Bradley Beal Elite opened the 2022 Nike EYBL schedule over the weekend in Orlando and 2023 point guard Layden Blocker showed that he is ready to lead a new class of BBE stars.

Layden averaged 20.8 points per game as Bradley Beal Elite 17U posted a 2-2 record in four games during the Orlando session April 9th and 10th. His superlatives included shooting better than 50 percent from the field and from three, pulling down a team-high in rebounds per game, and dishing out 3.5 assists per game.

BBE opened the weekend on Saturday with a tough 70-52 loss to Indy Heat Gym Rats, despite 16 points, seven rebounds and two steals from Layden and 14 points and three steals from Ruot Bijek.

However, the Elite rebounded in their second game on Saturday, with a 74-73 win over Team Thad. Layden led four players in double figures in the victory, scoring 21 points on 8-of-12 from the field, including 3-of-3 from deep. He stuffed the stat sheet with eight rebounds, seven assists and a block.

Desmond White (2023) added 15 points, sinking four threes, Jeremiah Johnson (2023) had 12 points with a pair of threes, and Justin Duff (2023) sank three from deep on the way to 11 points. All told, BBE made 13-of-28 from beyond the arc in the win after sinking just 1-of-16 in the loss to Indy Gym Rats.

After opening up a 41-36 halftime lead, a poor third quarter had BBE staring at an 0-2 start to the Orlando session, down 64-54 entering the fourth. But Brad Beal Elite buckled down on defense and got hot from beyond the arc, outscoring Team Thad 20-9 in the final frame to pull out a one-point win.

Sunday’s doubleheader opened up with another tough loss in a closely contested game with BABC, as BBE fell 71-66. Layden continued his strong session with 17 points, five assists, three rebounds and a steal, and Lathan Somerville (2023) posted a nice game with 11 points and seven rebounds.

The finale of the Orlando session saw Bradley Beal Elite go head-to-head with Team Final, in a rematch from last year’s Peach Jam championship, and BBE came out on top 76-67 to end the weekend on a high note.

Layden had his best game of the tournament in the finale, popping off for 29 points on 10-of-16 from the field while also grabbing eight rebounds.

Jeremiah Johnson posted his second double-digit scoring effort of the session with 15 points, attacking the basket to earn several trips to the line, where he sank 6-of-7.

BBE also had its strongest game on the glass against Team Final, pulling down 31 rebounds. Desmond White grabbed seven and Ruot Nijek added six boards in the win. Lathan Somerville finished an outstanding Sunday with nine points in the finale, giving him 10 ppg over the two Sunday contests.

BBE 17U returns to action in two weeks in Indianapolis for Session 2 of the Nike EYBL spring season, April 22-24.