Battle of the Magic City Showcase: Day 1 Rewind

March 11, 2022 8:00 PM

Deerfield Beach, Fla. — The 2021 Balling On The Beach tournament once again proved to be a fantastic way to turn over the spring calendar and jump-start the summer season on the youth hoops circuit. The event offered legitimate national flavor in the form of elite prospects and teams highlighting the field with a number of intriguing match-ups on the schedule. Among all of the talented perimeter players in attendance, here are the five wing players that caught my eye over the weekend in South Florida…


Trey Card | Tallahassee, FL | Class of 2025

Card has lost nearly twenty pounds dating back to last fall and was sporting a slimmer frame that allowed him to move more easily around the floor during the Balling On The Beach tournament. According to the Florida native, a regimented diet has been a point of emphasis, and his work is paying dividends on the court. The 6-foot-5 forward remains a “tweener” positionally, but that’s a positive, as Card flashed an improved first step when attacking the lane, and increased explosiveness around the rim. Additionally, he has maintained his strength and motor, and was an absolute bully among his peers at the eighth-grade level.


Isiah Harwell | Pocatello, ID | Class of 2025

Harwell is as well-documented a prospect as one will find in the Class of 2025 and the soon-to-be high school freshman has one of the most impressive physical make-ups of any player his age across the country. The 6-foot-5 swingman makes plays that others his age cannot and the next step for this likely blue-chip recruit will be finding consistency with regard to his production on both ends of the floor. He has enormous defensive potential and his versatility as a defender was crucial in helping lead the Rose City Rebels (OR) to the 2021 Balling On The Beach championship game.


Xzavion Mitchell | Oshkosh, WI | Class of 2025
Ending my months-long pursuit of Team Herro/Phenom U (WI) was high on my agenda at the 2021 Balling On The Beach event and Mitchell was one of the primary reasons why I prioritized their group. The Wisconsin product is nearing 6-foot-7, and as compelling as the clips I’d previously watched on Mitchell were, none properly captured the feel and pace with which he competes. He found ways to keep himself involved in the action at both ends, and while he’ll need to improve his explosiveness laterally, Mitchell displayed a variety of advanced skills on the offensive end which resulted in him being one of the tournament’s most efficient scorers.


Sebastian Williams-Adams | Cypress, TX | Class of 2025
Williams-Adams is the prototype of how an elite, incoming high school freshman prospect should appear. A willowy 6-foot-6 wing, the talented Texan (by way of Kansas) glides effortlessly around the floor, with the ability to handle the ball and create opportunities for himself and others in a far superior manner to most of his backcourt counterparts. Naturally gifted, there’s no denying his athletic ability, but he must continue ramping up his aggressiveness, defining his persona, and crafting a plan of attack offensively in order to fully recognize his potential. The opportunity exists for him to evolve into a nationally recognized recruit in due time.


Dwayne ‘DJ’ Wimberly, Jr. | Miami, FL | Class of 2025
One of the most explosive players in attendance regardless of grade (yes, including the high school divisions) at the 2021 Balling On The Beach tournament, Wimberly’s high-flying exploits make him a crowd favorite, and the 6-foot-5 wing certainly embraces his act as an above-the-rim artist. Not surprisingly, Wimberly thrived in transition, and excelled when attacking the rim in the halfcourt by drawing fouls and finishing through contact. As his game and confidence continue to expand off-the-bounce, and he works to develop consistency with his jumper, expect Wimberly’s status as a prospect to trend upward sooner than later.

Stay tuned for more from Prep Hoops Next!

Winter Jam Top Performers: Class of 2025 WFs

January 11, 2020 10:00 AM

DALLAS, TX — The perimeter talent at the HYPE Sports Winter Jam significantly influenced the Class of 2025 division. Which standout performers caught my eye?  Let’s take a look at a handful of the best from the weekend.

BRADY HANCUFF | AET BASKETBALL (OK)

6-foot-3 Edmond, OK


O’MARION HARVEY| NATION’S BEST ACADEMY (TX)

6-foot-2 Houston, TX


DASEAN JOHNSON | HHBC LOUISIANA (TX)

6-foot-4 Duncanville, TX


SENTEL SIMPSON | PRO SKILLS (TX)

6-foot-3 Little Elm, TX


ANTHONY WILLIAMS | MOCITY BALLERS (TX)

6-foot-2 Missouri City, TX

Winter Jam Top Performers: Class of 2025 WGs

January 10, 2020 8:00 PM

DALLAS, TX — The HYPE Sports Winter Jam put a number of impressive scorers on display from the Class of 2025. Here are the top five off-guard standouts from the event, listed alphabetically, from my perspective.

