This past weekend, Phenom Hoops continued what has been an unusual, yet exciting summer season at the Rock Hill Sports and Events Center in Rock Hill, South Carolina. In terms of talent, this event was as loaded as any within our schedule over the last month. Some programs made their debut while others continued to separate themselves from the pack. This article will take a closer look at some personal favorites throughout the weekend…
6’4 ’23 Caleb Foster (Team Curry)
There are a variety of positive adjectives that come to mind when thinking of Caleb Foster, but “special” seems to be the first. The surplus of guards within the top tier of North Carolina’s Class of 2023 has led to Foster somehow becoming underrated, but that’s likely to change sooner than later. Of all those in the aforementioned group, he has the least weaknesses or deficiencies as a prospect—because he has none. For starters, Foster possesses a high-level IQ and overall feel for the game. He’s never hurried or out of control, always showing poise, patience, and savvy with the ball in his hands. Foster is certainly a true point guard, but isn’t boxed into a role as a game manager. He offers the perfect balance between playmaking and three-level scoring and, at 6-foot-4, has elite size for his position. Foster regularly mixes it up as a scorer whilst always seeking out the best available play. He’s an extremely efficient, reliable perimeter shooter with picturesque mechanics and the ability to adapt against any type of defensive pressure. Furthermore, Foster is a quality athlete but doesn’t appear concerned with highlighting flashiness. He plays an intelligent, straightforward game while consistently controlling the action, leading by example, and outperforming his assignment on both ends of the floor. There’s simply nothing to dislike about Foster, and the top Division I coaches should act accordingly over the next few years.
6’4 ’23 Jah Short (Garner Road)
It’s very rare for most prospects to see everything come together and cultivate into something as impressive as Jah Short, especially within such a short period of time. Just one year ago, the artist formerly known as DyQuavion had already emerged as a noteworthy name for Team Power. He already showcased the full arsenal, but was still developing physically. Fast-forward not even six months later, and Short sprouted up three or four inches. This took an incredible talent and seemingly made him unstoppable. Since the summer season began, Short has been nothing less than spectacular. To call him anything other than a legitimate two-way star would be insulting. Short is long, smart, tough, and genuinely shines as a leader in every possible facet of the game. He’s a menacing defender with aggression, physicality, and sharp anticipation instincts. Short does a tremendous job of dictating the offensive action, showing the ability to pick apart the opposition with his passing or score from anywhere on the floor. He handles the ball with poise, makes excellent decisions, and displays impeccable athleticism. Short is also quite versatile for his position on both ends of the floor, able to switch across at least three positions defensively while toggling between various roles on offense. It’s truly difficult to find any fault within his identity as a player or prospect, which should have all types of Division I coaches buzzing for his continued dominance.
6’8 ’22 Elijah Gray (Team Curry)
Although there’s no need to reestablish the amount of talent within the Team Curry organization, Elijah Gray is another prime example of someone who has turned doubters into believers over the last few months. That being said, it’s somewhat disappointing to see how long it took a lot of folks to realize and appreciate his abilities. Gray is still quite far from his ceiling but, at 6-foot-8, already has the necessary skillset to be a legitimate matchup problem in every type of setting. He moves extremely well for his size and continues to display improved lateral quickness, both as a penetrator off the dribble and when defending the perimeter. Gray is a reliable scorer from all levels and might actually be too unselfish at times—though he is a great passer and patient offensive player. He took advantage of his touches as well as anyone, maximizing his efficiency while showcasing the full package on that end of the floor. Gray is a quality rebounder with the ability to grab and immediately push the break in transition. Right now, he’s simply too strong for most opposing wings and too fluid for most opposing forwards. Gray also shows an understanding of how to adapt based on matchup and typically hunts for the smartest available scoring opportunity. He’s already collected multiple Division I offers, but expect that list to continually expand over the next two years as Gray makes his case as a top prospect within North Carolina’s Class of 2022.
6’4 ’23 Comeh Emoubor (Team Eat)
There were numerous surprises at our Summer Havoc, but Comeh Emoubor was easily as noteworthy as anyone on display. He’s a long, rangy, athletic wing prospect with toughness and an excellent two-way identity. Emoubor just transferred to Ravenscroft and reclassified to the Class of 2023, which should bring excitement for spectators and college coaches alike. He stood out as a rugged defender and utilized his length very well to disrupt opposing ball-handlers and force turnovers. Emoubor is great in transition, especially when getting downhill and attacking the rim. He’s a notable athlete, but also highlights a strong amount of IQ and overall skill. Emoubor was able to score in a variety of different ways, including showcasing his range and creation ability off the dribble. He plays with a high motor and rugged mentality, which allows him to overwhelm his assignment without necessarily needing to post massive scoring totals (though he is capable of doing so). Emoubor also communicates well and displays a terrific nose for the ball. Though very few people are mentioning his name, expect to hear about Emoubor and his Division I ability a lot over the next few years.
6’3 ’23 Will Brimmer (Eastern Carolina Phenomz)
Folks seem to constantly point out the lack of respect and attention that many players in the eastern part of North Carolina receive, and Will Brimmer is a great representation of this sentiment. The entire Eastern Carolina Phenomz roster is loaded with next-level prospects, and Brimmer consistently shines as their leader. His offensive repertoire is already quite impressive for his age, given his amount of IQ, polish, and sheer craftiness. Brimmer possesses an excellent frame, especially at this stage in his development, and has the necessary combination of skill, length, and athleticism to genuinely dominate a vast majority of opponents. Though he’s a high-level scorer with efficiency, Brimmer also places a lot of emphasis on other facets of the game. He defends very well and actively switches across multiple positions on that end of the floor. His rebounding sense allows him to regularly get out in transition, where he’s proven to make smart decisions with the ball in his hands. Brimmer showcases unselfishness and a willingness to operate within the team setting. In terms of tools, he essentially has everything that college coaches should be seeking at the Division I level. Brimmer has plenty of upside remaining, so it’ll be exciting to monitor his progression over the coming years.