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Prospect Preview For This Weekend's NPI

by Transition Hoops Report

Boise, Idaho – This weekend, the Treasure Valley will play host to some of the top travel club teams in the northwest, with teams from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah and Nevada traveling to compete in the 7th Annual Northwest Premier Invitational.

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The tournament will host the top 17U teams at Centennial High School and the top 16U teams at Eagle High School. These teams feature multiple Division I level players including some prospects that are considered high major recruits according to several scouting services. 

In all, 140 teams will compete with 38 teams in the 17U division and 24 in the 16U division. Teams are traveling to Boise from Seattle, Portland, Billings, Coeur d' Alene, Pocatello, Salt Lake City and Las Vegas along with multiple other cities.

The tournament schedule, along with limited team rosters, are available at www.northwestpremierinvitational.com

Team Breakdown 

Here is a breakdown of some of the top teams in the tournament, though we are looking forward to seeing all the teams and discovering new prospects:

Friends of Hoop Team LaVine – The Zack LaVine (Minnesota Timberwolves) sponsored team is making its second appearance at the NPI where they advanced to the semi-finals. This spring they've played in the Championship game of the NW Spring Showcase and got to the semi-finals of the Spring Slam. Their roster features Gonzaga recruit Corey Kispert (King's HS, WA), who is also being heavily recruited by Virginia and has an offer from the University of Washington. He is currently rated the #3 prospect in the northwest by Transition Hoops. 

Exum Elite Utah Prospects – The Dante Exum (Utah Jazz) and adidas sponsored team played in the adidas Gauntlet during the evaluation periods, where they finished 5-3 for a third place finish in their Pool (out of 8 teams). Their roster features Hunter Thompson (Pine Bluffs HS, WY), Daxton Carr (Highland HS, ID), Trevin Knell (Woods Cross HS, UT) and Jaxon Brenchley (Mountain Crest HS, UT). Thompson is ranked #8 and Brenchley #9 in their classes. Carr has offers from Idaho State and Utah State. Knell has several Division I offers.  

Idaho Select Black – The host team started the spring off hot, going 5-0 at the Grand Opening in Las Vegas to claim the overall championship. They then made it to the championship game of the second bracket of the Spring Slam, where they lost to Seattle Pride. Their roster features Brendan Howard (Great Falls HS, MT) who currently has an offer from Montana State and is the #5 ranked player in his class by Transition Hoops.

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Maeko – The Portland team is building on the momentum they built last spring and summer. The team, which won the 16U division last year at the NPI, has faired well this spring season. At the NW Spring Showcase, the team won their pool before meeting up with eventual champion Washington Elite in the first round of the tournament. They lost that game but then won their consolation game before going on to win the Oregon Open Run the following weekend. Their roster features Nolan Bertain (Beaverton HS, OR), the #14 ranked player in the northwest, and Elijah Gonzales (Clackamas HS, OR), who has an offer from Portland State.

Utah Basketball Club – Championships are not new to UBC. The two time NPI champions are coached by Todd Phillips, the head coach at Salt Lake CC, whom just won the NJCAA National Championship. So far this spring the team has competed in California and Las Vegas. They were put in the Open division of the Double Pump Hoop Fest, going 2-2, and then made it to the semi-finals of the West Coast Elite 17U Open Division the following week.

Washington Elite Red – Started the spring out by winning the NW Spring Showcase in Bellevue. Their roster features Josiah Westbrook, who has scored over 1,000 points in his high school career.

Clutch Players – The Portland based team finished 3-1 in their first tournament, making it to the semi-finals of the NW Spring Showcase before being knocked out by Washington Elite. They also had a nice showing at the Oregon Open Run, going 2-2.

Montana Select Black – The Montana team won the Gold bracket in Las Vegas during the Grand Opening. They feature RayQuan Evans (Billings-Skyview HS, MT) whom is ranked #11 by Transition Hoops.

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Seattle Pride – A very solid team, Pride had a good showing at the NW Spring Showcase and then won the second bracket at the Spring Slam. Their roster features Nate Pryor (West Seattle HS, WA), whom has committed to play college ball at Seattle University.

The Northwest Premier Invitational is widely considered the best non-NCAA evaluation tournament of the spring. There have been been over 50 Division I players that have competed at the NPI during the past 6 years.

To learn more about the tournament, visit www.northwestpremierinvitational.com to see past players, champions and to see the schedule.  

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