KYLON JACKSON | BELIEF BASKETBALL SHARP SHOOTERS (TX)

6-foot-0 Arlington, TX


JADEN NICKENS| AET BASKETBALL (OK)

6-foot-1 Oklahoma City, OK


DE’SHON SCOTT | HOUSTON HOOPS BLUE CHIPS (TX)

6-foot-2 Houston, TX


SEBASTIAN WILLIAMS-ADAMS | NATION’S BEST ACADEMY (TX)

6-foot-1 Cypress, TX


CARLSHEON YOUNG | BELOW THE RIM (OK)

6-foot-3 Oklahoma City, OK

Winter Jam Top Performers: Class of 2025 PGs

January 10, 2020 10:00 AM

DALLAS, TX — The South region has produced a number of quality lead guards and the HYPE Sports Winter Jam once again provided an excellent glimpse into the future of the position from the Class of 2025.

LANDRY BALLARD | AET BASKETBALL (OK)

5-foot-9 Oklahoma City, OK


CHASE COLEMAN| BELIEF BASKETBALL SHARP SHOOTERS (TX)

5-foot-7 Frisco, TX


JAMES GREENHOWARD | AET BASKETBALL (OK)

5-foot-11 Oklahoma City, OK


JAMMEL WARD | PRO SKILLS (TX)

5-foot-11 Dallas, TX


MIKE WILLIAMS | GLADIATORS SPORTS (TX)

5-foot-8 Dallas, TX

Winter Jam Top Performers: Class of 2024 POSTs

January 9, 2020 4:00 PM

DALLAS, TX — Class of 2024 coverage from the HYPE Sports Winter Jam concludes with my breakdown of the best frontcourt prospects the event had to offer. While it’s true that guard play is typically more heavily emphasized, particularly in youth basketball, a truly elite post prospect can prove to be a value difference-maker for any team.

JEREMIAH EVANS | HHBC LOUISIANA (LA)

6-foot-8 Shreveport, LA


JAXSON FORD | DRIVE NATION (TX)

6-foot-7 Prosper, TX


LUKE GRAY | TEAM GRIFFIN (OK)

6-foot-7 Edmond, OK


DORYAN ONWUCHEKWA | PRO SKILLS (TX)

6-foot-9 Dallas, TX


NEFFI TAIWO | HOUSTON HOOPS BLUE CHIPS (TX)

6-foot-6 Houston, TX

Winter Jam Top Performers: Class of 2024 WFs

January 9, 2020 10:00 AM

DALLAS, TX — Coverage of the 2020 HYPE Sports Winter Jam continues as we review a handful of the best and most wing-forwards from the event and attempt to determine which players will have the greatest impact at the next level.

WARREN DURHAM | DA FAM ELITE BASKETBALL (TX)

6-foot-4 Duncanville, TX


DARIAN GRANT | PRO SKILLS (TX)

6-foot-4 Oklahoma City, OK


JADYN HARRIS | HOUSTON HOOPS BLUE CHIPS (TX)

6-foot-5 New Orleans, LA


LIAM MCNEELEY | DRIVE NATION (TX)

6-foot-5 Richardson, TX


MICAH ROBINSON | DRIVE NATION (TX)

6-foot-5 Frisco, TX

Winter Jam Top Performers: Class of 2024 WGs

January 8, 2020 4:00 PM

DALLAS, TX — Insight into the 2020 HYPE Sports Winter Jam continues with my thoughts on the event’s top five scoring guards, listed alphabetically, that torched the competition en route to an impressive weekend.

DYLAN CHAVEZ | NEW MEXICO HEAT (NM)

6-foot-2 Albuquerque, NM


LUKE COUGHRAN | HOUSTON HOOPS BLUE CHIPS (TX)

6-foot-0 Katy, TX


MARLON LINTON | PRO SKILLS (TX)

6-foot-2 Forney, TX


ISAYAH PANKEY | DA FAM ELITE BASKETBALL (TX)

6-foot-2 DeSoto, TX


CHANCE PURYEAR | HHBC LOUISIANA (LA) 

6-foot-3 Dallas, TX

Winter Jam Top Performers: Class of 2024 PGs

January 8, 2020 10:00 AM

DALLAS, TX — The eighth-grade division at the 2020 HYPE Sports Winter Jam provided an updated glance at some of the best prospects in the Class of 2024 from the South region. Here are the top five point guards from the event, listed alphabetically, from my perspective.

