Rising Stars in US High School: Aussies dominate AAU basketball
After a short hiatus, we're back and bringing the latest news on some of the best Australian prospects currently playing high school basketball in the US. As the school year is coming to an end and everyone prepares for the summer break, our top prospects begin their respective AAU circuits. Also included in this recap is the recent move of the son of an NBL legend looking to follow in his father's footsteps, as well as some Aussies playing high school in the US that have only just come to our attention.
Ben Simmons | Montverde Academy | Class of 2015
Ben Simmons - Credit to Max Prep/Jim Redman
Simmons had an extremely productive end to his junior year at Montverde Academy. He led Montverde to the Dicks Sporting Goods National Championship and subsequently was named the MaxPreps Junior Player of the year.
The LSU commit continued his stellar play as he suited up for the E1T1 Elite AAU squad in the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League. He averaged 18.6 ppg, 7 rpg and 3 apg on 70% FG over 1 weekend with the biggest names in college basketball in attendance - Mike Krzyzewski, John Calipari, Roy Williams and Tom Izzo, to name a few.
It's likely that Simmons will be the 2015 ESPN #1 player by the time his senior season begins, yet another top prospect from Australia that's making his way through the ranks.
Thon Maker | Carlisle School | Class of 2016
Thon Maker of Carlisle School (VA) is considering re-classifying to the Class of 2015, per his legal guardian, Ed Smith. The news was first reported by Scout.com’s Evan Daniels.
The potential move is Maker’s attempt to continue to form a relationship with Basketball Australia in the hopes of playing for a National squad as early as next year, with the FIBA U19 World Championships being the goal for the young center out of Sydney.
“I will monitor Thon’s progress academically and physically,” Smith told SNY.tv. “Thon would also like to become more involved with the Australian Junior and Senior National program under coach [Andrej] Lemanis. Playing in the U19 World Championships is something that is important to Thon.”
Thon has also been named to the 2014 adidas Eurocamp US Roster.
Daniel Mading | The Rock School | Class of 2017
Daniel Mading, a 6’9 forward out of Perth, had an impressive showing at the Super Soph Camp in Lithonia, Georgia – a camp that brings together the top high school boys basketball rising sophomores in the US for a 3 day training and evaluation camp.
Mading entered the camp as a relatively unknown prospect but quickly turned some heads as he impressed scouts and expert-observers with his impressive athleticism and length.
“Daniel had high major size, length and athleticism. It’s rare to see that packaged with a high motor and elite level competitiveness.” said La Lumiere assistant coach and AUSA Hoops co-founder Brad Johnstin, who was present at the camp as a coach and evaluator. “He’s capable of guarding multiple positions on the floor and is at his best in transition.”
Matur Maker | Carlisle School | Class of 2017
Matur Maker has emerged as one of the top players for the class of 2017. The 6'10 centre out of Sydney is the younger brother of Thon Maker, the 2016 ESPN #1 prospect. He attends Carlisle School and is a member of the Team Loaded (VA) squad playing at the adidas Gauntlet, competing alongside his brother in both teams.
Maker averaged 7.2 ppg and 4.4 rpg at the adidas Gauntlet, earning his first college scholarship offer in the process - an offer from Indiana. “Coach (Tom) Crean really felt like, ‘hey, he’s going to be really, really good, we want to get involved with him early,’” Maker's guardian, Ed Smith said.
Matur has also been named to the 2014 adidas Eurocamp US Roster.
Deng Adel | Victory Rock Prep | Class of 2015
Deng Adel, a 6’7 SF out of Melbourne, has had his stock rise significantly this past week after an extremely impressive showing at the Adidas Uprising AAU circuit in Indianapolis. Adel led Florida Elite to a 2-3 record for the weekend, leading his team in scoring – averaging 16.2 ppg, 5 rpg and 2 apg over 5 games.
Keanu Pinder | Sunrise Christian Academy | Class of 2014
Perth’s Keanu Pinder has finished his post-graduate program at Sunrise Christian Academy and is travelling with Kansas Pray and Play on the Adidas Uprising tournament.
The versatile swingman, son of former Perth Wildcats and Harlem Globetrotters PF Kendal ‘Tiny Pinder’, averaged 9 ppg & 8.3 rpg over 4 games – his team going 1-3 over the weekend in Indianapolis.
Pinder had committed to join the Nebraska men’s basketball program at the start of their 2015 season, but he announced earlier this month that he would be spending 2 years in junior college before becoming a Husker due to academic complications.
Damien Rance | Pope John XXIII High School | Class of 2015
A prospect that has recently come to our attention is Damien Rance, a 6'6 forward out of Melbourne, Australia who'll be entering his senior year at Pope John XXIII High School in Sparta, New Jersey.
Rance is currently playing for Playaz Basketball Club in the Nike EYBL circuit where he's averaging 3 ppg, 1.9 rpg & 0.4 apg in 7 games.
Clayton Carfino | St John Bosco High School | Class of 2015
Clayton, son of Sydney Kings legend and Australian Basketball Hall of Famer Steve Carfino, has made the decision to play high school basketball in the US, to St John Bosco High School in Los Angeles, California.
Carfino will be joining Head Coach Derrick Taylor’s program for his senior year, as they look to improve on last season’s 23-11 record.
Austin Treweek | Still Water Christian Prep | Class of 2015
Austin Treweek is another prospect that has gone unnoticed during his time in the US. The 6'1 PG out of Melbourne, Australia is attending Still Water Christian Prep and was a starter for the team that's recently won the State Championship in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
Treweek is receiving interest from the likes of UNCG and NC State, with offers likely on the horizon.
It seems as though the number of Australian athletes that are moving over the the US to attend high school is growing as the talent level increases. Australian basketball is truly entering a new era of talent, with the sheer number of potential high-major athletes at an unheard of rate. We look forward to bringing you the latest news and updates on the best Aussie talent!