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LeBron James Skills Academy recap: Day 1

7/10/2014

With all the speculation over LeBron James' next destination, he still found time to exhibit his elaborate skill set with all the campers as he leapfrogged from one court to another. However, he wasn't the only star of the day as local product Stephen Zimmerman dazzled onlookers with his vast skill set. Zimmerman wasn't the only camper that stood out as Syracuse-bound Malachi Richardson, multiskilled Miles Bridges, and 2017 stud DeAndre Ayton all had their moments.

Best Player

Ben Simmons

2015, PF, 6-foot-8, 225 pounds

It seems as if Ben Simmons is on a mission to prove to everyone that he is the best player in the 2015 class. On Wednesday night he had 27 points in his first game scoring most of his goals attacking the rim. When Ben is in "animal mode" there are very few in any class that can play with him. He is quick, strong and athletic. His lefty drives normally end up with points or a trip to the foul line. If he continues his assault the rest of this summer it may be tough to keep him out of that No. 1 spot.

Best shot-maker

V.J. King

2016, SF, 6-foot-7, 179 pounds

V.J. has not had the best summer but on Wednesday night he did what he does best: make shots. With his size, skill and athleticism, he has the ability to create his own shot and there is very little most opponents can do about it. When his shot is falling it is a thing of beauty. If he can sustain that level of play throughout the summer and into the high school season he could easily make his way back into our top 10.

Best Prospect

DeAndre Ayton

2017, PF, 6-foot-11, 220 pounds

This young Kevin Garnett-type has a bright future to say the least. Superior size, terrific timing, and magnetic hands are words that describe this young, yet highly touted prospect. The No. 1-ranked prospect in the ESPN Terrific 25 has an evolving inside-out skill set and his shot-blocking is a thing of beauty.

Most skilled big man

Stephen Zimmerman

2015, PF, 6-foot-11, 225 pounds

The slender, left-handed Zimmerman had his whole arsenal on display during the first set of games. He can pop in 20-foot jump shots, orchestrate the fast break while dropping off a nifty assist, or protect the rim. Once he gets stronger, and plays through contact at a more consistent rate, his productivity will continue to increase.

Best shooter

Malachi Richardson

2015, SG, 6-foot-5, 193 pounds

The Syracuse-bound Richardson is one of the better shooters in the country. When he gets on balance his shot is smooth and effortless, especially off the catch. While evaluating him in the past, he had a tendency to hunt shots. However, his passing was impressive as was his on-ball defense.

Jack of all trades

Miles Bridges

2016, WF/PF, 6-foot-6, 217 pounds

Bridges is a multiskilled left-hander who has a variety of ways to beat his opponent. Knocking in jump shots, feeding the post, running the pick-and-roll like a point forward are part of his vast repertoire.

Blue-collar madness

Moustapha Diagne

2015, C, 6-foot-8, 241 pounds

It was a blue-collar matchup made in heaven when Syracuse-bound Diagne battled with recent Ohio State commit Daniel Giddens. Giddens utilized his long arms and bulk to deter Diagne on a couple of encounters in the paint area. However, Diagne's knack to score inside and out prevailed in the end. Whether it was a smooth midrange bank shot or a baby hook, Diagne was impressive.

Biggest surprise

Ted Kapita

2015, PF, 6-foot-8, 2015

Kapita is a chiseled 4-man who possesses a solid combination of length and strength. He displayed glimpses of his versatile skill set with a strong drop step move over his left shoulder as well as a feathery jump shot from the 3-point stripe.

Best glue-guy

Mickey Mitchell

2015, PF/WF, 6-foot-7, 210 pounds

Mitchell is a physical wing-type who affects the game in multiple ways. The Ohio State-bound prospect can knock down jump shots with his smooth lefty stroke, but it's his passing that really caught our eye. Whether it was hitting a cutter or advancing the ball in transition, his vision was impressive.