DEONTRELL BARRETT | PRO SKILLS (TX)

I’ve now had the opportunity to watch Barrett on several occasions during the past couple of years and he remains one of the more menacing lead guards among his peer group. The 5-foot-11 southpaw is strong, compact, and is an impressive finisher with his off-hand. He has a physical and competitive edge at the moment and I’ll be tracking his explosiveness and shooting consistency to determine if he can prolong his lofty billing in the Lone Star State.


JustinBegg

JUSTIN BEGG | HOUSTON HOOPS BLUE CHIPS (TX) 

The diminutive lead guard stands just 5-foot-5 but a future growth spurt should not be ruled out. He saved his best performance of the weekend for the championship game, where his 16 first-half points paced HHBC to a 38-19 halftime lead, and the group didn’t look back in capturing the Winter Jam title. Begg’s quickness and handle nicely complement his ability to get hot from the perimeter and he has the charisma and IQ to develop a game that should translate to the next level regardless of his height.


DavidCastillo

DAVID CASTILLO | TEAM GRIFFIN (OK)

I’ve caught glimpses of Castillo in the past, but now donning Team Griffin threads, the 6-foot-1 floor general is likely on the most talented team that he’s played for to date. Even so, Castillo still manages to stand out in positive ways among a crowded backcourt, steadying his squad from a ball-handling and playmaking perspective. I’m looking forward to breaking down his game in more detail as the travel season gets going.


JaredHarris

JARED HARRIS | HHBC LOUISIANA (LA)

A wiry 6-foot-2 guard from Silsbee, Texas, Harris was certainly one of the most intriguing prospects that I evaluated at the HYPE Sports Winter Jam due to his combination of skill and length. He’s comfortable with the ball in his hands and demonstrated excellent vision and passing touch. He’ll need to continue polishing his all-around game and working to develop physically, but Harris has tremendous upside, and should be monitored closely among backcourt players in the South region from the Class of 2024.


NathanMacadory

NATHAN MACADORY | TEAM JUICE (TX)

A confident scorer with shotmaking abilities, but also a willing passer, Macadory was his team’s most electric player with the ball in his hands during the HYPE Sports Winter Jam. The 6-foot-0 spark plug had some impressive individual scoring runs but what caught my eye the most was how distributive he proved to be when focused on the defensive side of the ball. His instincts, agility, and active hands and feet are tools that should serve him well moving forward.

STL Knights Begin New Year As Winter Jam Champs

January 7, 2020 10:00 AM

DALLAS, TX — The sixth-grade division was the youngest that I was able to watch at the HYPE Sports Winter Jam and tournament director Brandon Ray did not lead me astray when he stated that it was likely the deepest division in terms of national-caliber talent.

Going head-to-head against a loaded field featuring shoe-sponsored organizations such as Drive Nation (Texas), HHBC (Texas), Pro Skills (Texas), Team Griffin (Oklahoma), Woodz Elite (Arkansas), and more, it was the STL Knights (Missouri) that were crowned Platinum Division champions from the Class of 2026.

The St. Louis-based squad was impressive from start to finish and should find themselves in contention for a top-ten national ranking when the initial list is released in the coming weeks. Platinum Division semifinalists, Next Page Force (Arkansas), as well as Gold Division champions, Cy Fair Elite Austin (Texas), also deserve special mention as the most accomplished teams without a shoe sponsor in attendance for the 2020 HYPE Sports Winter Jam.


DevinHouston

Helping lead the St. Louis Knights to the Winter Jam title was Devin Houston. Standing 6-foot-0, the event’s MVP is a do-it-all player, capable of playing any position on the court when competing against his Class of 2026 peers. He has already built a reputation for himself both locally at Grace Chapel Lutheran School, and nationally within his class, as a talented athlete. He’s certainly ahead of the curve physically and is crafting his perimeter skills with the hope that his talents translate to the next level.


FredSmith

Although his team was eliminated in the quarterfinals of the Platinum Division, 6-foot-2 forward Frederick Smith was perhaps the most intriguing prospect I watched from the Class of 2026 at the HYPE Sports Winter Jam. Under the tutelage of former Team Penny program director, Chris Campbell, the Memphis, Tennessee native is suiting up for CEBA (Campbell Elite Basketball Academy) this season.

As far as projections are concerned, Smith appears to have tremendous upside, and showed promise throughout the weekend due to his willowy frame and fluid athleticism. His father, Fred Smith, Sr. played at Oral Roberts University and later with the Harlem Globetrotters, where he once held the record for the world’s highest dunk, at 11-feet-11 inches. Thus, it’s easy to understand why there is some excitement for the younger Smith’s potential, assuming he continues working diligently to improve his game.