by Jamaar Hawkins, i64sports
This week, Green Run High School guard Ashley James will participate in the prestigious NBA Players Association Top 100 Camp in Charlottesville, Virginia. The Top 100 Camp, which has run concurrently since 1994, will take place June 11-16.
Just scan the camp’s alumni list and you will find nearly every top prospect from the past 20 years. Relatively unknown to national recruiters prior to this spring, James will take his place among the top players in the country this week. But it’s a pair of local standouts that come into this week’s camp with more national acclaim than the former Green Run star. Norfolk Academy center Mark Williams and Oak Hill shooting guard Cam Thomas will also join James at the Top 100 camp.
Williams is currently listed as the 60th-ranked junior in the country, according to ESPN rankings, while Thomas is a four-star recruit and arguably the top scorer in the country. The junior guard originally starred at Oscar Smith High School before transferring to Oak Hill Academy. Both will likely have their choice of college destinations when the times comes.
Past athletes from the Hampton Roads area to take part in the Top 100 camp include: Chris Clarke (Cape Henry) and Dorian Finney-Smith (IC Norcom). This year’s projected NBA top overall pick Zion Williamson earned Top 100 Camp MVP honors in 2016.
Unlike the aforementioned names, James has seen his recruitment skyrocket late in his senior year following a string of impressive performances this spring with District WAWG. The 6-foot-5 guard has picked offers from Fresno State, Murray State, Saint Louis, South Florida and VCU.
This week, participants will have an opportunity to learn from current and former NBA players through the Top 100 camp’s coaching program, which constitutes most professional athletes’ introduction into the coaching profession. Each camper will also participate in a series of group discussions and classes. Topics range from stress management to sex education, handling recruiting pressures, dressing for success, and other life-lesson subjects offered by expert trainers, counselors, current and retired NBA players.
James will head to Hargrave Military Academy in the fall. Presumably the final stop before James finds his way on a Division I campus. Williams is currently shifting through more than 20 college offers, including Williamson’s former school, Duke. Thomas most recently picked up offers from Florida and UConn to go along with several other Power 5 schools.
For more information on this week’s NBPA Top 100 Camp, visit https://nbpa.com/top100camp/.