In most recent years, the RBA Sports Showcase has proven to be an excellent opportunity for NBA scouts, D-League staffers, and media members alike to come together while keeping an eye out for an up and coming gem of a prospect.
Year after year, the agency has been determined to give worthy decision-makers a glimpse at some previously undiscovered talent. The goal of growing each prospect organically and shooting for success through the NBA D-League has been the plan of action as BJ Bass aims to ensure his clients get noticed along the way.
At first, such an annual showcase was held to introduce the basketball world to a handful of promising players. But as those same players continue to grow, this very gathering now provides everyone involved the opportunity to keep tabs on such players. How have they improved? What have they worked on? Do they have what it takes to succeed on the next level in the upcoming season?
All of the aforementioned questions pertaining to some of the more familiar faces can be answered rather easily. But perhaps what keeps things all the more interesting, is the fresh faces Bass sprinkles in to the showcase each and every year. With that in mind, the beautiful process continues to repeat itself.
Of course, the likes of former D-Leaguer Vernon Goodridge and past minor league draftee Rashad Bishop headlined some of the RBA veterans hitting the hardwood. Intriguing young guns like Rio Grande Valley Vipers' guard Akeem Ellis, Sioux Falls Skyforce forward Orion Outerbridge, and former Delaware 87ers' big man JR Inman all took part in competitions as well. Many of RBA's more physical players also matched up quite well against 87ers' center Norvel Pelle, an NBA Draft eligible prospect who also happened to strut his stuff at Basketball City in the Big Apple this weekend.
Similar to some of RBA's minor league alumni, forward Brian Addison also participated in a handful of NBADL tryouts last fall. Though he played well, turned heads, and was even drafted by the Springfield Armor last November, the young gun failed to stick on the D-League level.
Fast-forward just a few months, however, and Addison's continued grown is evident. Arguably the best player on the court all evening, his versatility shone through. He was bouncy, alert on defense, made impressive shots on the offensive end, and even ran the floor a bit, too. He was locked in, took charge, and appeared hungrier than just about anyone else out there.
Also playing well was Tulsa 66ers' guard Isaiah Wilkerson. Like Addison, the second-year D-League player looked like a man amongst the rest of the boys. He commanded respect on the court by running the floor like a pro, displaying intelligence, maturity, and a certain level of calmness that isn't always present in today's professional floor generals.
Addison is one of the more athletic players to come out of the Big Apple area in recent years, and Wilkerson has had relative success on the D-League stage as of late, so it wasn't all too surprising to see each one emerge as a standout from the showcase.
That said, the third player who joined them as a top performer is a bit of a newcomer.
Though the NBA Draft-eligible Naofall Folahan only participated in certain drills (as per NBA guidelines for such players), it's easy to see the Wagner product's athleticism is second to none. Folahan is a high-flyer full of energy, exuberance, and pure determination for whatever comes his way next. Still, he's someone who runs the floor well, leaps incredibly high, and can use his long arms to his benefit of both ends of the floor. His dunks are electrifying.
Folahan is preparing to participate in the D-League's National Tryout later this month. The young gun is the type of athletic specimen worth taking a chance on, perhaps as early as NBA Summer League this offseason.
Needless to say, RBA Sports' annual event didn't disappoint whatsoever. What's more, the talent present only further validated the agency's growth in recent seasons.
Among those to attend the workout were 87ers' head coach Rod Baker, Santa Cruz assistant Phil Hubbard, Brian Levy of the Bakersfield Jam, and scouts from teams like the Lakers and Spurs.