KNIGHTDALE, N.C. – Huntington Prep (W.Va.) forward Jaemyn Brakefield knows that after a season full of living up to the proverbial hype that accompanies most five-star prospects during the high school season, there’s a higher level of showing and proving that comes in the spring and summer.
“You have to take it up a notch for sure,” said Brakefield, a sophomore who is ranked No. 10 overall in the ESPN 25. “You’ve gotta be ready because you’re gonna be facing big time players the whole time.”
To that end, Brakefield joined 59 other elite players from 11 states who invaded Knightdale High School on Sunday to duke-it-out at the GetMeRecruited Super 60.
The Super 60 is the culmination event of GetMeRecruit’s All-Star Weekend which includes the Hot 100 middle school showcase.
“This is the perfect event to set the tone for what I want to do over the next couple of months,” said Brakefield, who will run with MBA Hoops (Miss.) on the adidas Gauntlet. “We play a national schedule at Huntington Prep so I’m more prepared than most players, but we’ve been done for weeks. Plus, we didn’t end the season the way we wanted to so I’m way more motivated.”
That motivation works just as well for the other extreme in regards to finishing the high school basketball season.
Cox Mill (Concord, N.C.) wing Wendell Moore Jr. is fresh off winning a state title and averaging 26 points per game, but said that only makes him hungry to accomplish more.
“We had a great year and we got it done,” said Moore, a junior who is ranked No. 22 overall in the ESPN 60. “But, as a competitor, you can’t really dwell on things, whether they’re good or bad. That’s in the past now. I want a Peach Jam title for Team CP3 (N.C.) with the 17’s and I want to make the USA Basketball team this summer so I’ve got work to do. It starts at these types of events.”
GetMeRecruited CEO and founder Lamont Taylor said the Super 60 is designed “to push players to maximize their potential against the best competition.”
“That’s how players get the best results,” Taylor said. “We provide a platform to give the best players a gauge on where they’re at before they step in front of college coaches two weeks from now. A lot of them go into the spring and summer underprepared because they just haven’t been exposed to as many elite players during their high school season. Most of the guys here are stars on their high school team. This event gets you ready for what’s coming.”
For years, Downey Christian (Orlando, Fla.) point guard Julian Newman, a sophomore, has been a viral magnet of a player who has started varsity since the fifth grade and is the youngest player ever to eclipse 3,000 career points. Newman’s highlight clips showing off his Stephen Curry-like range and quick first step have racked up more than 350 million views on YouTube and made him an internet sensation.
But with that fame comes a price.
“Everybody always tries to come at my head because of my reputation and my size,” Newman said with a laugh. “I’m used to that though; that brings out the best in me. That’s why I wanted to play in the Super 60, I want to get better and better.”
Hard to improve on the numbers – 33.2 points, 7.2 assists and four rebounds – Newman put up this season, but he knows with his first season on the relentless Nike EYBL looming, he’ll “have to really bring it.”
“I’m always looking for big events to play against the best players,” said Newman, who will run with E1T1 (Fla.). “I’m getting some great experience and I know it’ll help me get ready.”
Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY