Dozens of players this week aim to impress college coaches at Reebok Basketball Breakout Challenge

Waiting for the ball during a drill is Reading Central Catholic's Jack Donovon (front) and other top high school players attending this week's Reebok Basketball Breakout Challenge.
Waiting for the ball during a drill is Reading Central Catholic's Jack Donovon (front) and other top high school players attending this week's Reebok Basketball Breakout Challenge.
Posted: July 07, 2011

More than two decades ago, the dad was looking for a college scholarship entering his junior year of high school. On Wednesday, the son was looking for the same things.

But the dad didn't have an invitation to an elite basketball showcase sponsored by a shoe giant.

Heck, growing up in North Philadelphia, Doug Overton, the dad, would have done almost anything to get close to the free gear that was gift wrapped for his son, Miles, at the Reebok Basketball Breakout Challenge at Philadelphia University.

Heading into his junior year at St. Joseph's Prep, Miles Overton is receiving interest from top-tier NCAA programs, and he was among the 120 high school standouts invited to play in front of college coaches and scouts at the showcase that runs through Saturday.

Last season at St. Joe's Prep, the 6-foot-3 swing guard averaged more than 10 points a game, including a season-high 26 points in the Hawks' quarterfinal loss to Catholic League runner-up Archbishop Carroll.

Doug Overton was a standout at Dobbins and La Salle University before embarking on an 11-year journeyman NBA career that featured two seasons as a 76er alongside a young Allen Iverson. Now an assistant coach with the New Jersey Nets, Doug Overton said that instead of drawing interest at showcases such as this, he received it at the famed Sonny Hill League that was held each summer in Philadelphia.

Overton said that his son possesses a "Philly style" of play, and the city is a large part of his life even though he lives in Glen Mills. That style, described by Doug Overton as tough and gritty, was nurtured by his son's involvement in North Philadelphia's Chosen League, and by participating each summer in Doug Overton's camp in West Oak Lane.

Using his long reach to his advantage, Miles Overton is quick and aggressive on defense as he showed in both his games on Tuesday. He demonstrated the ability to stay with his man through screens and contest shots on the perimeter while still crashing the boards. His team, the Wildcats, won both of their games on the first day of the showcase.

On offense, Overton showed poise and awareness.

"Playing in front of these coaches, you can get hyped up," said Overton. "I just imagine that I'm playing in the gym by myself."

Growing up, Miles Overton was surrounded by basketball. He attended Sixers practices and sat underneath the basket during games and said it was always fun to watch his dad on TV.

"He always told me to play with a smile on my face," he said.


Contact staff writer Matt Breen

at 215-854-4550 or at mbreen@phillynews.com.

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