The Las Vegas Classic is here! Hosted by Bigfoot hoops, the classic is one of the most prestigious grassroots tournaments in America. The event runs from Wednesday July 27th and concludes Sunday July 31st. With today being the 1st day of the event it gave me an opportunity to lay eyes on several brand new prospects. Here’s my first impressions of those players.
Bejamin Lukacs 5’6 SG Nor Cal Prep 2027 – Lukacs showed some advanced offensive skill. He shot the ball well showing natural range out past the three point line. He also proved to be an advanced finisher for his age using both his right and left hand adeptly to finish around the rim.
Carter Amesquita 5’11 PF Oakland Rebels 2028 – It’s rare that a player stands out to me in a blowout loss, however that’s how good Amesquita was. Despite being faceguarded and facing double teams, he was able to be highly successful driving to the basket. The forward was better using his strong hand, but he showed an advanced handle, using several COD’s, including crossovers and behind the back moves.
Ilan Nikolov 6’2 SG Vegas Elite 2027 – Nikolov is a young player that I have seen quite a bit of over the last couple of years. His play impresses me. He has a signature skill, which is his shooting, however it was his willingness to use it to take and make clutch shots that impressed me. The 6’2 wing knocked down a couple clutch jumpers late in the game to help Vegas Elite escape with a victory.
Brev’yn Johnson 5’7 SF Vegas Elite 2029 – I saw exactly 10 minutes of the Vegas Elite contest, however that’s all I needed. Johnson was magnificent. So much about being successful at that level is converting transition layups and Johnson was able to do just that. He has long arms and he used them to get a ton of deflections and steals that led to easy buckets. On a side note Johnson embodied youthful exuberance, playing with a smile on his face in the entire game I watched.
Kane Ellis 5’5 SG Vegas Elite 2029 (featured image) – Ellis was just as active on the defensive end as Johnson, using VE’s full court pressure to turn offense into defense. He also stood out because of his shooting ability. He has a natural stroke, and showed good range out past the high school three point line. His ability to change the scoreboard with his defense and shooting was huge as Vegas Elite went on to a rout in his first game.
Broze Gilmore PG LV Kings 2027 – I really liked what Gilmore brought to the game. A good two way guard, he was a pest on the defensive end, both on ball and in the passing lanes. Gilmore also flashed a good offensive skill set, which included slashing, getting paint touches and throwing the occasional dime.
Jimmie Haywood III SG Team Smooth 2026 – I grew up playing against his father, so it was a bit surreal watching JH3 play. He shot the ball well, knocking down more than his share of shots from the corners. Perhaps his most impressive skill was his shiftyness. Haywood played with a quick burst, and a good wiggle, allowing him to defeat opponents with both straight line drives, and quick COD’s.
Chris Washington 6’8 PF Tre Mann Elite 2026 – It didn’t take long to figure out why Washington is one of the top rising players in the class of 2026. His size and length our obvious, however it’s his fluidity that is impressive to me. Washington moves well for a player his size, and even flashed some quick twitch muscles, when attacking the rim.