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New York Rens Win Loaded MADE Hoops 8th Grade Finale
by Eric Hampford, Future150 (11:59 AM CT, Mon July 17, 2017)
New York Renaissance won the MADE Hoops 8th Grade Finale.
New York Renaissance won the MADE Hoops 8th Grade Finale.
Eric Hampford
Eric Hampford:

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

Augusta, GA (Future150) -- MADE Hoops 8th Grade Finale, now in its third year, took its game to another level this year. With 48 of the best teams in the country doing battle in Augusta, Georgia last week, Future150 staff was made clear of one definitive point. The 8th Grade Finale is the best youth tournament of the summer, and there was no shortage of star power at the event.

New York Rens Crowed #1 Team In America After Championship Run

Throughout the 2017 AAU season, the Rens proved to be one of the elite teams in America with their play. Heading into Augusta, without star 6'9" big man Moussa Cisse, it was unclear how they were going to perform in the loaded event. Well, we got our answer, as they beat Team Takeover (MD) 58-57 in the championship game. The star for the Rens was T.J. Morris, who starred throughout the week. The 6'1" point guard headed to Christ The King (NY) scored 26 points in the final, and continues to trend in the 2021 class after his big week. Wing Shane Dezonie also chipped in with 14 points in the win. For Takeover, their star backcourt of Trevor Keels & Ryan Conway carried the load, scoring 20 and 13 points, respectively. 

Are Trevor Keels & Ryan Conway The Best 2021 Backcourt In America?

Leading their Team Takeover squad to the championship game, the argument continues to be made for Trevor Keels & Ryan Conway as the best 8th grade backcourt in the country. With their contrasting styles of play, they make for one dangerous duo. The 6'3" Keels is blessed with a fantastic frame and athleticism, and is one of the most polished scorers in the class around the rim and on aggressive drives. The big time shooter/scorer of the two is Conway, who proved that he can get hot from the perimeter as quickly as any guard in America. Heading into the high school ranks, Team Takeover has a perimeter that's ready to carry the load for their distinguished program going forward.

Johnathan Lawson Carries Memphis Wildcats To Final Four

The Memphis Wildcats came into the event with not as much size and hyped talent as several of the other programs in the 8th Grade Finale, but they made sure everyone in the gym realized they belonged. Behind a huge tournament from 6'7" point forward Johnathan Lawson, the Wildcats made a run all the way to the final four of the event. The future Memphis East (TN) prospect is one of the elite talents in America, and may be the most versatile. He's shown all season that he can play every position on the floor, thanks to his size and outstanding skills. Currently sitting just outside our national top 10, there's a very good chance he rises in our next update.

3 Class of 2021 Standouts:

Noah Rittinger, PG, Tru Game (OH): The 6-foot floor general was one of the flashiest guards we saw in the event. He has excellent feel for the game and is smooth as they come with the ball in his hands. The West Virginia prospect should have an excellent freshman season as the #1 rising freshman in the state.

Caleb Furst, PF, Team Teague (IN): It's hard to believe just how advanced the 6'9" post prospect is as an 8th grader. The lefty is as skilled as they come and has a great frame to go with it. He can score with ease around the rim, using his excellent footwork, and can effectively use both hands as well. Making him even harder to guard is the fact that he can pull the defense out to the perimeter as well.

Chris Ford, SF, Carolina Legend (NC): Pound for pound, he is one of the most effective players in the country for his class. The 6'4" bruiser is currently making the transition from post player to wing, and it's going very well. While we tend to get blinded by prospects with upside, there's no denying that Chris is going to be one of the most productive freshman in the state of North Carolina this winter.

3 Class of 2022 Standouts:

Ryan Nembhard, PG, UPLAY Canada (CAN): The younger brother of class of 2019 star Andrew Nembhard, the 6-foot point guard has a similar playing style as his brother, as he's one of the elite passers in his class already. While we don't know if he's going to be quite as tall as his brother (6'4"), the jet-quick Ryan will continue to be talked about as an elite guard in 2022 regardless of size.

Caleb Houstan, SF, Team Ennis (CAN): While Emoni Bates garners most of the headlines as the best prospect in the national class of 2022, the 6'6" wing made his case for top billing while he was in Georgia. He's a versatile wing who can do anything and everything on the floor, based on what he's needed for. There wasn't a more impressive prospect in his class at MADE Hoops 8th Grade Finale.

Chris Livingston, PG, We All Can Go (TN): As far as lead guards go, the 6'3" Ohio native was highly impressive. He's a fearless guard who never lets his emotions get the best of him in pressure-packed games. He can score from anywhere on the floor, and is just as efficient at getting his teammates easy looks on the floor as well. Right now, he's a top 10 prospect nationally in a loaded class.

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