Not too many folks have given as much to the game of basketball than my friend John Lucas. Not too many of the young bloods out there remember that Luke was an All American at Maryland; not only in basketball but tennis as well! Coach Lucas' NBA playing career, substance abuse issues and his time coaching in the League (including this season with the Clippers) are well documented.
It's my opinion though that in addition to his programs to help youngsters with substance abuse issues, his most important work may well be with his Middle School (April) and High School (July) elite player combines. I really appreciate him allowing me to nominate 5 Central Texas players to have attended his combine a few weeks ago. Because of a commitment to coach the Texas D-1 Ambassadors in Phoenix that weekend I was not able to be on hand to be able to eyeball the talent.
Here's the second hand info I gathered from reliable sources. According to my media roomie from the Pangos All American Camp days in Los Angeles, (Nationally respected Van Coleman of http://www.hoopmasters.com/ ) he made specific mention of two of the Cen Tex players amongst the camps Top 22 he commented on.
Below: Jordan (CJ) Taylor of Killeen, TX (shown below at the Lucas New Years Combine)
2014 Jordan "CJ" Taylor, a 6'0" 160- Combo guard plays hard on both ends of the court. He can pop the midrange jumper, and uses his handles to get to the rim with either hand.-Coleman
Taylor, an 8th grader is currently playing up a level with Texas D-1 Ambassadors 15U. I've always observed CJ to be an introspective basketball player who is open to coaching and learning to do things the RIGHT way, not necessarily the flashy way. He's all business on the court.-Coach Max
2014 Garrett Gray, a 6'3" W from Burnet, TX-He knocked down perimeter jumpers as well as the 12 footer. He has solid ball skills to create drive, and knows how to use the screen to roll and score at the rim.-Coleman
Gray is also the 100 meter champ in the area, possessing superior athleticism and a bounce in his game. Excels at all aspects, including shooting, ballhandling and an understanding of the game from the neck up.-Coach Max
The three remaining players were:
2014 PG 5'10" Chase Carlton of Austin Westlake. Carlton is a heady, tough guard who knows how to runn a team, can hit his shots and gives 100% on the court. Pops Craig played for the Longhorns back in the day.
2014 SG 6'2" Trey Dilworth III of Lamar MS in Austin, TX. Head over heels the best athlete in the 2014 Cen Tex class. He's a dunking machine with a great body. Shoots it well and when he gets to the rim, look out. He's devastating in transition, always finishing with a flush.
2014 W 6'2" Abrian Edwards of Dessau MS in Pflugerville, TX plays above the rim. He's long and active with a huge upside.