7 Breakout Players of Summer 2010

The summer season can make or break you. Some players will lock themselves in a gym and work on their game alone waiting til the season comes around to see whether it has paid off, whilst others put themselves out there, compete and try to cement their status as the best of the best.

Summer 2010 was no different with both Midnight Madness and the international programmes seeing a few select players make names for themselves. Without further ado, and in no particular order here are my 7 Breakout Players of Summer 2010;

Ogo Adegboye Team GB

Ogo Adegboye is the breakout player of summer 2010 for me

1) Ogo Adegboye

Guard, 6’0″, 180lbs, 23/09/87

Now this is a great story. Ogo has never played international ball before with England or GB. After a more than stellar season at St Bonaventures he was selected to the GB U23 roster. The newly formed team, coached by GB Men’s Head Coach Chris Finch was provided to bridge the gap between U20 level to Senior and it has done a great job of that.  Finch liked Ogo’s game and bought him to the Men’s training camp-where, so I’m told, he KILLED. Next thing we know, Adegboye has got the starting spot on the GB Senior Men’s team!

Though his statistics haven’t been mind blowing, he has bought an athleticism to the guard spot that has been sorely lacking in previous years and has helped GB get out and run, leading them to a 6-2 record and qualification for next year’s Eurobasket. A great summer for Ogo.

Ovie Soko GB U20s

Ovie Soko has had a huge summer

2) Ovie Soko

Forward, 6’7, 215lbs, 07/02/91

Who knew about Ovie Soko before this summer? Here’s a guy who averaged 1.5 ppg last season in his Freshman year at UAB and like Ogo, had never played for any of the National teams in England before. He comes home for the summer after being named to the initial GB U20 roster and put in WORK! After making the final cut, his averages in the Division B FIBA European Championships? 19.1 ppg (4th), 6.3 rpg (20th), 2 assists, and 2.3 spg (3rd) including a huge 31 point outburst in the final game of their campaign against Israel.

After his big European campaign, you think he’d take a break but he came back and absolutely destroyed both the Midnight Madness Leyton and Bristol qualifiers. The guy is crazy good-expect to hear a lot more about him on Hoopsfix next season; breakout Sophomore season anybody?

Josh Ward Hibbert

Josh Ward-Hibbert is fast becoming known more for his basketball than his tennis

3) Josh Ward-Hibbert

Guard, 6’4″, 182 lbs, 25/01/1994

Tennis?! It’s hard to believe Josh Ward-Hibbert’s primary sport is actually tennis-the kid is ranked 180th in the world in his age group! But trust me, he can ball too and this summer he has firmly put himself on the map. A member of the England U16 team at the Division B FIBA European U16 Championships, he was named to the All Tournament Team after averaging 18.1 ppg (4th), 6.1 rpg, 1.1 apg and 3.6 spg (3rd).

Providing he sticks with it and doesn’t choose the tennis route, I expect Ward-Hibbert to remain a stalwart of England and GB international programmes for years to come.

Teddy Okereafor

Teddy Okereafor destoyed Midnight Madness all summer

4) Teddy Okereafor

Guard, 6’2″, 176lbs, 08/11/92

Of all the players in this list, Teddy Okereafor is the one who I have personally seen progress the most. He is worlds apart from the baller he was last year and his opposition are feeling it. Though he’s known by many, this summer he has made a statement. At Midnight Madness he has KILLED all summer, dominating in both the U18 and U20 divisions, breaking ankles, gunnin’ Js and even throwing down the occasional dunk on his way to being named the U18 MVP at Finals night.

His numbers with the England U18 team in Israel showed of his versatility and ability to contribute without scoring, averaging 5.0 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 3.4 apg and 2.1 spg including his 19 point, 6 rebound, 3 assist and 4 steal showing against Estonia. Taking his game stateside next year where he will be attending Christchurch prep school in Virginia, they better watch out-Team UK!

John Stewart

John Stewart is a workhorse

5) John Stewart

Forward, 6’5″, 200lbs, 19/08/93

John “The WorkHorse” Stewart puts in work every game and got it done this summer. From the much heralded Sheffield Junior Sharks programme, John has been doin’ his thing a while now but it wasn’t until this summer where he bought his name and game to mainstream-absolutely murking Midnight Madness and putting in solid performances with the England U18 team (where he still has one year of eligibility left) averaging 9.8 ppg, 3.3 rpg, and 1.5 apg (in under 20 mins per) with 4 double digit performances in 8 outings.

Still undecided as to where he’ll be taking his game next season but whatever league it is needs to be worried.

Devon Dan Oostrum

Devon Van Oostrum is the truth.

