July 3, 2011 - Yesterday marked the first day of Nike Pro City Jabbo Kenner League play. As the preeminent college-pro am summer basketball league in Washington, DC, fans flock to see stars at both levels lace them up in G'Town's McDonough Arena.
Though yesterday's action was short in National Basketball Association participation, college and minor league guys did lace up. The following shorts are related to the action, with a heavy G'Town focus.
Trawick proving tough: Hoya freshman Jabril Trawick is known in his native Philadelphia as a tough customer, one that always goes hard. He was true to form in his The Tombs team's 87-61 win over Startin 5.
First off he defended, getting several steals, one of which resulted in fellow G'Town freshman Mikael Hopkins' fast break dunk. In the Illadelph Jabril is also known for talking on the court, and yesterday he combined both yapping and defending, telling former West Florida guard Mike Lewis to get that 'stuff' out of there, after blocking his layup.
Jabril's jumper is still a work in progress - he has a push release - but his handle has improved, a point of emphasis he identified months ago. Trawick plays with energy and force all the time, while also finishing through contact (he scored several and-ones). In terms of the incoming class present, Trawick performed the best.
Aaron Bowen, finisher: Aaron Bowen, a sophomore Georgetown swingman that has applied for an injury redshirt given a season ending shoulder injury. Well he seemingly has returned to form, as during his Clyde's team's game with Team Takeover Bowen pounded the rims, finishing everything around the tin.
Arriving to college Aaron had the reputation both as a finisher and player that wasn't a shooter. The latter was illustrated as well, though it is clear he has worked on jumper, releasing it decently. It just didn't drop. Bowen didn't really show much dribbling, so it's unclear how that has progressed.
Wright came back - Having not been selected in the NBA Draft, Georgetown alum Chris Wright is in search of bump, and naturally he returned to Kenner.
His play was more or less a mixed bag. Now it's true this is only summer league, and any assessment must be taken with that in mind, but during the start of Takeover's game with Clyde's, Wright went 1-4 for the field, seemingly intent on scoring. To his credit he did eventually hit several jump shots and layups.
Overall, Wright seemingly was going through the motions. Given the competitor he is, there's little doubt he'll pick up his play.
Seagears got it done: Jerome Seagears, an incoming Rutgers freshman has the look of a future BIG EAST starter, possibly in short order; all he did was lead his DC Assault team to a 69-67 win over Boss Auto, a squad populated with rough and tumble ex-college players.
Scoring 29 points, he did so in dramatic fashion: With the score knotted at 67 and clock reading 8.2 seconds, Boss Auto was signaled for an illegal defense, the first such call for either team. Maryland sophomore guard Terrell Stoglin decided to shoot the rewarded free throw - of which Seagears said "I let my man from Maryland get that". Stoglin rimmed the shot out, but luckily for DC Assault the team was awarded possession as well as the charity stripe attempt.
Seagears then received the inbounds pass, waited a few seconds, drove into the lane and let go a soft, eight foot fade away, step back jumper under duress. It bounced around the rim before dropping in. Game.
Of the shot, Seagears said "We were going to win or tie either way, so I just let it go". He did so with confidence.
During the contest, it was evident Jerome had been working on his point guard skills, a point he concurred with. Seagears should also focus on defense; not that he was bad in that department, but he could be more of a force there.
Whack is on track: Recent George Mason transfer to Mt. St. Mary's Rashad Whack was a shooter in high school and on the AAU circuit with DC Assault. The knock on him was he relied too much on his silky shot.
Apparently that's true no longer; Rashad attacked the rim and finished consistently, work that evidences growth. When asked about it, Whack simply said "I've been working hard on it". Clearly he has, and is using Kenner League to put that development in action.
AU might have a gem: It may be true that any determination after a single summer league game may be suspect, but Kyle Kager's play might be a gem for American University, where he's a freshman. Standing around 6'8", Kager has a deft release around the rim, scoring down low in traffic for Town Tavern. Kyle also seems solid at running the floor and remaining active.
Kromah back in action: After losing all of last season with a foot tendon injury, George Washington University guard Lasan Kromah seems to be back on track; during his Team Takeover matchup with Clyde's, Lasan not only sank jumpers but attacked the rim, a true test of rehabilitation. He's not quite as explosive as before and his timing seems a tad off, but Kromah is well on the road to being 100%.