The 2017 Primetime Sports National Championship tipped off Thursday across the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex. With over 700 teams across multiple grade divisions, the level of play was high and the competitive spirit was alive as each squad looked to make a statement in their opening game. I spent the day taking in the 7th grade boys division with teams from Memphis, Louisiana, Kansas, and Mexico all registering victories.

Several players made an excellent first impression, here is who stood out on the first day of gameplay.

Gael Bonilla Silva of Mike RdzA’s Academy may be the most skilled player in the entire division. The 6’4 youngster from Monterrey, Mexico led his team to a run away victory while showcasing a game well beyond his years. Speaking further with Silva’s father, I learned the dynamic young player is a member of Real Madrid’s player development program. He has an excellent frame and able to play every position on the floor. Grabbing rebounds with ease, he used his length to create multiple second chance opportunities for his team. He set excellent screens and revealed a very high IQ reading multiple defender levels. The two three pointers he attempted touched nothing but net with a very natural looking stroke. His most impressive play, a full court drive and no-look dish after a strong rebound in traffic.

Team Thad’s Chandler Jackson scored 15 points, leading his team to 67-42 win over the Shreveport Runners.  The 6’2 Jackson was unguardable, showing his strength on drives and the ability to break defenders down off the bounce. Still developing as a shooter, he has an array of moves and finishes on both sides of the rim.

Watching Amari Thomas for less than five minutes, he touched every category on both sides of the ball. A player who looks to be progressing toward life as a wing, he scored 11 points in Kansas Pray and Play Players’ 73-47 win. His game oozes with potential as he is very fluid all over the court.

In one of the more entertaining games of the morning, the DCS Thunder came back from 20 down 20 before running out of gas against TSI 2022 Elite. JD Legundye and Dylan Frazier contributed 24 and 15 points in their team’s win.