6) Devon Van Oostrum

Guard, 6’2″, 24/01/93

It could be argued Devon didn’t really “breakout” this year as he has been on the radar for years. However, when he became the youngest player ever to be named to the GB Senior Men’s initial squad at a tender 17 years old he turned a lot of heads. Though he ultimately left training camp to rejoin his England U18 team in Israel (where he showed off his all around game averaging 14.3ppg, 6.1 rpg, 5.1 apg and 2.1 spg despite seeing sporadic minutes, including a huge 35 point, 7 rebounds, 8 assist and 4 steals game against Estonia), with that selection Van Oostrum ensured he is now known of by the entire British basketball community.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Devon Van Oostrum is the real deal and has the potential to go all the way. Big summer for the young gun, reaffirming his place as the best junior player we have right now.

Dan Clark Team GB

Dan Clark has played a huge role in GB's success this summer

7) Dan Clark

Forward, 6’10, 240lbs, 16/09/88

Who would’ve thought Dan Clark would be playing as big a role as he has been this summer with GB? Last year saw the ’88 born big man ride the pine with GB in Poland-not seeing a single minute of action across 3 games and not even being on the roster in the qualifiers. Fast forward a year and Clark is an integral part of the team that went 6-2 and finished top of their group in qualifying for Eurobasket 2011. His numbers-9.3ppg and 4.8 rpg whilst shooting an impressive 56.5% from inside the three point line, and 40% from outside.

Clark’s game against Bosnia & Herzegovina has to be mentioned; playing against a raucous away crowd in Sarajevo, Dan started the game 8/8 from the floor (5/5 from deep), finishing with 23 points on 8/10 shooting. I think it’s safe to say Clark has secured himself a place in the rotation for years to come.

Honourable Mention

Ryan Richards; Somehow forgot about him intitially-didn’t pick up a basketball this summer but got drafted. ‘Nuff said. Jamell Anderson; really impressed everybody at Midnight Madness, showing a renewed aggressiveness in taking the ball to the rack whilst keeping that sweet mid-range jumper in tact, Henry Wilkins; the improvement in his game from last summer to this summer is mad. Has added many offensive weapons to his arsenal and no longer just a three point shooter, Morayo Soluade; showed flashes with the England U16’s this summer despite still being a year younger (’95 born).

What about you?

Who are your breakout players of this summer? Agree with my choices? Think I’ve missed somebody? Hit me up in the comments and let me know your thoughts!

  • Seb

    Of course Henry’s going to get better after a year of balling with me, i taught that dog everything he knows.

  • jamie

    Morayo Soluade ranked 16th in Europe at 1995 age, highest of any England player born that year! His breakout season is happening this year so stay tuned…

    • He got an honourable mention…just being ranked on Eurohopes isn’t enough IMO. Expecting big things from him in the future though

    • Taylor

      They have only just started ranking 1995 players this july august so its really players played at euros (which is all the 95s)
      He needs to start working for next year and see if he gets ranked

  • Private

    i think one player that has not be mentioned is Anthony Okereafor. ive follwed his college games and he KILLS. his got some serious deep range and his deff one of the most improved players of the 09-10 season

    • Agreed. Since last season the guy has progressed like crazy, just felt this actual summer (which is what the article is about) he didn’t do enough.

  • ohdeve

    not to mention Ryan Richards who did alright this summer

    • Haha good shout. Not gonna lie I forgot about him-easy to do when the guy hasn’t actually picked up a basketball all summer lol. Prob should’ve got a mention though

  • just saying

    Kinda disrespectful leaving out ryan richards! Apparently getting drafted this isn’t enough lol not even a mention

    • True story-see my reply above. He should’ve got a mention, but yeah I forgot about him-will edit it in…

  • s-money

    sam i really wonder how long you have been around the basketball scene not to sound disrespectful or anything i love your movement but some of the players you are mentioning are not breakout players these players have been known about for ages

    the only players that are true breakout players are ovie ,john and josh stewart

    everyone else if u ask ball players they would tell you that these have been pn the scene for a while

    i want you to do me a favour and research dan clarks number as an international junior then you will know why he is certainly not a break out player

    teddys been around on the under 18 scene

    ogos been known as one of the best pgs in england for a while now they finally put the politics aside and let him on an international team long over due

    just my thoughts

    • S-money, In answer to your question, I’ve been around basketball 10 years but been following it CLOSELY for just over a year.

      I know many of these guys have been on the scene for years (I was raving about a few of them in my Top 20 players at Midnight Madness 2009 post) but I don’t think anyone can argue every one of them has made movements this summer and solidified their status as one of the best.

