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Shaw's Takeaways: Beach Ball Classic

Silas Demary
Silas Demary

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. - For the 41st consecutive year, teams from around the country gathered in Myrtle Beach for the Beach Ball Classic. This year was a little different; it was the first since long-time Tournament Director John Rhodes had passed away from complications with COVID.

The Beach Ball committee continued forward in Rhodes' name and this year's event was broken into two tournaments; the Prep bracket and the high school bracket. Both brackets featured eight teams.

The prep bracket featured big performances from Maliq Brown and Ezra Ausar. Breakout performances from a Texas junior and Virginia sophomore. And Rivals150 junior Silas Demary collected more wins and another championship.

Rivals.com's Jamie Shaw was sitting courtside for the Prep bracket championships.

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More takeaways: Chick-fil-A Classic

2022 Rankings: Rivals150 | Team | Position

2023 Rankings: Rivals150

2024 Rankings: Top 40

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There is something about Demary’s game that just leads to winning. Everything around him runs smoothly, on both ends of the floor, when he is out there. Always a fantastic defender, both on and off the ball, Charlotte (N.C.) Liberty Heights guard was comfortable on the ball and initiating sets. Demary's team won the championship, just like his high school team won a state championship last year and his Team Curry team won the UAA championship this summer.

After his second game, Demary picked up a St. John’s offer. This adds to offers from Providence, VCU, Wichita State, Texas A&M and others.

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Brown flexed throughout this event, using his length and ability to run and jump to maximize his production. Brown, a 6-foot-9 forward, showcased his defensive versatility, often finding himself guarding the opposing team’s best perimeter threat. Brown also rebounded at a high rate, high above everyone else.

Offensively, Brown played within himself, finishing well around the basket and getting out in transition. The St. George (Va.) Blue Ridge forward averaged 11.7 points, 12.3 rebounds and two steals per game.

Brown is committed to Syracuse.

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Ausar was perhaps the biggest matchup problem in the event. Standing 6-foot-8 and 235 pounds, he was naturally all over the boards, rebounding in and out of his area. The two qualities that stood out here were his ability to defend multiple positions and his ability to pass.

Ausar, who was awarded all-tournament status, guarded at the point of attack for the majority of the game, cutting down angles and getting into the passing lanes. Offensively, he initiated the offense a good amount of time, getting into the paint and either finishing or finding the open man for hockey-type assists. In the semifinals and in the championship-winning game, Ausar averaged 10 points, eight rebounds and 2.5 steals while shooting 63.6-percent from the field.

Ausar claims offers from Texas A&M and Wichita State. Look for Ausar to be in the conversation to enter the Rivals150 during the next update.

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In this same event last year, Reed showed flashes. Fast-forward to this season, and the 6-foot-9 junior had a full-on breakout performance. Skilled with excellent size, Reed averaged 14 points and 6.7 rebounds per game while shooting 54.5-percent from three in the event.

Reed is an adept passer from multiple levels on the floor, as evidenced by his two assists per game. He is vocal and he plays hard, and he can really shoot the ball as he made it to the all-tournament team.

With his recruitment just starting to take shape, Reed claimed high-major offers from TCU and Georgetown and has taken a visit to Loyola-Chicago, which has also offered.

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Isaiah Abraham Interview

Isaiah Abraham had somewhat of a breakout performance at the 2021 Beach Ball Classic. The Warrenton (Va.) Highland School sophomore averaged 12.7 points while showing length, athleticism and deft three-point shooting ability.

After watching him play, we were able to catch up with him for an introductory type of conversation.


On his game:
“Getting to my shot. Shooting the ball would be my best attribute, and playing hard in general. I’ve worked hard at my ball handling over the last few months. I am getting better at shooting off screens and reading the defense. I watch a lot of Paul George.”


On his offers:
“Georgetown, George Mason, NC A&T. I have visited Georgetown and George Mason. I have also visited Maryland, but they haven’t offered me yet.”


On Georgetown:
“They are a good program. I like the way the coaches coach their players, and they have a lot of experience over there. They have good overall organization. They have a lot of size on their team too.”


On George Mason:
“Coach Kim (English) is a really good coach. He is young too, so he made it a really cool experience. I loved it over there.”


On schools that have not offered, but he hears from a lot:
“Maryland, George Washington, Indiana have shown some interest.”

Do you have any hoopers in your family?

“My dad, Faisal Abraham, played at Marquette. My aunt also played in the WNBA.”


On what he is looking for at the next level:
“Any opportunity that will help grow me, grow my game and help get me to my dream of playing at that next level.”