NORTH LAS VEGAS –
Prospects about to enroll in their third school in three years in a third different state tend to get a bad rap.
But it's hard to put that on personable rising junior point guard Johnnie Vassar, who continued his coast-to-coast basketball tour Thursday in the adidas Super 64 at Rancho High School, just north of the famed Las Vegas Strip.
A "native" of Chicago, Vassar attended prestigious Lawrence Academy (Groton, Mass.) as a freshman, moved on to La Lumiere (LaPorte, Ind.) as a sophomore and is headed to national power and defending Georgia Class AAAAA champ Milton (Alpharetta) in the fall.
Adding to his geographically diverse hoops affiliations, he plays for California-based club team Dream Vision, who reached the final of the adidas Super 64 in 2011 and looks to have the pieces in place for a repeat run this week.
"I grew up in California and my dad also lives out there," Vassar said of his connection to Dream Vision.
As for his move to the Peach State?
"Milton is a great program and Coach (David) Boyd is a great guy," Vassar said. "Plus my mom is relocating there for her job, so that was the best fit for me."
He's also a great fit for Dream Vision as he demonstrated Thursday in a big win over the Garner Road Bulldogs, featuring North Carolina-bound forward Isaiah Hicks. Vassar hurt the Bulldogs with constant penetration, timely buckets and by finding the open man – most often five-star shooting guard Isaac Hamilton.
The 5-foot-10 floor general has received quality mentoring over the years from two-time NBA world champion and TNT analyst Kenny Smith, who he credits for his grasp of the point guard position.
Vassar's game has also received inspiration from an unlikely source.
Yes, the movie featuring Michael Jordan, Shawn Bradley, Bill Murray, Bugs Bunny and the Tazmanian Devil, among others, somehow has played a role in Vassar's rise to elite college basketball recruit status.
"I grew up watching Space Jam and I would go out and play every time after that," said Vassar, who also credits his mom for hauling him off to the gym following the viewings of the 1996 classic.
His list of suitors mirrors his national travels with DePaul, Georgia, Oregon State, Southern Methodist, Syracuse, UCLA, USC and Washington all making a push.
More Super 64 standouts
* Isaac Copeland, Garner Road: There's been a ton of buzz about Copeland in recent months and for good reason – he's big time. Copeland is a legitimate wing player at 6-8 with range all the way out to the stripe. Copeland is transferring from Ravenscroft (Raleigh, N.C.) to Hargrave Military Academy (Chatham, Va.) and will reclassify as a 2014 prospect.
* Mark Donnal, Indiana Elite: Already committed to Michigan, Donnal is the dictionary definition of a stretch four. At 6-8, the rising senior from Anthony Wayne (Whitehouse, Ohio) can knock it down from all over the floor and isn't afraid to mix it up on the boards or attack the rim when needed.
* Kahlil Dukes, Connecticut Basketball Club:
A bit of a Jaylen Brantley
-type, Dukes is an undersized combo guard that can really stroke it. Being closely guarded or off-balance is not a deterrent for the Capital Prep (Hartford, Conn.)
rising senior. He's hearing from several Pac-12 and Atlantic 10 schools.
* Brannen Greene, Atlanta Celtics: The 6-7 Kansas commitment helped make it a miserable day for his former Florida Elite teammates. Coming off a tournament victory at the adidas Invitational in Indiana, Florida Elite went 0-for-Thursday and well-timed buckets from Greene played a big part in that. He will also be on the move in the fall, transferring from Persons (Forsyth, Ga.) to Tift County (Tifton).
* Isaac Hamilton, Dream Vision: The St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.) senior is one of the top scoring guards in the Class of 2013. He worked well in tandem with Vassar on Thursday against Garner Road and fueled Dream Vision's big win with crucial buckets down the stretch.
* Calvin Hermanson, Clutch Players Silver:
A 6-6 slasher and shooter from the same high school that produced Kevin Love, Hermanson has to be one of the most underappreciated talents in the country. He was Oregon's 6A player of the year as a junior and once considered a promising baseball player, as well. California-Santa Barbara, Drake, Oregon State, Stanford, St. Mary's and Washington State have extended offers.
* Zak Irvin, Eric Gordon All-Stars: Irvin turned in perhaps the best two-game showing of the day in Super Pool competition. At 6-6, the Michigan commitment possesses some special qualities with his athleticism and ability to get by defenders off the dribble. He made play after play for the All-Stars in the afternoon to keep them close until the end against Karviar Shepherd, Jordan Mickey, Kendal Harris and Urban DFW. Harris hit a shot at the buzzer to give Urban DFW the victory.
* Tyrone Outlaw Jr., Garner Road:
The 6-5 wing showed he's more than just an athletic, hustling glue guy by knocking down two key 3-pointers late in an overtime loss to Dream Vision.
* Roschon Prince, Compton Magic Elite: Consistent, unshakeable and productive in nearly every setting this summer, the Long Beach Poly (Calif.) star pumped it in from everywhere in a victory over Team Bradley Northwest Panthers. A 6-5 wing regarded as a Top 50 2013 prospect by MaxPreps, Prince thundered in a demoralizing dunk over a defender for the Washington-based team and momentarily deviated from his usually-stoic demeanor to let out a roar. His fingerprints are all over the rims at Rancho High School tonight. California, Gonzaga, Oregon, San Diego State, USC and Washington are all trailing Prince closely this week.
* Jordan Wilson , Compton Magic Elite: Undersized and not a huge scoring threat, Wilson more than makes up for any negatives by playing stifling on-ball defense. The 5-9ish Windward (Los Angeles) point guard made life miserable for Team Bradley Northwest Panters guard Ahmaad Rorie, a California verbal commitment. Hawaii, Northern Colorado, Portland and St. Bonaventure are all in contact.
* Dana Altman (Oregon), Larry Brown (SMU), Tom Crean (Indiana), Jamie Dixon (Pittsburgh), Billy Donovan (Florida), Mark Few (Gonzaga), Steve Fisher (San Diego State), Bob Huggins (West Virginia), Dan Hurley (Rhode Island), Thad Matta (Ohio State), Dave Rice (UNLV), Lorenzo Romar (Washington) and Roy Williams (North Carolina) were among the head coaches in attendance Thursday at Rancho High School.
* Las Vegas legend Jerry Tarkanian sat courtside for the Dallas Mustangs-Indiana Elite tilt.
* Boston Celtics guard Avery Bradley was on hand to support his namesake team – Tacoma, Washington-based Team Bradley Northwest Panthers.
* Garner Road is the only club team I've ever seen with actual cheerleaders. A dozen strong, the Bulldog supporters stomp and clap in perfect unison. I was informed via Twitter that they are two-time national champions.