Lewisville, Tx — The Midwest vs South Elite Showdown was a national 3rd-grade through 8th-grade tournament put together by Coach Josh Woodson and the F.O.E. family, with a grand prize of $500 to the first place winners. Teams came to play in Lewisville and Carrolton from all over the South and Midwest, Memphis, Houston, Indiana, Oklahoma, you name it. It was a joy to see how skilled, talented, and competitive these young players were. The tournament was filled with talent from top to bottom but here are just a few of the 7th-graders that stood out and caught my eye.
Gilbert Aluga | Plano, Tx | Class of 2026
6’4 kid with strong broad shoulders which he used well when attacking the glass. Aluga has good physical tools at his age, he had the strength and length to control the boards and be effective defensively in the paint. Great aggression when rebounding, he flew all across the court going for every rebound, especially on the offensive end. Gilbert pulled down rebounds like a mad man, out leaping taller players and multiple guys on plenty of occasions. Aluga produced the majority of his points from 15-feet in, scoring and shooting around the basket and in the mid-range, particularly around the high post where he was most deadly. He showed good potential as a stretch-forward, as well as an inside force of nature at the power forward position. Gilbert Aluga was the main factor to Texas Future running through the 7th-grade division and taking home the championship.
| Dallas, Tx | Class of 2026
Sharpshooter, was one of the best shooters in attendance, a true jump shooter with terrific mechanics. His elevation, release point, and follow-through were all right on point. Goosby looked very comfortable catching and shooting and shooting off the dribble, he displayed a mid-range pull-up jumper that he could get off at any moment over any defender, and he did it without forcing many shots. Austin also showed a good feel for the game with the way he got open, moved around the floor, and scored within the flow of the offense.
Noah Armstrong | Dallas, Tx | Class of 2026
This score first guard got buckets on every team he faced off against. Armstrong is a good instinctual offensive weapon that knows when to shoot, drive, and pass. He’s a crafty player with the ability to create his own shot and get to the basket in 1-on-1 situations. Noah easily created space for himself on the drive, giving him the chance for numerous open layups. He crossed defenders over left and right, breaking double teams and press defenses with his nifty ball-handling skills. Noah Armstong’s hesitation and crossover moves kept defenders off balance, his skills beat his opponent’s athleticism all weekend.
Bodey Weaver | Colleyville, Tx | Class of 2026
This Clutch performer consistently showed up when it mattered most, hitting shots and making plays that put his team over the top in big situations. Bodey Weaver is a point guard that seems like he has a good understanding of how to play the position. Weaver makes everyone around him better with the way he creates offense for his teammates, by penetrating the lane where he has the court vision and the passing ability to find any open man. As the primary ball-handler, Bodey did an outstanding job of making plays with a limited amount of dribbles. Such an under controlled and talented ball-handler that he’ll shake you out of your shoes. There were a number of occasions where he beat his man off the dribble by changing speeds and directions while on the move. Bodey Weaver is a playmaker with raw skills and potential that can get the job done on both ends of the floor.
Major Hopkins | Richardson, Tx | Class of 2026
Major Hopkins was a major difference-maker on both ends of the court, he looked like a true 3-and-D guy out there. Hopkins was the most reliable shooter his team had, he shoots every shot the exact same way, he didn’t take any bad shots, he didn’t force anything, he played within his means, and he’s wasn’t afraid to take a big shot, he even made some 3-point shots late in games to help lead his team to victory. Major Hopkins is likely going to become a shooting marksman someday, he showed great touch on his shots both inside and outside but was most efficient from the spots around the top of the key. He also played in both 7th-and 8th-grade divisions, and held his own, Major contributed well on defense and made sure to make his shot opportunities count on the offensive end as well.
Stay tuned for more from Prep Hoops Next!