When Prep Hoops Next dropped their 2022 circuit schedule, one of the first people I came in contact with from the midwest was John Callaway of SMAC Akron. Callaway is expected to participate in multiple events at the 14U level this spring and summer and will ultimately try and bring home the trophy at our Prep Hoops Next National Championship. PHN was able to catch up with Callaway to learn more about his program and some history about the program.
“My partner Antoine Campbell who played at Ashland University and I who played at Kent State University both had kids and we decided to get in the AAU world because we saw some things we did not agree with so with that being said, we wanted to make sure our kids and other kids get the fundamentals they need at a younger age and progress as they get older and to learn the right way to play basketball.”
As John mentioned, he has a kid and he is currently a 8th grader named Jackson Callaway and he certainly will be a player that we have our eyes on when watching SMAC Akron.
“Jackson is a floor general who can score and facilitates as needed and has no problem doing either. He has an excellent basketball IQ which he exhibits every-time he graces the court. He is a prototypical lead guard who makes great decisions whether it’s related to his scoring or creating scoring opportunities for his teammates. He can shoot the three, has a nice mid range and can get creative with his scoring on driving opportunities. Jackson’s energy and joy for the game is impressive and has a bright future in the hoops world,” Callaway told PHN.
Callaway is not the only prospect on SMAC that we will be watching. John gave a quick scouting report on some other guys to watch out for.
Branden Evans: “Branden is the type of player every coach wishes they had. He is a very skilled player who can play multiple positions. He has a knack for scoring at all levels as he can shoot the three, pull up from the mid range and can score on driving to the basket with the best of them. On the defensive end, he rebounds, blocks and alters shots in the paint because of his size. Evans is always playing with a high motor to go along with his excellent basketball IQ.”
Blake Williams: “Blake is a super crafty guard that is skilled who can shoot it from deep and is another guy that can get to the basket with ease. On the defensive end he gets after like no other and can be an offensive player’s worst nightmare. He is the ultimate team player who you can hear encouraging his teammates when he is on the court and even when he is on the bench.”
Brody Kopka: “Kopka stands at 6’2 and his size alone creates havoc on the court. Offensively he has a nice mid range game that extends to the block where he will score on you with the drop step or jump hook. He can shoot the ball from deep while being able to handle the ball like a guard. Defensively he possesses the skills to alter and block shots with ease. For a wing/post player, he has a very bright future.”
Callaway and his program are very much looking forward to playing on the Prep Hoops Next circuit and will use the circuit to help continue to improve their program.
“Our goal is to always compete and get better each day. We had a pretty successful AAU season last year and we are trying to build upon that. We are looking to play different competition and play at all levels. I have a couple of new additions to the team this year so we are trying to get a good feel of where we are at. We are really looking forward to coming to the Prep Hoops Next events which will help determine where we are and what we can do to improve moving forward.”
Stay tuned for more from Prep Hoops Next!