The Chuck Hayes Basketball 16-and-under boys basketball team finished second at the Adidas Double Pump Summer Tip-Off. The 16s feature Modesto Christian High junior point guard Michael Pearson Jr. and a cast of the region's exciting young talent. (Michael Pearson Sr.)

Real truth: Pearson erupts for 40 in victory over Paul Pierce's AAU team

James Burns

A dozen college coaches sat courtside during the second round of the Adidas Double Pump Summer Tipoff hoping to put eyes on Chuck Hayes Basketball’s lightning-quick point guard.

After a long absence from the AAU scene, Michael Pearson Jr. didn’t disappoint.

A two-year starter at Modesto Christian High, a perennial Sac-Joaquin Section and regional power, Pearson dazzled coaches and fans alike, netting 40 points and eight assists as the CHB 16-and-unders upset Paul Pierce’s AAU program and powered their way through the bracket.

CHB advanced to the final, where they lost to California Select by six points without Pearson. After missing the first three months of the summer season with a broken foot, Pearson rolled his ankle in a semifinal victory over Prodigy Elite. He sat out the final as a precaution.

Before the minor injury, Pearson was spectacular. The incoming junior averaged 22 points and six assists in his first extensive action since April. 

“He started working out one week before the Double Pump tournament,” his father and coach Michael Pearson Sr. said, “and he came out blazing hot.”

He wasn’t the only one.

Modesto Christian teammate Baljot Sahi, one of the Sac-Joaquin Section’s most accurate 3-point shooters, kept CHB competitive in the final. Sahi had 22 points in a narrow defeat to California Select, a team coached by former NBA player Chris Dudley.

Pitman High’s Kyahn Issa had 18 points to compliment Pearson’s breakout performance against The Truth in the second round. The CHB 16s are a collection of the region’s exciting young talent. 

Central Catholic forward Myles Clayton is a budding rim protector, while incoming Modesto Christian freshman Devin Day is an electric scorer. Day recently dropped 42 points on eight 3-pointers in the a 14-and-under game at the Adidas Junior Gauntlet Series. 

Clayton had five blocked shots in a quarterfinal victory over the California Rebels.

The 16s also feature Manteca High’s Rashawn Ballard, Downey’s Malachi Butler and Sonora’s Austin Patterson. Bullard’s Justin Parks rounds out the roster. 

Butler had 11 points, 12 rebounds and three blocked shots against the Rebels.

The CHB 16s will compete in the Adidas Summer of Champions from July 18-22 before closing out the month at the Big Foot Classic in Las Vegas July 25-29.