The USA Elite National Team, which included four of Georgia’s top high school basketball players, won the Under-17 championship while also finishing fourth overall in the Under-19 division at the FIBA Americas Tournament in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Here are quick hits on the Georgia players:
Willie Clayton, Thomasville: The 6-foot-8 junior averaged 17 points and 9 rebounds, and he is being recruited by UGA, Florida State, Auburn, Memphis and Stanford. Clayton has a 3.8 GPA. “He really caught everyone’s attention with a strong performance against a 7-footer from Brazil who I think could one day be an NBA lottery pick if he comes to the U.S.,” Elite coach Linzy Davis said. Clayton squared off against Greater Atlanta Christian’s Malcolm Brogdon — arguably Georgia’s No. 1 rising senior basketball prospect, ahead of the Milton trio — in this past season’s Class AA state championship. Clayton finished with 12 points, while Brogdon scored both a game-high 25 points and the championship trophy.
Mike Stephenson, Victory Christian School of Conyers: The 6-5 junior combo guard is relatively unknown among college scouts — at least for now. “I consider him a Jalen Rose-type player,” Davis said. “He’s very athletic, can shoot the 3-pointer and defends very well. He has got emerge with the toughness of Rose, and he is getting there … He is emerging as a college prospect. A lot of coaches don’t know about him know. But I promise you he will end up being a major-college prospect.”
Mark Jones, Savannah’s Calvary Day: The 6-foot junior plays point guard and has heavy interest from College of Charleston, among others.
Drew Davis, Victory Christian School of Conyers: The 5-11 shooting guard is the coach’s son and one of the Georgia’s most promising prospects for the class of 2013. The sophomore has attracted attention from Memphis, College of Charleston and Davidson, and he averaged 14 points in the tournament.