Beach's Bits - Unity In the Community

SEATTLE - The Martin Luther King holiday has become synonymous with basketball in the Great Northwest, as some of the region's brightest young stars converged on Garfield High School Monday for the inaugural Unity in the Community Hoop Showcase. Here's a primer on the day's top performers.

2014:
Shaqquan Aaron, Rainier Beach
The Louisville commitment showed off his unique abilities Monday afternoon in the first game of the day against O'Dea. It wasn't his scoring abilities, but his passing and floor management running the point for the Vikings that impressed the most. Despite his 6-foot-8 length, Aaron handles the ball like a guard and sets up dribble penetration with an ankle breaking crossover that belies his size. He also connected on a step back three-pointer en route to 11 points.

Djaun Piper, Rainer Beach
The athletic combo forward is a bit of a tweener, checking in at a long armed 6-foot-6. His quick feet and overall quickness make him an effective defender on the perimeter and help him stay in front of smaller players and is equally effective defending the paint. He's an excellent leaper with good secondary bounce, however he needs to finish more consistently at the rim. He lists Washington, Gonzaga and Minnesota in his top three.

Tremaine Isabell, Garfield
Isabell is a potent scoring, undersized shooting guard who uses his blazing quickness and stellar handle to create space open up shot opportunities. He is a crafty penetrator using his mature, muscular frame to bull his way into the paint, though he sometimes struggles to get his shot off against longer defenders. Isabell possesses an excellent jump shot and utilizes a fade away pull up effectively from mid range and his stroke extends beyond the three point arch. Isabell committed to Washington State last fall and had a really good game Monday, scoring 27 in a win over Franklin.
2015:
David Crisp, Rainier Beach
It's been a whirlwind month for the fast-rising point guard from Tacoma, who went from relative obscurity to a commitment to the University of Washington in a matter of weeks. Built more like a tailback than a point guard, Crisp possesses broad shoulders and a muscular frame. He's an above average athlete, with good quicks and leaping ability. It's his deadly jumpshot that separates him from his peers. Crisp consistently connects from mid-range with a silky smooth jumper out to well beyond the three point arc where he generates much of his offense. He's also a creative penetrator and finishes strong through contact at the cup. The Huskies appear to have found themselves a true diamond in the rough in Crisp.

Dejonte Murray, Rainier Beach
Though somewhat overshadowed by his higher profile teammates, Murray has emerged as the top player in the 2015 class for the state of Washington. He's skinny as a rail but possesses broad shoulders that should allow him to pack on pounds down the road, and possesses above average athleticism. Murray is an active rebounder and doesn't shy from contact in the paint. He shows a quality three point stroke which he connected on a few times en route to a quiet 16 points. He's being recruited heavily by Washington, Arizona, Cal and Gonzaga, among others
2016:
Keith Smith, Franklin
Checking in at an impressive 6-foot-6, the Quakers stud sophomore draws comparisons to Brandon Roy and Spencer Dinwiddie. Everything Smith does is smooth while running the point for Franklin, from his excellent handle and pinpoint full court passes to the way he sets up opposing defenders for penetration. He also showed off his quality three-point stroke and was a physical factor in the paint in Franklin's win over host Garfield. He needs to play with intensity throughout as he tends to take plays off at times, but that's about the only flaw in his game. Smith will battle Lakeside's Isiah Brown for the title of the state's top player in 2016. He has a host of suitors, including offers from Washington and Cal.


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