The Portland Elite Legends lose the services of elite prospect Kyle Singler for the upcoming travel circuit, but the Legends do have some promising 2009 prospects who are stepping up to the 17-under circuit.
Leading the pack are high school teammates Avery Bradley and Abdul Gaddy of Bellarmine Prep in Tacoma, Wash. Bradley, a 6-foot-2, 175-pound shooting guard, is leading the state of Washington in scoring with a 29 points per game average. A 6-foot-2, 155-pound point guard, Gaddy is averaging 20 points and 8 assists per game.
"Avery does it all," said Portland Elite Legends coach Garry Ward. "In baseball they have what they call five tool players. Well, Avery is a five tool basketball player. He is a slasher and has a great shot fake, one dribble game. He is also a great competitor who competes to win on every possession."
Well put together with broad shoulders and arm long enough to give him the nickname "Spiderman," Bradley also has explosive athleticism.
"Put it this way," said Ward. "Avery dunked on Clerance Trent three times the last time they played each other."
Not as athletic as Bradley, Gaddy has a special feel for the game according to Ward.
"He's not as athletic as Avery, but Abdul has a beautiful mind on the basketball court. He can run your offense or you can take him off the ball and he'll knock down shots in bunches. He is one of the best shooters I've ever coached.
"He doesn't turn 15 until next January either. So he has a young body and probably another growth spurt in him."
Arizona, Oregon State, Pepperdine and most recently Gonzaga have all watched the backcourt duo play this year. Oregon State has offered Bradley, and Pepperdine wants them as a package deal. Coach Ward expects Gonzaga to offer after the two prospects take an unofficial visit this summer.
Washington State, Oregon and Arkansas are also showing interest in the two.
"The recruiting momentum is just starting to build for them," said Ward. "Everyone who comes into play Washington is trying to get down to Tacoma to watch them."
The Legends also have a nice prospect in 6-foot-7, 185-pound forward Taylor Hoffer from North Kitsap High School in Paulsbo, Wash.
"Washington State is on Taylor the hardest right now," said Ward. "He is a one foot guy who will dunk all over you if he gets inside the free throw line. He is consistently shooting the ball out to 17-feet right now, and we'll have him shooting threes by the summer."
Marcus Mormon, who Coach Ward describes as a pure point guard, is also hearing from Washington State and Pepperdine.
"Marcus is my stepson, so I don't like to promote him," said Ward. "I tell him to let his game speak for itself."