VIDEO BREAKDOWN: Damari Milstead
HAYWARD, Calif. -- On Saturday night, Hayward (Calif.) Moreau Catholic – without a single senior on its roster – breezed past Kentfield (Calif.) Marin Catholic, 77-61, behind a balance scoring effort, including 25 points from 2016 four-star Oscar Frayer, 10 points from Lawrence Brandon and a 14-point, five-assist night from freshman point guard Damari Milstead.
In our first of two video breakdowns, we take a closer look at Milstead – son of Oakland Soldiers coach Jules Milstead.
The freshman point is very advanced not just for his age, but for high school points, no matter what grade. Since the summer, Milstead has been working diligently to hone his shooting touch. Before he played a single varsity game, Milstead already showed plus handles and a knack for distributing the ball, but on Saturday, the 6-foot-1, 150-pounder hit 4-of-9 shots from the field and 2-of-3 from beyond the three-point arc.
Milstead's first three came as part of a 12-0 Mariners run in the first quarter, when he, Frayer and Armond Simmons, simply put, made the basketball sing, dance and toast paninis.
At 55 seconds into the video above, Milstead shows his age, making a physical drive and then forcing a pass. At times, he'll show his inexperience, but that's the exception, rather than the rule. At 1:38, you can see the innate athleticism Milstead has, and at 1;47, he drives the lane into traffic and draws the foul. When he does draw contact, Milstead makes he Wildcats pay, going 4-of-6 from the line.
It's evident that Milstead and Frayer have great chemistry, as shown by several alley-oops and give-and-go plays in transition. Perhaps the most impressive play from Milstead comes at 1:55, when Milstead's ball fake opens up his teammate for a three.
While no ratings for the 2017 class have come out, Milstead is only going to develop more and more, and round out his game as he gets older. It's hard to see anything lower than four stars next to his name at this time next year, particularly if he continues to display the toughness he does at 2:07, when he follows up his own long three by going to the deck to battle for the rebound.
Milstead already has an early offer from California, and his father said that he already loves the Bears, who have been one of the earliest teams to show him ample attention.
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