SHERIDAN — The Twitter praise rained down on AJ Bramah and Camron Reece. Sheridan College’s starting frontcourt couldn’t hide from the compliments coming its way. For example, JUCO Advocate tweeted, “AJ Bramah and Cam Reece will comprise one of the best frontcourts in the country.” A few other Twitter accounts had similar feelings toward the pair of Generals.
Bramah and Reece competed alongside 36 of the best junior college basketball players in the country last month. JUCO Advocate hosted the first-ever JA32 Showcase in Florida, which divided the players into four teams playing in front of a number of NCAA Division I coaches.
“It was real good,” Bramah said. “It was great, great competition. A lot of coaches were there, so we got exposure and stuff like that, so it was great.”
JUCO Advocate, a nonprofit organization based out of Fort Collins, Colorado, wanted to create an event that would highlight some of the very best National Junior College Athletic Association Division I players. The organization also wanted to find a way to draw attention to sparsely populated areas like northeast Wyoming.
“We were thinking, what could we do that is going to really highlight some of the best players?” said Brandon Goble, the CEO of JUCO Advocate. “How could we get some guys looks that maybe wouldn’t get as many — like the Sheridan guys? They’re going to have one of the best frountcourts in the country, but they’re in Sheridan, Wyoming.”
The Sheridan College duo jumped at the opportunity to participate in the JA32 Showcase, but that wasn’t the case for every player. Some players from around the country were skeptical with the new event and elected to pass on the invitation.
However, for players like Bramah and Reece that did attend, they got to show off their skills in front of 109 NCAA Division I coaches over the course of the three-day event. Ole Miss head coach Kermit Davis and Nebraska head coach Tim Miles were just a couple of the high-major coaches that attended along with a slew of other mid-major and low-major head coaches.
“It was a great experience for me to be getting noticed,” Reece said. “It makes me want to go harder in the gym, harder in the weight room, so I can get better and get to that next level.”
To make for the best evaluation environment as possible, the JA32 invited four distinguished NJCAA head coaches to take the reins of each team. Cory Feheringer of Western Nebraska Community College, Jared Phay of the College of Southern Idaho, Hank Plona of Indian Hills Community College and Jeremy Shulman of Eastern Florida State College invested themselves in the event, getting after players for slacking, helping them improve their craft and replicating a real-game situation in which the NCAA coaches could evaluate to the best of their ability.
Bramah and Reece made an impression on numerous coaches. Bramah, since the event, has received offers from close to 20 schools, and power five teams like Missouri and Nebraska have put Reece on their recruiting radar.
And for that reason alone, the JA32 was a success.
“It kind of went nuts on us,” Goble said. “It was about as good as we could have hoped for.”
JUCO Advocate plans to make the JA32 an annual event where evaluation and invitation to the event will span the entire season. Goble and his team would like the event to grow and resemble the McDonald’s All-American game — a yearly event geared to show off the best high school basketball talent.
Bramah and Reece have since attended a couple more JUCO showcases around the country. Bramah went to Wichita, Kansas, and Reece traveled to Las Vegas.
Bramah and Reece had more strong performances — like the ones they had in Florida — and they’ll look to duplicate those performances for the Generals this fall.
“They’re going to be special,” Goble said. “As high as they go is really up to them. They have the physical tools and capabilities to play for almost anybody. It’s not one of those deals where you look at a guy and say, ‘Well, he’s a low-major guy or he’s a mid-major guy.’ AJ and Cam can go wherever they want, and it’s rare that you have guys that you can say that about.”