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NBPA Top 50 HBCU Camp - Atlanta, GA

The NBPA Top 50 camp is an event designed to provide an elite group of 50 players from the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) and Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) the opportunity to compete at the highest level in a camp environment where they play with their teammates and other players from their conference. In addition to the recognition of being a top 50 player from a Historically Black College or University (HBCU), these student-athletes receive professional development training and coaching from former NBA and WNBA players to sharpen their basketball skills and IQ as they prepare for a new season. The camp is hosted at the historic Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, which was a beautiful background to an honorable initiative of creating positive exposure for HBCU players to reach the NBA and other professional basketball leagues.

Here are the standout performers from the NBPA Top 50 Camp:

Antonio ‘TJ’ Madlock, Jr. (G-Alabama State University): TJ Madlock’s combination of size, skill, and motor made him a consistent top performer throughout the NBPA Top 50 camp. Madlock, who was the 2022-2023 SWAC Newcomer of the Year, averaged 11.2 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 2.9 assists per game as a sophomore and showcased an impressive two-way skill set that will have him in All-Conference talks throughout the year. Offensively, Madlock Jr. used his sharp handle and physicality to attack the basket aggressively and balanced out his slashing with a barrage of self-created three-point shots. Defensively, he applied relentless ball pressure onto opposing guards and came up with multiple steals and loose balls from his constant activity. In terms of intangibles, Madlock was one of the most vocal players on the court and seemed to soak up all of the instruction from his coaches throughout the camp.

Dhashon Dyson (G- Bethune-Cookman University): Dhashon Dyson proved to be an elite shooter and creative ball handler that was one of the best offensive players in the camp. The rising senior averaged 11.4 points and shot 36.6% from three at Bethune Cookman last year, and he will be back for more buckets this season. Dyson’s elite shooting touch and shifty ball-handling helped him create for himself and others throughout the camp, and he showed excellent pace and game processing to go along with his skills. Dyson is poised for a breakout senior year and will have a chance to be a marquee scorer in the SWAC.

Zytarious Mortle (G- Texas Southern University): Zytarious Mortle was one of the most athletically gifted and physically strong players at the Top 50 camp. The rising sophomore averaged 7.7 points and 3.6 rebounds on 44.9% from the field as a freshman at Texas Southern, and his future will be bright. Mortle’s physicality and aggressiveness allowed him to get to the rim with ease, but what was more intriguing was his off-ball movement and his catch-and-shoot three-point marksmanship, which will make him a valuable contributor to a Texas Southern team that will be defending their SWAC championship three-peat. I had an extended interview with Mortle and was impressed by his maturity, IQ, and love for basketball, which will carry him far as his career progresses.

Khadim Samb (F- Fort Valley State University): Khadim Sam showed a very impressive skill set as one of the marquee forwards in the NBPA Top 50 camp roster. Samb is a 6’8 forward that averaged 9.8 points and 5.8 rebounds on 47/51/77 splits for the Wildcats. During camp, Samb showed an impressive inside-outside game on offense, punishing mismatches on the block and blowing by other forwards near his size. Samb was also willing to shoot from the perimeter, which will be a key development for him to break onto future NBA draft boards. Samb also did an excellent job of protecting the rim and rebounding well defensively. With an uptick in volume and similar production to last year, Samb could be a dark-horse candidate to get a G-League Elite Camp invite and have the chance to work his way toward being an NBA-caliber player after his senior season.

PJ Henry (G- Texas Southern University): PJ Henry, another key player for Texas Southern also had a great Top 50 camp. Henry averaged 12.8 points, 2.2 assists, and 1.3 steals per game for the three-time defending SWAC Champions, and he showed why Texas Southern will have a chance at a 4-peat. Henry is an excellent shooter and has very good playmaking chops for being an undersized guard. He is also a very good defender that used his quickness to jump passing lanes and pickpocket ballhandlers as well. With some improvements in his efficiency, Henry will be in All-Conference conversations by the end of the year.

Cameron Tucker (G- Alabama A&M University): Cameron Tucker was one of the most physical players in the Top 50 camp. The fifth-year guard is coming off a 2022-23 season in which he averaged 5.9 points, 2.7 assists, 2.2 rebounds, and 1.3 steals per game. Tucker’s all-around production was evident in his play throughout the two days of camp, where he bullied his way to the basket in transition and the halfcourt, and showed some shot-creation ability in the mid-range as well. Tucker was also one of the best defenders in the camp, doing an excellent job of playing position defense, having active hands, and communicating with his teammates.

Gregg Boyd II (Tuskegee): Gregg Boyd II is coming into his fifth full season of college basketball, and showcased a mature and poised game at the NBPA Top 50 camp. Boyd averaged 13 points, 2.6, and 2.2 rebounds for Tuskegee last year and was first-team All-SIAC, and his dominance is likely to continue. Boyd stood out due to his ability to score in bunches on offense and serve as the lead ball-handler for his team. Beyond that, Boyd seemed to find ways to be a step ahead of the game on defense, showing great anticipation and active hands to deflect passes. In a conversation with Boyd II after camp, Boyd was humble and open about areas of his game that he wanted to improve, especially when it came to growing his IQ and being more efficient offensively. Boyd’s will to improve and maturity will serve him well as he looks to be a top player in the SIAC once again this year.

Kylen Milton (G/F- University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff): Kylen Milton was one of the more physically imposing players at the Top 50 camp, and he used that size and length to his advantage. Milton is a rising junior at UAPB, where he averaged 12.0 PPG, 3.1 RPG, and 1.6 APG for the Golden Lions. Milton was one of the best shooters in the camp and thrived on off-ball movement. He combined his outside game with excellent drives to the basket and finishing through contact well. On defense, Milton played in a help-side defender role and had multiple blocks despite being a perimeter player, showing a defensive versatility that NBA scouts look for in guards.

Zion Harmon (G- Bethune-Cookman University): Zion Harmon was another top performer from Bethune-Cookman, showcasing that he has one of the brightest futures in HBCU basketball throughout the camp games. Harmon was a second-team All-SWAC performer as a freshman, averaging 13.2 points, 2.8 assists, and 2.1 rebounds as a first-year player with the Wildcats. During the camp, Harmon’s shooting and change of direction move as a ballhandler were intriguing to watch. What impressed me the most was watching how deliberate Harmon was in controlling the pace of the game and using deception to beat defenders as opposed to relying on speed and quickness. Given his priors and production, Harmon will be ranked in the upper echelon of SWAC guards and will have a chance to build his name up to the national stage with continued production.

Contribution by: Caleb Smith


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