      Yes Dan Clark put up STUPID number as an international junior-but what did he do last year with the GB men’s team? Sorry, but if a guy goes from having 0 minutes on a team to being a core part of their rotation, I consider that breaking out in that year, regardless of whether he was doin’ big things at different levels a couple of years back.

      Perhaps when I write articles in the future I should pre-define exactly what I mean when I say breakout.

    • Sharif El-Sayed

      Dude, at least say who you are, or are you just happy to slag off someone who does a hell of a lot for basketball in this country? Good job Sam

  • Great article Sam – can’t say I really understand the complaints.

    Really excited about seeing how these guys continue to progress this season, especially John Stewart. Hopefully he grows a couple of inches – it would be a shame if he became too short to play PF at higher levels.

    • Yeah see what you’re saying about John. Still got a year left playing U18s’s (93 born) so got some growing time left :)

  • Thought of someone else who deserves to make this list – Devan Bailey. No, he didn’t really get on the court for GB, but to make the team after your freshman year in the NEC is a pretty amazing achievement.

    • Good shout on Devan Bailey actually.

  • jamie

    break-out year is a break-out year. keep doing your thing sam

  • player

    I swear once my boy samson olayemi gets his break he will be number one on this list!!

    • Yeah he did well at Midnight Madness, definitely turned a few heads.

  • tournament

    Hey same are you going to the solent tournament a week this saturday i think the dates are 11-12 i’m oretty sure solent kestrels home courts
    The tournament has solent kestrels, manchester magic, reading rockets, sheffield sharks and taunton tigers. Be a good chance for yuo too see some of the top teams in england.

  • JMP

    Sam you should deffo check out the tournament down at solent this weekend coming up …. 11th/12th chance to see some of the top u18s teams in the country

  • Jack

    Yeah should get down to that tourney get some coverage of the better under 18 teams around this year.
    Teams Confirmed Are:- Solent Kestrels, Manchester Magic, Reading Rockets, Taunton Tigers, Leicester Blaze and UWIC.
    Over the two days Saturday 11th & Sunday 12th September (Next Weekend).

  • JG

    Breakout means exactly that, it doesn’t mean the guys were unknown before this summer imo, it means they emerged as standout players and joined an Elite group of players, broke out of the pack, ie distinguished themselves…no one should argue that these are all now recognisable names and have gone some way to solidifying positive reputations for themselves with strong showing this summer.

    Sam I don’t care whether you’ve been around for a year, 10 years or whatever…your opinion is valid, respected and what you have done for British Basketball this summer is truly great, some people will never understand how much goes into what you really do, but the people who also give back to the game recognise your efforts.

    Keep it up

  • ohdeve

    Well said JG.

    I can honestly say that (as a 33 year old former hoops junky) the regularity of info, quality of posts and superb presentation has been huge in relighting my UK basketball addiction. Thank you Sam

    • Awesome. Thanks ohdeve, appreciated.

  • Sam

    As you have seen some people have posted about the Kestrels Tournament its deffinatly going to be BIG, lots of BIG name teams and a massive two day event. people need to attend this one.

  • tornament

    Thanks sam well appreciated!
    You going to do a write up?

  • Well they didnt play in the uk that much but there are some other that should be noted. First, Alexander Scotland- Williamson is at lee university in texas a division 1 juco and was named to the top 120 soph in country jerry mullins camp and got rave reviews. Also Abodunrin Olaseni went on the hoop dreams orlando tour and ask anyone that knows dominated averaging about 25 pts 12 boards 4 blocks 2 assts Hes getting recruited by west virginia, uconn, clemson, ole miss, auburn just to name a few. Hes attending sunrise christian academy in kansas that play a national schedule. Honorable mention will saunders division 1 scholarship but you already wrote article on that and why does noone talk about stephen danso top 5 in d1 scoring should be on national team. Also kaylon raftopolis is uk version of steph curry and hes in florida at prep and i heard he killed at midnight madness

    • mike speranza

      o yeah adam thoseby is nasty as well hope he does well in states

    • James

      stephen danso national team lol..not hard to avg 20pts a gme on that coventry team last year. Dont get me wrong he is a good young player but no where near national level yet. I agree with the rest of the players you mention though

      • thomas

        stephen danso nowhere near national level? ur crazy. he would literally rape every 1/2 guard on that roster. too strong, good quickness/speed, can jump, defend…. can break down any guard they have 1-on-1 and is a streaky shooter…. another sad case of politics on why he couldnt make an under 20 or under 18 squad.

  • Lee Armitage

    Hi Sam ,
    Two players that need adding in my opinion are David tin tin Watts and Stefan Gill , both made the England Draft this summer and both moved up to the BBL . Tin Tin with Worcester and Gill with MK lions . Watts and Gill also scored well in the mini comp in Belfast this summer

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