On Thursday, Phenom Hoops traveled down to cover Teammate Nationals at the new Rock Hill Sports and Events Center in Rock Hill, South Carolina. There was quality talent from every direction, and numerous prospects worth noting for the future. This article will take a closer look at some personal favorites from the event…
6’0 ’25 Arael Jones (Grind Academy)
Grind Academy has always been able to construct an intriguing roster with talented young prospects, and Arael Jones was clearly their leader on both ends of the floor. He’s long, smart, and possesses an exceptional nose for the ball. Jones is a crafty, decisive playmaker with sharp vision and ball-handling ability. He’s quite electric with the ball in his hands, but can also toggle off-ball and easily make an impact with his cutting and perimeter shooting. Jones rebounds and defends really well, especially for his position, and knows how to disrupt others with his high motor. For a prospect in the Class of 2025, it would be shocking if Jones didn’t continue to emerge as a high-level player.
6’8 ’24 Brayden Crump (NLPB)
The NLPB squad was among the most impressive teams on display at Teammate Nationals, and Brayden Crump was a major part of their appeal. In terms of improvements, no player on the roster has done more progressing over the last year. He’s maintained his fluidity while adding strength and a very reliable three-point shot, which only makes him tougher for opponents to contain. Crump is a pretty solid athlete with excellent timing as a rebounder and rim-protector. He runs the floor well in transition, causes matchup problems with his inside-out ability, and is willing to do the dirty work. Crump already has all the tools to start drawing attention from college coaches, especially if he continues to perform at this level on a frequent basis. His ceiling is extremely high, and it’s really just the beginning.
6’5 ’23 Jakwon McKnight (NLPB)
The NLPB organization has gone an excellent job of acquiring talent and spreading it throughout their entire program. Although they had many guys worth remembering, Jakwon McKnight seemed to naturally find himself in the leadership position. He’s a long, wiry wing prospect with the necessary versatility to do a little bit of everything on the court. McKnight handles the ball well and displays the ability to run an offense, given his vision and overall understanding as a playmaker. However, he’s also a reliable scorer that can generate his own shot or operate without the ball in his hands. McKnight is a rangy defender that utilizes his length to secure rebounds and disrupt his on-ball assignment on defense. He’s smart and skilled, especially for his size, and has the chance to become a very enticing prospect over the coming years.
6’1 ’22 Davion Cunningham (Team Charlotte)
It’s genuinely bizarre to see folks just beginning to talk about Davion Cunningham, considering how dominant he already was prior to joining Team Charlotte and becoming a new leader for North Meck. As previously stated, Cunningham’s looming breakout season is about as guaranteed as anything—he’s that special. He possesses incredible instincts and great length on his wiry frame, allowing him to consistently stand out as an overwhelming, quick-twitch menace defensively. Cunningham is a sharp ball-handler with the necessary combination of quickness and craftiness to get by nearly every opposing guard. He possesses a lethal midrange pull-up but also sports a reliable three-point stroke and the ability to finish through a sizeable amount of contact. Though Cunningham is an efficient, nonstop scoring machine, he also provides a very impressive playmaking sense and overall understanding for getting others involved. He’s a smart, tough, well-rounded athlete that simply checks all the boxes on both ends of the floor. Cunningham might be a new name for some, but everyone should know within the next year about the Division I guard.
5’10 ’23 Trey Green (Team Charlotte)
There are numerous intelligent floor generals within the state of North Carolina, but few as consistently sharp and reliable as Trey Green. Though slightly undersized, it doesn’t seem to really matter or impact his overall effectiveness on the court. Green possesses an extremely high IQ and simply sees the game unfold ahead of others, able to identify gaps and seams before they actually emerge. He’s a phenomenal three-point shooter with a steady midrange game and the ability to finish quite well around the basket. Though he’s never been regarded as a powerful athlete, Green showcased some impressive newfound elevation in transition. His combination of IQ, vision, craftiness, and shooting makes him an absolute nightmare matchup for opposing point guards. Green utilizes positioning and footwork to aid his quick first step, where he’s able to regularly touch the paint and setup easy scoring opportunities for his teammates. In terms of pure ability, Green is easily one of the most notable guards within the state and should see a massive uptick in his recruitment over the next calendar year.