Varsity Kansas

VK Open discussion (12-13)

A friend of mine talked to me during my son’s basketball game on Saturday and asked who is the one team he should see as soon as possible. Oh, the possibilities are endless.

I’m going to give you my thoughts, then fill me in on who you would send a friend to watch. This is regardless of sport.

Let’s start out with wrestling. For me, it’s Heights senior Daniel Deshazer. The kid was fun to watch in football, but wrestling is his forte and he will wrestle at Oklahoma.

But he’s not the only stud wrestler out there. So wrestling fans, let’s hear from you.

I know it’s two weeks into the winter sports season, and I think that gives us plenty of time to decide who are the studs in the various sports. (I’m kidding just a bit here.)

Clearly, Conner Frankamp is the talk of the area with his 52 points against Northwest in a double-overtime loss. And anyone who thinks we’re only talking about him now didn’t see him last year.

For me, there’s two players you absolutely have to say you’ve seen play during their high school careers — Frankamp is one, the other is Perry Ellis. They will be studs at the next level, too. And what I like best about both of them transcends what they do on the court. They’re genuinely nice kids.

Other top basketball players have to be Gavin Thurman and Kevin Gunter and Hayden Harris (Southeast). Troy Brooks, a Southeast guard, can be an exciting player, too. Ja’ln Williams and Jalen Love at East, along with Nathan Jackson at East. I like watching Kapaun’s Michael Martin and Michael Reynolds. Northwest’s trio of studs in June Johnson (such a fun player to watch), Craig Nicholson and Spenser Gales. I saw West over the weekend play Andover, and it was fun to see Andover’s Trent Garman, a clear player, and West’s Chris Banks, Jay Bradley and Daylin Thomas. And Heights is more than just Ellis — there’s Dreamius Smith, Evan Wessel, EJ Dobbins and Terrence Moore.

Other players that I want to see include McPherson’s Christian Ulsaker, Circle’s Jordan Phillips (the kid can ball, as big as he is), Derby’s Cameron Cornelius (a truly exciting player).

On the girls side, my favorite player to watch has to be Heights’ Jhasmin Bowen. The way she dominates the lane is exciting to see.

Ashia Woods over at Collegiate is such an athletic freak. What impressed me about her when I saw her against Cheney was that she scored 29, yes, but she could have scored 50. Instead, she really involved her more inexperienced teammates and I believe that will benefit the Spartans down the line.

Sarah Balderas from Carroll is an exciting player. She’s got a penchant for fast break baskets that sometimes include a little flair. I like that.

This is just a partial list. Who am I missing and why would you include them?

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