"Ja'Quan thought he competed and definitely held his own," Neumann-Goretti coach Carl Arrigale said of his 6-3 guard. "He's definitely talented enough to compete against all those guys. He's fearless and is born to score the ball."
Although many of the players from neighboring states were familiar faces from the AAU circuit, the camp allowed players an opportunity to compete against a deeper talent pool. For Newton, it was a learning experience, and an opportunity for the rising junior to pinpoint what he will focus on next year.
"I know next year I have to get a lot stronger," Newton said. "I learned that at the next level not everything is going to be a layup. I want to work on my jump shot, because it's not as easy to get to the hoop against these bigger guys."
Newton averaged 2.4 points in the three tournament games he participated in at week's end.
Ranked among the top prospects in the Class of 2014 by recruiting gurus at Rivals.com and Scout.com, Newton already has fielded a slew of scholarship offers from Georgetown, Miami, Rutgers, Saint Joseph's, Syracuse, Temple, Villanova, Virginia and Wake Forest. But the reception he received at the camp from schools that were not previously on his radar piqued his interest going forward.
"I definitely had some surprises at the camp," Newton said. "I talked to people from Auburn, Florida and Missouri, and I hadn't had much contact with anyone from those schools before. Hopefully, they will continue to recruit me and I'll have more options."
Jordan, a rising senior with a number of serious Division I suitors including Kansas, Maryland, N.C. State and UCLA, among many others, was unable to attend the camp due to personal issues. The 6-4 point guard, the 12th-ranked player in the high school class of 2013, according to Rivals.com, is highly touted for his court vision and basketball instincts.
"It was an opportunity for him to show that he can compete against the best," Vaux High coach Jamie Ross said. "It's unfortunate that he wasn't able to make it down there; he was disappointed he didn't get the chance to play. But these coaches have been watching him for a long time and will have plenty of opportunities to see him at other camps this summer. He's looking forward to showing them what he can do."
For Newton, the Top 100 camp was just the start of a busy summer of basketball. In addition to playing in summer leagues with Neumann-Goretti and his AAU team, Team Final, Newton will continue to participate in camps and showcases to sharpen his skills and play against the upper echelon of competition.