, it was easy to forecast Stevens having a huge game, due to his slashing ability and sheer strength. He had exactly that. Stevens spent the last three years at The Haverford School (PA), but will spend his senior year at Roman Catholic, making them the team to beat next year in the Catholic League.

Lamar Stevens is hardly the only local prospect who has seen his stock skyrocket this spring. 6'10 Life Center Academy (NJ) Nysier Brooks has also seen his recruitment explode into high-major territory. While every single one of his points Friday came at the rim, there was still a lot to like. It's almost a miracle that Brooks didn't shatter a backboard at Girard College. He dunks with such ferocity and strength that he rattled the rim time and time again. Nysier has put on serious muscle mass over the past year and is gradually transforming from prospect to player. His size and strength make his extremely attractive at the high-major level. Brooks also played hard last night, battling for rebounds out of his area even in the game's closing minutes, when most other players had already checked out. There is something to be said for that. St. Joe's has offered Brooks, but that's going to be an uphill, nearly impossible battle at this point. Georgetown, Xavier, Virginia Tech, Miami, South Carolina, URI, and Seton Hall are among his other suitors. Brooks runs for We R-1 on the Under Armour circuit.

While most of the upper-echelon local players in the 2016 class are still uncommitted, one is already off the board to a Big Ten program. That player is 6'4 Roman Catholic wing guard Nazeer Bostick, a Penn State commit. 'Horse' made national headlines earlier this spring when video of his dunk over four middle schoolers made the rounds online. A brilliant athlete, the knock on Bostick has been his true guard skills. He went out Friday night and casually knocked down five threes, including back-to-back threes off the dribble where he was closely guarded. Bostick has a great year for Roman Catholic this past season, and has played well this spring for Team Final. Next year, with Lamar Stevens and Tony Carr running alongside him, look for his game to continue to grow.

The one player of legitimate interest to Hawk fans last night was 6'7 Friends' Central (PA) combo forward DeAndre Hunter. Hunter is arguably St. Joe's top 2016 target still on the board. While he wasn't dominant Friday night, he showed flashes of his upside. At 6'7, Hunter possesses great length, is a capable ball-handler, a willing defender, and can do some things off the bounce. He had a huge two-handed flush over Lamar Stevens in the first half. Most of his other points came on lay-ins and dunks, mostly uncontested. Hunter was 2-3 from the charity stripe, where he has a clean stroke and has shot very well this spring with Philly Pride. Temple, St. Joe's, Miami, Hofstra, NC State, Penn State, and more are currently involved with Hunter, and his recruitment doesn't appear to be slowing down any time soon. He would be a significant get for the Hawks in 2016 if they could pull that off.

It wasn't the best basketball on display Friday night at the All City Classic. The 2016 game was sloppy, defense was even more absent than typical in all star game settings, and some of the bigger names didn't seem to be taking things all that seriously. That being said, it did provide enough entertainment and a reminder that Philadelphia remains, year in and year out, one of the best basketball cities in the country.

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