"It's All About The Game"

Metro Challenge 60 sleepers, Pt. 1






Ron Bailey, Publisher

These players should be on recruitniks' radar.

March 30, 2015 - Of course Separation Sports' Metro Challenge 60 boasted a number top level collegiate prospects, guys that schools from across the nation are clamoring for. Household name players recruitniks are well aware of.

What of performers not well known, but capable of making an impact in college? We have a few here.

Renardo Perry - 6'3", 165 pound Class of 2016 guard, McKinley Tech (DC) - After revealing the MC 60 was his first invite only camp, one he labeled "Competitive", Renardo or 'Nardo' as his friends and family call him indicated the experience showed him "My jump shot, definitely, my defense" as well as going right and competing consistently are all necessary points of improvement.

Renardo Perry in MC 60 action.

Athletic and energetic, Perry agreed a future college role for him could be that of stopper; the type of player that brings energy to the team, defends opponent's best perimeter defender, finishes and hits open jumpers. Helping that will be hitting the iron to become stronger in his upper body. Doing so could make his improve his jump shot's base, making it more consistent.

The status of sleeper for this McKinley Tech standout, one coached by talented bench leader Ali Foster could be short lived; he will travel with DC Thunder's 17u team this spring/summer.

Finished the MC 60 by dropping 13 points and pulling down two rebounds, all while shooting 5-9 from the field.

His MC 60 coach, St. Andrew's (MD) Kevin Jones, is bullish on 'Nardo's' prospects, as he defined Perry as "A slasher, gets to the basket...Heckuva player. He's going to work on his shot, but can attack the basket, defend, is long, he disrupts stuff with his hands in the passing lane".

At McKinley Tech, one of the few DMV public high school's mandating entrance exam testing, Perry is being pushed and groomed.

"He's starting to bring more leadership to the program...coming out of his shell" shared MT assistant coach William Hall. "He's definitely a big plus and boom for what we do. Since the number of kids who can attend is not that large, we're not a very talented program and we need one or two guys to feed off. I think he's ready to to step up and take the challenge".

Aaron Thompson - 6'2", 155 pound Class 2017 point guard, Paul VI (VA) - As a freshman, Thompson was known as a pass first point guard, the floor leader who finds teammates, doesn't turn the ball over, and stays within the offense's plans. He still does the latter two, but has expanded his game.

"It's just a mindset" said Thompson when asked about his newly exhibited ability to get in the paint and finish, or hit open jumpers. "It's really not a lot to it. It's just a mindset you have to take on every game, to key on who you are playing against, whoever you are playing against".

Aaron Thompson, being guarded by 'Nardo Perry.

Scoring may be mental, but don't let Thompson fool you, he's worked on the skills of it as well, including shooting with better arc, as "I've been staying in the gym", which has resulted in not only tighter form but increased confidence.

"Maryland, UVA, UConn, Villanova, Syracuse" have all shown interest per Thompson, while "Penn State, Holy Cross and Rice" have offered scholarships, though the Holy Cross situation is dicey, as Milan Brown was recently released as head coach. Additionally Aaron's older brother, Anthony was recruited by Brown and is a sophomore point guard on the team.

This spring/summer and going forward Thompson plans to "live in the weight room" and focus on all around development, both being good calls.

Going against both Perry and budding Baltimore star Dequan Bracey, Thompson posted a respectable 14 point on 5-6 shooting, five rebound performance. Throughout the MC 60 Thompson showed he belongs.

Rasir Bolton - 6'1", 140 pound Class of 2018 guard, Midlothian (VA) - One of few freshman invited to this year's MC 60, Bolton was obviously physically weaker than his opponents. That doesn't mean he didn't distinguish himself.

Rasir Bolton, trailed by Aaron Thompson.

"They're strong. But sometimes you have to be craftier than them" said Bolton, an accurate assessment in that he loves to use a quick change of pace drive to get past foes. Sure they bumped him - to which despite going off line he didn't lose balance - crowded him and tried to body up, but Bolton rolled with the punches so to speak. He has a game more advanced than his age.

"Maryland, Richmond and UVA" have shown interest in Bolton, who will attract more interest and eventually some offers by training his body but also dialing in his jumper - presently he would much rather get in the paint.

Recruitniks should remember his name.

Click here for Part 2

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