You are not logged in:     Login
future150 facebook future150 twitter
Get Exposure  /  F150 Report  GET SOCIAL:
Bluegrass State Heavy with Blue Chips
by Andrew Force, Future150 (1:45 PM CT, Fri November 14, 2014)
Hill III and his teammates visited Louisville
Hill III and his teammates visited Louisville
Andrew Force
Andrew Force:

Future150 National Analyst. Covering High and Middle School basketball.

Louisville, KY (Future150) -- When the Tennessee Travelers moved to Kentucky in 2012, they envisioned AAU successes.  When the 2015 AAU season kicks off, the renamed “The Travelers” will feature a staggering 16U squad including Bayley Rice (Future150, #27), Willie B. Hill III (#30), Ahmad Price (#53), Anthony Wales, and Jordan Reed.

Their previous AAU coach, Lee Brones has accepted a role with The Travelers and brought all five talented prospects with him. 

“I have taken a position with The Travelers,” said Coach Brones. “They are the Nike EYBL team. I am taking these five guys and they are going to be playing on 16U for the The Travelers and I am going to help the entire program. I am going to be Director of Operations and Recruiting Coordinator. “

For Coach Brones it is a new role.  He spent the past few summers as head coach. For the athletes the competition will be stiffer, because by playing on the Nike circuit they will face many of the top players in the nation. Further, the former KY Gator players will be seeing opponents who are older and possibly bigger. 

“We just felt this was a better opportunity for them. They have all accepted invites. In the years to come they will be on EYBL.”

Hill III, Price, and Wales compete together on the same high school team, Fern Creek High School. Earlier this week University of Louisville hosted them for an unofficial visit, and assistant Coach Kenny Johnson led the trio around the facilities. Afterwards, the players were able to watch Louisville’s final exhibition game. 

Price and Wales have years of experience together.

“I have been a coach for Ahmad and Wales for a long time,” said Coach Brones.  “They were with me in fifth grade. Trey (Willie B. III) came in seventh grade. All three of them are really good ball players that play for Creek.”

 Between Three Ferns

The ascendance of Fern Creek High School can largely be attributed to the hiring of James Schooler.  Schooler was hired 18 months ago and immediately upgraded the talent.

“He has been doing the development of my kids since they were in middle school,” said Coach Brones.

The three FCHS freshmen have already had an assortment of college coaches in their halls.  Ohio State, Mississippi State, Louisville, Austin Peay, and Wright State all sent coaches to evaluate the talented young men.

“Willie B. Hill III has an offer from Western Kentucky and interest from Wright State, Austin Peay, Samford, Mississippi State, Stanford,” said father Willie B. Hill II.

The elder Hill is justifiably elated at his son’s skills.  Backcourt mate Wales typically handles the point.

“Wales is right now 5’10”,” said Coach Brones.  “If he gets to be 6’1” he will be a high major target.  From the point guard standpoint he really doesn’t get rattled.  He shoots free throws.  He makes everybody else better.”

Price has an imposing body for his age group making his recruitment equally tantalizing.  During the summer Price created real problems with his strength and slashing. 

Since the three players compete together they will be able to attract more recruiters.  At this stage the more looks, the better. 

Big Men

Of the core five, Bayley Rice is the obvious post presence.  Rice will undoubtedly wind up a power player.  For the last AAU incarnation Rice solidified the paint by himself.  He has very soft hands and an undeniable base.  No high school kid can knock him off the block. 

Playing for North Laurel Rice will be observed alongside Peyton Broughton.  Pardon the wordplay, but Broughton brought a lot of recruiters into the gym this fall.  Rice has to continue to develop his footwork, but mid-major programs are certain to offer.  High majors are possible.

Coach Brones believes the one unsung hero from this talented bunch is J.J. Reed. 

“J.J. is 6’6” and plays the wing,” said Coach Brones.  “We play him there because there are not many big guys, we play him as a stretch 4.  I just played Bayley in and four out.”

Reed’s stock suffered merely by being invisible early.

“Last year he hurt himself in the early part of the season,” said Coach Brones.  “He was out with a broken ankle until (AAU) Nationals, so he didn’t get to play with us until Nationals.  When he went down to CP3 camp in August J.J. made the Top 20 All-Star game.”

Healthy now Reed is ready to shine.  He competes for Paducah Tilghman.  Without question he will dominate the Second District for four straight seasons.


Teenagers tend to get in a hurry to grow up.  Adults foam at the mouth watching potential stars.  Though these basketball players may become great now is a time to enjoy what they are.  They are hard-working, grounded individuals with good families. 

As science fiction writer Ursula LeGuin said, "It is good to have an end to journey toward, but it is the journey that matters, in the end."


Be the first to post. Just use the form below.

Add a comment...

There are currently no Future150 Camps available.