K.C. HS Basketball Continues it’s National Rise as 2009-10 Season Looms

Posted on 19. Sep, 2009 by KCPREPHOOPS in High School

Kansas City High School Basketball is officially on the map. While players such as Brandon Rush, Tyrone Lue and Earl Watson have been building Kansas City’s basketball reputation on the NBA hardwood, a young crop of collegiate players have also helped to cement K.C.’s growing stature when it comes to hoops talent. Whether you look to Raytown South’s George Goode (Louisville), Lee Summit West’s Michael Dixon (Missouri), Winnetonka’s Jarryd Cole (Iowa), or Blue Valley West’s Robert Lewandowski (Texas Tech), an increasing number of the metro’s prep stars are finding their way to basketball prominence. More importantly, coaches have begun to take notice. This was evident this past summer as Kansas City hosted two major AAU tournaments, including the reputable Hoops City Classic; a tournament which welcomed hundreds of coaches from the country’s top programs.

So on the eve of the new prep season, let’s take a look at the players and teams that should play a big role in the city.

Top Players in the KC Metro

Senior Trevor Releford (Bishop Miege) should lead the discussion. Not only is the point guard considered to be one of the best in the country, but also his summer performance with KC Pump N Run has started a recruiting war between Alabama, Arizona and Oklahoma. With a very different style of play, Will Spradling (Shawnee Mission South – 2010) has to be among the finest guards the city has ever produced. Already committed to Kansas State, his combination of deadly shooting and court savvy has produced a player that is a must-see for high school purists. Senior Frank Williams (Raytown) had a breakout summer with MOKAN Elite and as a result was invited to the prestigious Paul Pierce Nike Skills Camp. The 6’5” Williams is extremely long, athletic and can shoot the lights out. Though just a junior, Nino Williams (Leavenworth), will be one of the city’s major impact players. Great range, an unbelievable finisher, and as athletic a two guard as you will find, he already has Big 12 and Pac 10 offers. 6’8” Dillon Starzl (Kearney) and 6’7” Steve Carver (SM Northwest) lead the class of big men. Starzl is a hard-edged finisher while Carver has a great mid-range game and soft hands. And 6’4” Mark Braden (transfer from O’Hara to Center) may be the best combo guard in Kansas City and is most likely to make highlight reels at the next level. Bret Comer, who transferred to Winter Park, FL, signed with Florida Atlantic after his sophomore season at Blue Valley Northwest, and although Perry Ellis (Wichita Heights) only plays his summers in Kansas City, we must note his ranking at the top of many 2012 lists as he continues to be pursued by Kansas, North Carolina and others.

Additional Players to Watch

• Maurice Holliday, Jr. – 6’4” SG – Sumner Academy (2010)
• Joey Quigley – 6’8” PF – Staley High School (2010)
• AJ Spencer – 6’6” SF – Shawnee Mission Northwest (2011)
• Dylan Robinson – 6’1” PG – Northeast (2010)
• Deontae Hooks – 6’4” PG – Harmon (2010)

Unknown Players that could Emerge as Stars this Season

Grandview’s Tyler Rambo (2010) had a phenomenal summer for MOKAN Elite and at 6’5” can play the two or three. He, along with Releford, may be the best defender in the city. Look for Rozell Nunn (Schlagle 2011) to have a breakout season after blowing a knee his sophomore year as he will shoot and attack in the wide-open Stallions offense. David Kravish (Lee Summit North 2011) is 6’9” and still growing thanks to a late growth spurt and Jon Williams (transfer from Hickman Mills to Park Hill South) is a 6’7” junior who coaches say has big upside.

Other sleepers

• Tyler Kalinowski – 6’2” SG – Olathe East (2011)
• Bubba Starling – 6’4” SG/SF – Gardner Edgerton (2011)
• Corey Hillard – 6’1” SG – Raytown (2011)
• Quantel Denson – 6’8” PF – Grandview (2012)
• DJ Jackson – 6’0” PG – O’Hara (2011)

The Youth Movement

One of the finest players in the city might actually be a freshman. Ishmael Wainwright (2013) will bring to Raytown South a 6’5” chiseled frame, toughness and the game to eventually be a high-major player. Ryan Murphy (2012) is 6’5” but moves more like a small guard. He and his twin brother Colin Murphy led Basehor to the 4A state championship as freshman. Zach Large (Truman 2012) hit a game-winning three to give MOKAN Elite’s 15s the Hoop City championship and showed incredible shooting touch as a freshman. He could lead the city in scoring. Sophomore Clint McCullough (St. James Academy) is one of Kansas City’s best power forwards. At 6’6” and growing, he has a solid mid-range game and is extremely gritty inside. In a contrast of size, Sumner Academy’s 5’5” Bennie Parker (2012) is probably the fastest point Kansas City has seen since Quinton Day. Willie Cauley (2012) hails from Spearville, KS and has turned heads with his 6’10” size and terrific shot blocking.

Other Youngsters to Watch

• Dominique Wilson- 6′9″- Piper (2012)
• KJ Pritchard – 6’2” SG – Lawrence (2012)
• Tory Miller – 6’8” PF – Lee’s Summit North (2013)
• Davis Reid – 6’2” PG – Olathe Northwest (2012)
• Conell Dooley – 6’0” PG – Hogan Prep (2013)

Best Teams in KC this year

Bishop Miege(KS) should be at the top of the metro based on Releford’s ability to control tempo and pressure offenses. Miege also returns shooter Rodney Givens and junior Curtis Okafur, who at 6’5” will provide inside strength. However, the Stags’ success could come on the decision of football recruit Justin McCay, and whether he decides to play basketball. Shawnee Mission Northwest(KS) is also poised for another great year. The Cougars return 6′8 Senior Steve Carver along with several starters including Spencer and junior Trey Fruehling. Olathe South(KS) returns outstanding players such as Marquis Addison, Derrick Cole and Charles McAllister while Sumner Academy(KS) will be looking to build on last years State run, returning leading scorer/rebounder Holliday, Jr. and lightning quick point guard Parker to go along with 6′5” Junior Eli Alexander. Leavenworth(KS), with Nino Williams and Alec Zeck, will be a force in the Sunflower League and expect Rockhurst(MO) to surprise people with no real standout players but a solid roster from top to bottom. Both Shawnee Mission South(KS), led by Spradling, and Blue Valley West(KS) will be in the mix in Kansas based on strong coaching foundations and deep teams.

The top team on the Missouri side of the city should be Kearney(MO) with Starzl and most starters returning. With Rambo and Denson, Grandview(MO) will challenge for a state championship, and Mark Braden’s transfer to Center(MO) where he will join Anthony Rule, will make the Hornets a powerhouse in the city league. Raytown South(MO) – with standout Hillard to go along with newcomer Wainwright - and Raytown(MO) - led by Williams and a new head coach as well as an athletic cast returning from the 2008 season - should both contend for District championships. Park Hill South may be the surprise on the Missouri side with transfer Jon Williams and a solid group of returners.

Top Teams on Both Sides of the State Line

Top 5 Kansas teams
1. Bishop Miege
2. Olathe South
3. Sumner Academy
4. Shawnee Mission Northwest
5. Leavenworth

Top 5 Missouri teams
1. Kearney
2. Grandview
3. Raytown South
4. Center
5. Raytown & Park Hill South

As Kansas City continues its rise as a prominent basketball community, 2009-10 should be one of the best years in recent memory. With a collection of excellent players and competitive programs battling it out for championships, the winter will be a time to see KC metro’s best.

To follow the season, join me on Twitter at KCPREPHOOPS

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Tags: Bret Comer, , Frank Williams, Ishmael Wainwright, Mark Braden, , , Steve Carver, , , Will Spradling

6 Responses to “K.C. HS Basketball Continues it’s National Rise as 2009-10 Season Looms”

  1. jamal jackson

    08. Oct, 2009

    ohara has great tough guards jackson, lyle, white. these three really bring it every night for coach todd mags with jackson leading the way ohara should be state bound.

    Reply to this comment
  2. topcity

    27. Sep, 2009

    bishop miege should be a ok team this came up bball season

    Reply to this comment
  3. thomas marvin

    25. Sep, 2009

    derrick is spelled derek

    Reply to this comment
  4. Fort80

    22. Sep, 2009

    Are you sure Denson is in the 2012 class?

    Reply to this comment
  5. Nolan

    19. Sep, 2009

    Just heard that Releford has given Alabama a verbal. Hot off the press

    Reply to this comment
  6. Hoop Junkie

    19. Sep, 2009

    I thought Trevor Releford is going to Alabama. Has that been confirmed?

    Awesome article. Keep bringing the noise.

    Reply to this comment

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