Another outstanding North Carolina Top 80 event has come and gone, and the talent was fun to watch. Some of the biggest names were all under one building and so many players could be found making this list, but these are a few players from the Class of 2024 that really popped off with their play at the event.
2024 7’1 Harold Lee (Northwood Temple): A new name to really keep an eye on, Lee is one that you certainly can’t miss at 7’1, and with how well he moves. Lee and his teammate Daniel Mbaeteka certainly carve out space with their size but Lee is intriguing with just how explosive he is on the floor. He still has work left to do and could just be starting what he potentially may end up as, but you see the flashes with his ability to finish strong and high at the rim, his ability to run the floor, and also make his presence felt on the defensive end. There is upside to his game, so it will be interesting in how much he develops in the next two years.
2024 6’5 Carlos Vazquez (Wayne Country Day): Vazquez is a 6’5 player that I still believe goes under the radar in the state in not only what he provides but also his impact on the court. When we first saw him, he had to step up and be a presence more down low and on the boards; he did just that nearly averaging a double-double. But there was more to his game, showing that he can operate along the perimeter, create off the dribble, and is more of a well-round prospect than many believe. He has a skillset that allows him to be effective in a variety of ways and play a useful role for his team.
2024 6’10 Wyatt DeGraaf (Cary Academy): It has been a little bit of time since seeing the big man in action, so he was a name that I, personally, was intrigued in watching. He didn’t disappoint, as the 6’10 forward is one that just continues to develop and is far from what he could be in the end. At the event, he did a solid job in establishing his position down in the paint, showing touch and finishing strong around the basket, being active on the boards, and protecting the rim defensively. He is a forward in the class that is going a bit under the radar but could be a late bloomer.
2024 6’6 Lewis Walker (Winston Salem Christian): One thing you know is that Walker is going to produce, no matter what the event or scenario is. As we mentioned at the event, production is the name of the game for him, and he does so consistently. He is quite skilled for his position and can create such a mismatch with his body and physicality. But he also continues to show more that he can operate from an array of levels. Walker just has a knack of getting the ball in his hands and making things happen, which is why I believe he should be a bigger priority for more college coaches.
2024 6’5 Braylhan Thomas (Moravian Prep): Thomas put on a show at the event, eventually taking home Mr. Offense. Averaging 21 points per game, Thomas showed a little bit of everything with his game, something that he is doing so more consistently. He can be explosive at the rim and in transition, he can be a threat from the perimeter, and is now showing that he can create more on his own and adding more to his game. Thomas got downhill numerous times and put on a show for sure, as this is an athletic prospect that should see more when it comes to his recruitment.
2024 6’9 Mason Hagedorn (Combine Academy): Much like DeGraaf, Hagedorn was another big that I was really interested in seeing because it has been some time since my last viewing. Came away impressed with what I saw, as one can see that he has only improved since heading to Combine. The 6’9 big not only showed a confident shot from outside in stepping out, but also that he is comfortable in handling the ball, getting up and down the floor, and also showing his ability to put it on the deck and makes plays around the basket. Looked more comfortable with his game and is a player that is continuing to work and add more to his game.