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Las Vegas’ Isaiah Banks, Darian Scott show more than offense at AAU tournaments

Isaiah Banks and Darian Scott won’t score 30 points a game or make a lot of the flashy plays on offense for their basketball teams.

But the Centennial High teammates, who are playing together this summer with the Las Vegas Knicks’ AAU team, share one thing in common: They will do whatever it takes to win, even if it means sacrificing their own individual statistics for the betterment of the team.

They did it during the winter high school season, and continue to do so in the offensive-oriented travel ball.

At the adidas Uprising Summer Championships this week, both are looking to reel off some wins and make a few lasting impressions on college coaches before the final evaluation period of the summer comes to an end.

“All I tell (colleges) is I’ll work hard and do whatever it takes to win,” said Banks, a 6-foot-3-inch combo guard who has one scholarship offer, from Eastern Kentucky. “I play hard from the tip-off to the buzzer.”

Banks, a three-star recruit on ESPN.com, is rated the third overall player in the state among Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association member schools, behind only Bishop Gorman’s Charles O’Bannon Jr. and Centennial teammate Troy Brown.

Banks has shown the ability to attack the basket and score, even earning the nickname “Ice” in comparison to Hall of Famer George Gervin. But as he’s gotten older, Banks often has turned into his team’s energetic glue guy.

“I think my strong suit (now) is defense,” he said. “If I can get my energy going on defense, it’s easy for me to get my energy going on offense.”

Scott, who is a two-star prospect, is similar to Banks in that regard. At 6-9, though, his defense revolves around being a rim protector and pulling down boards.

“My strong suits are blocking the ball and defense, and my rebounding is getting better,” Scott said. “I need to work on getting better at finishing at the basket around bigger dudes that are stronger or taller than me.”

Scott, who has played with the Knicks’ program for over two years, won’t have a problem getting to the next level. He already has scholarship offers from Campbell (North Carolina), Cornell, East Carolina, Eastern Kentucky, Fresno State, Northern Colorado, Southern Utah and UNR, and is using the summer to fine-tune his game.

He was excited when he found out Banks was joining the team a few months ago. Not only have the two been able to play together for most of the past year, but they also have been there for one another as friends to tackle the recruiting game.

“I think we have that connection,” Banks said. “Whenever he’s open (on the court), I’ll see him. Whenever he calls for the ball, I’ll give it to him. Our pick-and-roll action, I like it the best.”

Scott said: “We already had team chemistry, so it’s been really great playing with him. He can play the point guard position and the (two-) guard position. He’s a great passer and can see me up the court. I love playing with him.”

Scott, who scored a 25 on his ACT, said he doesn’t have a favorite school at the moment but would like a place that gives him the best academic opportunity.

He also didn’t nix the idea of keeping the band together a little bit longer.

“Maybe keep that chemistry together (at Eastern Kentucky),” said Scott, smiling.

Contact reporter Ashton Ferguson at aferguson@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0430. Follow him on Twitter: @af_ferguson

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