The 6’10 Nigerian sensation making waves across the United States was one of the attention-grabbing athletes at the National Basketball Players Association Top 100 Camp when it ended yesterday.
Charles Bassey was selected into the NBPA Top 100 All Star team at camp’s end on Saturday along with twelve others who stood out among the one hundred kids in attendance.
The 220-pound high-schooler from Lagos, Nigeria attends St. Anthony Catholic High School in San Antonio, Texas, and is ranked #2 across the United States in the class of 2019 released by ESPN Recruits early June.
The NBPA Top 100 Camp is an annual invitation-only camp for the top 100 elite youth athletes in high schools across the United States, which also serves as a platform for future NBAers to meet with current players in the National Basketball Association for mentoring and life skills development over a four-day period. Classroom sessions at the camp prepare the kids (who are potential NBA materials) as well as their parents or guardians for the realities of professional basketball careers. This year’s event was held at the University of Virginia from Tuesday 14 to Saturday 18 June.
Chuma Okeke (Spurs), Charles Bassey (Celtics), Christian Popoola Jnr (Celtics), Ike Obiagu (Rockets), Kenneth Nwuba (Warriors), and Ejike Obinna (Warriors), made up the mix of kids of Nigerian descent that participated at the four-day camp, each playing on teams named after organizations in the NBA.
Bassey was one of the standouts in the camp, particularly in the rebound category. After dominating the boards the first three days of camp with an average of 9.8 rebounds, Bassey finished with 8.4 rebounds at camp’s end, good enough for second place behind Aamir Simms’ 8.7 boards.
The scouting report on Bassey reads:
Charles Bassey has all the physical tools and talent you would want out of an elite young post. He’s got a big time frame with wide shoulders and long arms and is a plus athlete who always plays hard. Bassey can step out and hit jumpers out to three, while he also finishes well around the basket. He’s an elite rebounder who attacks the glass on both sides of the court. Not just an athlete who plays hard and can hit shots, Bassey also sees the court and passes well for the position.” – Scout.com
Ejike Obinna also registered presence in the statistical category of rebounds, posting an average of 5.4 boards per contest.
Ikechukwu ‘Ike’ Obiagu lived up to his reputation as a block artist the entire four days at the camp. The 7’0 big man led all players in blocks, with 3.3 bpg. Charles Bassey also registered in the blocks category, slipping in at ninth position with 1.4 bpg. The scouting report on Obiagu is pretty much apt, noting the big man has room for improvement offensively while proving a nightmare for opponents on the defensive end:
“Offensively there’s no doubt that Obiagu is very much a work in progress and had his rough patches this week. However, he bounced back very nicely on Saturday and showed what makes him an elite defensive prospect. Obiagu has a big time frame with the size and length you want out of a center. His biggest attribute is his shot blocking ability and on Saturday he made opponents who tried to take the ball inside pay.” – Scout.com
Chuma Okeke’s 1.5 steals per game was also good enough for fifth position on the steals category. The scouting report on the 6’7 small forward for Westlake High School in Atlanta reads:
“It’s been a successful camp and entire spring for 6-foot-7, 205-pound forward Chuma Okeke. A versatile prospect, Okeke impacts the game in a variety of ways. Okeke, of Atlanta Westlake, manages to do the little things on the court and consistently comes up with rebounds, loose ball and makes all around winning plays. Okeke’s offensive attack continues to evolve as well. He’s improving as a shooter and made multiple threes and mid-range jump shots in our evaluations of him. He was also aggressive off the dribble and will look to post up defenders every now and then as well.” – Scout.com
Notes. Some of the best individual performances at the Top 100 camp registered by these kids are:
Lakers vs. Celtics
Charles Bassey (Celtics): 8pts, 14 reb, 2 blks
Bucks vs. Warriors
Ejike Obinna (Warriors): 10pts, 8 reb
Bucks vs. Spurs
Bucks (81) over Spurs (77)
Chuma Okeke (Spurs): 14pts, 9 reb
Knicks vs. Celtics
Celtics (64) over Knicks (59)
Charles Bassey (Celtics): 12pts, 5 reb, 3 blks
Bulls vs. Celtics
Celtics (82) over Bucks (69)
Christian Popoola Jnr. (Celtics): 21pts, 2 reb, 2 ast, 3-4 3pfg
Charles Bassey (Celtics): 17pts, 12 reb, 3 ast, 1-2 3pfg
Warriors vs. Spurs
Warriors (64) over Spurs (61)
Ejike Obinna (Warriors): 6pts, 10 reb
Lakers vs. Rockets
Rockets (82) over Lakers (69)
Ikechukwu Obiagu (Rockets): 2pts, 3 reb, 5blks, 2 stls
Knicks vs. Warriors
Knicks (76) over Warriors (69)
Ejike Obinna (Warriors): 13pts, 3 reb
Heat vs. Spurs
Spurs (80) over Heat (77)
Chuma Okeke (Spurs): 15pts, 4 reb, 2 ast, 1 blk, 2 stl, 2-3 3pfg
Celtics vs. Rockets
Rockets (95) over Celtics (60)
Ikechukwu Obiagu (Rockets): 6pts, 4 blks
Rockets vs. Bucks
Rockets (77) over Bucks (62)
Ikechukwu Obiagu (Rockets): 0pts, 5 reb, 6 blks
Spurs vs. Bulls
Bulls (73) over Spurs (70)
Chuma Okeke (Spurs) 9pts, 4 reb, 2 blk, 3 stls
Spurs vs. Warriors
Spurs (85) over Warriors (82)
Chuma Okeke (Spurs): 17pts, 2 stls, 5-7 3pfg
Ejike Obinna (Warriors): 25pts, 8 reb, 2 blks
Photos: Kelly Kline/Under Armour; nbpatop100.com