The annual MAYB National Championships kick off Friday morning at a host of sites in the Wichita area, as the majority of Wichita’s best basketball players will be in action.
Here is a quick guide to catching some of the best local talent. See the full schedule online here.
The most fun division to watch will certainly be the 11th and 12th Grade Division, which will feature three local super teams vying for the championship. The Wichita Padres won the 9th and 10th Grade division last season, while Central Kansas Elite is the defending 11th and 12th Grade division champions. Let’s run down their rosters.
There’s no doubt the experience edge goes to Central Kansas Elite, which features a roster of mostly graduated seniors who are headed off to play college basketball. The headliners are a pair of graduates headed off to play for Nebraska-Omaha in Eisenhower’s Matt Pile and St. James Academy’s Zach Thornhill. But this team is absolutely loaded with All-Class players in McPherson’s Ben Pyle, Eisenhower’s Dylan Vincent, Derby’s Nyjee Wright, St. John’s Cole Kinnamon, Pratt’s Samson Kohman, and Circle’s Cal Hartley. That’s not even counting Maize’s Grant Bugbee. So yes, this team is ridiculously loaded. They will play all of their games on Friday at Wichita Hoops with games at 11:20 a.m. (Court 2), 1:40 p.m. (Court 6), and 5:10 p.m. (Court 10).
The Wichita Padres are basically a team of some of the top returning seniors in the area. They’ve got some serious talent in All-Class players in Collegiate’s Cody McNerney, Heights’ Devin Davis, and McPherson’s Mason Alexander, as well as honorable-mention kids in Derby’s Bryant Mocaby, Kapaun’s Mitchell Woodward, Eisenhower’s Tanner King and Augusta’s Jonny Clausing. They will try to win their second straight title beginning on Friday with all their games played at Wichita Hoops at 11:20 a.m. (Court 7), 2:50 p.m. (Court 10), and 7:30 p.m. (Court 10). The Wichita Padres will play perhaps the most entertaining pool-play game in their 11:20 a.m. game against Midwest Flight, which will feature 5-star prospect Bol Bol (formerly of Bishop Miege).
The wild card team here is the Kansas Select, which will feature some serious talent in Derby’s Tyler Brown, Andover Central’s Cole Taylor, South’s Jariah Taylor, Derby’s Grant Adler and Josh Clavin, South’s D’Andre Adkism, and Arkansas City’s Cevin Clark. That’s a pretty potent unit capable of doing some damage. They will play all their games on Friday at Wichita Hoops at 9 a.m. (Court 11), 1:40 p.m. (Court 9), and 7:30 p.m. (Court 7).
The team to catch in the 9th and 10th Grade Division will be Baby Crunch, which will feature Newton sophomore Ty Berry. Berry is coming off a monster summer on the Under Armor circuit, where he was picked as one of the best players in an elite league. Berry alone is worth the price of admission, as he is beginning to rack up high-major Division I offers and is already attracting interest from some of the top programs in the country. Berry’s skills will be on display on Friday at 9 a.m. at Eisenhower High School (Court 1), again at 1:40 p.m. at Discovery Intermediate School (Court 2), and finally at 7:30 p.m. at Goddard High School (Court 1)..
Another fun team to watch (with more local flair) will be the Kansas Players (Schultz) in the 9th and 10th Grade Division. The team is loaded with Wichita-area talent, most notably Andale sophomore Easton Hunter and Eisenhower sophomore Jordan Vincent. They will be in action on Friday at 9 a.m. at Eisenhower Middle School (Court 1), 11:20 a.m. at Eisenhower High School (Court 1), and 4 p.m. at Amelia Earhart Elementary (Court 1).
Another team loaded with local talent in the 9th and 10th Grade Division will be the River City Hoops squad, which will feature Southeast junior Jun Murdock and Maize South juniors Kael Kordonowy, and Nolan Veenis along with several other local players. They will play on Friday at 9 a.m. at Goddard High School (Court 2), 1:40 p.m. at Goddard Middle School (Court 2), and 7:30 p.m. at Eisenhower High School (Court 1).
The future of the City League will be on display in the 8th Grade Division (Class of 2021), as incoming freshman Daylan Jones (East), Rone Smith II (Southeast), and Jackie Johnson III (North) will be playing this weekend. The trio is surely to make an immediate impact at the varsity level, as all three are already being heralded as some of the top prospects in the country for the Class of 2021.
Jones is ranked as the No. 8 prospect in the country for the Class of 2021 by Future 150 and plays for the Kansas Pray and Play. Jones will play again Friday morning at 10:10 a.m. at the Andover YMCA Farha Center (Court 10) and again at 6:20 p.m. at Andover Central High School (Court 2).
Smith II and Johnson III were teammates in middle school, as both have garnered national attention with their play during the summer. Both will play with the Oz Elite/KC Blackout, which will play on Friday at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., and 7:20 p.m. all at the Andover YMC Farha Center.
In the 5th Grade division (Class of 2024), the Kansas Pray And Play team has been winning at a high level all over the country and should be one of the top teams in the field. The team plays on Friday at 2:25 p.m. at Campus High School (Court 1) and again at 7:50 p.m. at the South YMCA Farha Center (Court 2).