Oladokun, a 16-year-old from Upland, Calif., was invited to Pangos All-America Camp in Las Vegas, which included several of the nation’s top 100 prospects. The camp was not held during an in-person judging period, so it only drew NBA evaluators — including Oklahoma City Thunder general manager Sam Presti and president of operations at Denver Nuggets basketball, Calvin Booth — and scouting analysts.
At 6-foot-9 and 210 pounds, Oladokun plays like an overgrown pup — more enthusiasm than grace — but he’s made his mark hitting relentlessly for rebounds with some of the best prospects in the country.
“I was so nervous,” said Oladokun, who has a 4.5 GPA and has since camp received scholarship offers from the University of California, San Diego and the University of California. UC Davis, as well as an offer for a spot on the Yale roster, which does not award athletic scholarships but may provide other financial aid.
“A big part of basketball is confidence; it doesn’t matter if you have the skills,” he continued. “The camp helped me show what I could do even though I didn’t play to my ceiling. I know they are great players, but they are like me in many ways.
These revelations have occurred from coast to coast.
In a nearly empty gym last Friday night, Efstathiou found himself up against Alassane Amadou, a lean and athletic 6-9 winger from Quakertown, Pa., who was being watched carefully from the baseline by coach Marquette Shaka. Smart and an assistant coach, Cody Hat. (They took turns applauding when Amadou made a play in front of them.)
Efstathiou’s side, which lost two starters to injury in their opener, quickly lost 22 points when Amadou blew away for a dunk that Efstathiou couldn’t prevent.