Author: Jordiyn Fulton

Five Players to Watch in Kansas City

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Aidan Shaw picks Mizzou

2022, Small Forward, Blue Valley High School, Kansas

Aidan Shaw

Four-Star Aidan Shaw has just committed to Mizzou. Shaw is special defensively and his strong work ethic has transformed him into a viable offensive threat. Ranked #47 overall in 2022 by 247Sports, Aidan picked up offers from schools around the nation before cutting his list to four. Aidan’s final four came to Kansas, Mizzou, Arkansas, Oklahoma State, Maryland, and Iowa, before making his final decision to be a Mizzou Tiger. 

Aidan played his summer ball with Nike EYBL powerhouse, Mokan Elite. He averaged 19.5 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 3.2 blocks per game with Blue Valley HS last year. 

Standing at 6 foot 8 inches, Shaw has the prototype body of a Small Forward in the NBA. His wingspan coupled with his tenacity wreaks havoc for offenders and enables Shaw to sky for rebounds, while his agile frame makes him a nightmare in transition. 

Aidan will look to prove himself as the best player in Kansas City and a potential DiRenna Award finalist — awarded to the best player in Kansas City. 

Aidan cites the growing relationship with the school since the 9th grade and the family environment as key reasons in his decision to become a Tiger. 

“I’ll see you guys in the Zou,” Shaw says to Mizzou fans. 

Photo cred: Tipton Edits

Tony Osburn commits to Nebraska-Omaha

Mound City High School point guard, Tony Osburn has committed to Nebraska-Omaha. Osburn was one of the best point guards on the RecruitLook circuit after joining Team Yobo for the July Live Periods. 

Previously, Osburn came off the bench for a talented UAA Nebraska Supreme team who made enough noise of the Under Armor Association to earn a top 20 ranking in ‘The Circuit’ team rankings, which featured Nike EYBL, Adidas 3SSB, Under Armor UAA, as well as, top Independent teams in the nation. 

After playing for the Under Armor powerhouse, Osburn made the switch to Team YOBO where he had success at the point guard position. 

Osburn is the toughest player on every court he steps on. His Twitter profile picture is a photo of himself walking away with blood running down the side of his face. That picture embodies Osburn’s on-court persona. 

Tony plays with a swagger that only elevates when his long-range shot is falling. Osburn has a knack of making plays with his uncanny basketball IQ, and he plays hard-nose defense coupled with his extreme coachability. 

Osburn cites staying close to home and getting a chance to play in front of his family as a key reason for his commitment. 

Player Look: Sam Somerhalder 2022

2022 Forward Sam Somerhalder is a name that has been buzzing in the Kansas City region. At 6 foot 7, Somerhalder helped Saint James Academy win 7 of their last 10 games and a 10-9 record overall. Sam averaged 14.7 points, 5.4 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1 steal. 

Two of Somerhalder’s best games of the season came in wins over two of the final 4 teams in the Kansas 6A state tournament, Lawrence-Free State and Blue Valley North. Scoring 20 points and 8 rebounds versus Free State, and 14 points and 7 rebounds versus BVN. 

This summer Sam Somerhalder will play with 17U Team KC. “More dunks and more three’s” said Somerhalder about the opportunity to play on the wing more this summer. 

Sam attempted just one three-pointer on the season. He eyes that as an area he can become known for at the next level. “3 or 4 into a 2 or 3” Somerhalder said about where he projects himself in college. 

South Dakota State, Nebraska-Omaha, Lipscomb, Emporia State are interested and have been in contact. 

The Blue Springs Big 3

Recently, I traveled to Blue Springs High School to watch Braden Appelhans, Ikenna Ezeogu, and Eli Wingert take on the Park Hill Trojans. Blue Springs has a roster loaded with size and versatility. Between 6’6” Appelhans, 6’5” Ezeogu, and 6’8” Wingert, Blue Springs takes up a lot of space on the court. The Big 3 at Blue Springs High School has the Wildcats primed for a deep state run.

Braden Appelhans – 6’6” – 2022 – KC Run GMC – Blue Springs 

Braden had it going Tuesday scoring 23 Points on 5/8 shooting from three. At 6 foot 6 inches, Appelhans’ skill set makes him one of the most attractive recruits in the Kansas City Metro area. Building off a strong summer with KC Run GMC, Braden has honed in on his three-point shooting this season connecting on 48 three’s on 51% shooting this season. With good athleticism, Braden can add a fourth star with some improved end ball handling and overall defensive presence. Appelhans is a rising recruit in the 2022 class and should get plenty of attention this spring and summer.

Ikenna Ezeogu – 6’5” – 2022 – Team YOBO – Blue Springs 

Ike Ezeogu is one of the best 2-way athletes in the country. As a football player, Ike holds several offers at DE/TE from Big 12 and Big 10 schools. As a basketball player, Ike is a force in the paint. Blocking shots from a post position and chasing them down in transition, Ezeogu is a true junkyard dog. Tuesday night, Ezeogu showed the best parts of his game scoring 21 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. Ike will probably go play football at the next level, but he is still a good basketball player and will have offers if he chooses to take that route. 

Elijah Wingert – 6’8” – 2021 – Team YOBO – Blue Springs

Eli Wingert has had a strong senior year for the Wildcats averaging 12 points and 9 rebounds. Wingert is a true stretch 4 with the ability to play Center in smaller lineups. He has a smooth stroke on his jumper, and defensively Wingert is agile enough to guard the paint and the perimeter. He still has ways to go on improving his frame, but his IQ and skill at 6’8” make Wingert an intriguing recruit for coaches.