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Small School 2020 F Philip Byriel Flashes D1 Potential
by Eric Hampford, Future150 (11:39 AM CT, Fri November 10, 2017)
2020 F Philip Byriel is flying well under the radar in PA.
2020 F Philip Byriel is flying well under the radar in PA.
Eric Hampford
Eric Hampford:

Future150 GM / Senior National Analyst. Covering high and middle school basketball.

Hazleton, PA (Future150) -- In the small valley town of Drums, Pennsylvania, you'll find one of the emerging young talents in the state for the sophomore class. If he attended local Hazleton Area High School, he'd probably already have some traction behind his name, as they are one of the largest public schools in the state. However, 2020 forward Philip Byriel attends tiny MMI Prep (PA), located in the Hazleton suburb of Freeland in the Northeast section of the state, just west of the Poconos.

After a solid freshman season in which he averaged roughly 14 points, six rebounds and two assists per game in the state's smallest classification, he continued to slide under the radar playing small market AAU ball this past spring and summer. However, the trajectory of his career may have changed after he attended our Future150 East Coast Camp in September, where he was named an all-star. 

Measuring in at 6'8" and showing great hands and footwork around the rim, the polished forward is clearly a post at this point in his career. However, he also showed the ability to knock down perimeter jump shots out to the three-point line with regularity, making him an impressive prospect for only being a sophomore.

Now that he's starting to mature and develop, he's setting his sights on bigger and better things for this high school season.

"I want to average 20 points and 10 rebounds and hopefully win a Division Two Single A Championship," he told Future150.

The small school of just over 200 students, 'Mining and Mechanical Institute' goes by the Preppers, and Byriel takes his academics as seriously as he does his basketball. Currently, he carries a 3.7 GPA.

A bilingual student who can speak both English and German, his father played for Denmark's 17U National Team during his playing career. Being exposed to the sport as a child, the stretch-forward fell in love with the game.

"The strongest part of my game is my shooting and being able to take defenders my size off-the-dribble. I'm trying to work on my pure athleticism and strength, as well as taking charges, getting rebounds and becoming more comfortable handling the ball and running plays." 

Modeling his game after current New York Knicks phenom Kristaps Porzingis, the Pennsylvania prospect is focused on taking his career to the highest levels. However, he has a solid plan for when the ball stops bouncing.

"I want to play basketball professionally, but after that, I want to be involved in international business," he told Future150.

After what is sure to be a very successful high school season for him, he's looking to built on that momentum by finding a good fit for the upcoming AAU season. By the looks of his size and skill set, there should be no shortage of suitors over the next several months.


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