Chance Harman Classic: The Takeaways

The following are excerpts from the originally published story by Corie Pegram from

Introducing Mountain Mission

Sharpshooter Jakub Mijakowski is part of a very talented and skilled Mountain Mission team.

It’s not necessarily a place where you’d  expect to find recruitable athletes, as Mountain Mission is located on the southwest tip of Virginia in a town called Grundy. Started in 1921, the school is a destination for at-risk kids, offering both education, worship, and now a very good basketball team. Head coach Pawel Mrozik’s group features a lineup of international players, hailing from a number of different countries worldwide, and pretty much all of them can play. Mountain Mission nearly beat the previously discussed Cape Henry group on Friday, falling 73-72 after a potential game-winning layup was bobbled by senior point guard Hansel Atencia. That one drop, however, was one of the only mistakes Atencia made all weekend, and we’ll address him in a minute after introducing several other Mountain Mission standouts. The first comes in the form of an aggressive 6’6 forward in Harold Baruti. A member of the class of 2016 and a native of Congo, Baruti attacked the rim relentlessly against Cape Henry and made aggressive, out-of-area plays frequently. He’s extremely quick off his feet and explosive around the rim, and he has the potential to be a multi-position defender at the next level. Fine tuning his skillset is the next step, but expect to see him in the upper quarter of the 2016 prospects rankings when updated. Also making a strong case for himself was 6’7 wing Jakub Mijakowski. Based on this past weekend, it’s very realistic to call him a top two or three catch and shoot guy in Virginia’s 2016 class. The native of Poland can light it up. He was a bit selective at times, but when he has his feet set and he lets it go, there’s a very strong chance it’s going in. He’s shooting over 50% from behind the arc this year. Also noteworthy were 2016 Jethro Tshisumpa, 2016 Maciej Bender, and 2015 Daniel Relvao, who is signed with Valparaiso. The 6’9 Tshisumpa drew a comparison to current VCU big man Mo Alie-Cox, and the two are actually somewhat similar. Simply put, Tshisumpa is a huge man with some of the biggest shoulders you’ll find. He is very raw at this stage, but his aggressive nature and surprisingly athletic ability makes for a load of defensive potential down the road. Bender, on the other hand, is a finesse player. Claiming an offer from Davidson, the 6’10 big man has an inside-out skillset that will be further utilized with added strength.

Best Available Point Guard in Virginia?

Hansel Atencia runs the Mount Mission show

The likes of Devin Morgan, Taylor McHugh, and Nigel Ribeiro would have their right to argue, but Hansel Atencia made a strong case for that title (excluding post graduate prospects) this weekend now that Oak Hill point guard Terrence Phillips is off the board to Missouri. Resembling former Benedictine guard Nick Coppola (UL Monroe) in many ways, the 5’9 native of Columbia is the head of the snake for Mountain Mission. He was the primary reason for the near upset of Cape Henry, and he proved fully capable of competing with (and even outplaying a times) Rice commit Marcus Evans, who is known for his lockdown defense. A blend of quickness and skill, Atencia got in the paint frequently and made the right play 99% of the time, finishing plays for himself or finding open teammates. He has a very good feel for the game, and he’s extremely tough, showing the ability to play through contact and guard the ball on the other end. Some college programs don’t like small guards, but his ability to facilitate, run the show and make others better will almost certainly result in an expanded recruitment moving forward, one that currently only features an offer from Pikesville, an NAIA school in Kentucky.

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