By; Brady Malston

2026 Kamauri Hunter (Carolina Rebels SC):

When I first saw Hunter playing this weekend for the 17U Carolina Rebels SC squad, I was blown away to learn he was a 2026. His communication and maturity on the court are well beyond his years, and I’m certain this will only continue to improve as he ages. He provided his team with unrelenting on-ball defense and would pick up in the full court, which disrupted the timing of his opponent’s offensive sets and resulted in several pickpocket steals. He would use his twitchy speed and handles to create space on offense, rarely making a bad read, and constantly creating open looks for his teammates but didn’t hesitate to knock down shots himself either. As Hunter ages, gains some height, and more experience he’s only going to get more dangerous. Keep an eye on this young man and get on the bandwagon now or you’ll be too late.

2024 Robert Magner (LKN Blazers):

Watching 6’6” Robert Magner play this weekend was a treat. He showed so many different aspects to his game that I had a hard time figuring out just what position he would be ideal to play at, which is a blessing in our current modern game of basketball to be so versatile. Whether he was moving off-ball and posting up or driving, he was constantly finding himself in the paint with the ball. He had such a deep bag of finishes in the paint that was on balance while still being creative. Comfortable finishing towards the rim or fading away when closed off. Combined with his physical defense and constant effort to get boards, he is a force to be reckoned with. Boasting a 4.0 GPA, this soon-to-be senior won’t be unsigned for long.

2025 Nicholas Graves (NC Spartans Graves):

Talk about filling up the bucket, Graves put on a scoring clinic this weekend. A sharpshooter from outside the 3-point line off the catch or the dribble, great midrange game, and is tough as nails while finishing at the rim. Several times this weekend he was at the line shooting an and-1 after taking a tough foul and finishing through the contact using his athleticism and creativity. No slouch on the boards or the defensive end either, this young guard offers a complete package that’s only going to keep developing. Clearly well-coached, he constantly communicated with his team, providing leadership and poise in tight games down the stretch while making some clutch baskets himself.

2025 Seth Dellinger (Mint Hill Lakers):

When it comes to low maintenance, high-effort guards like Dellinger have to start being included in the conversation for one of the most reliable in the area. Surrounded by snipers on this Mint Hill Lakers squad, he understands his role and executes it to near perfection showing excellent perception while playing up an age group. Getting hustle rebounds, playing snotnosed defense, and penetrating with the ball to set up his teammates with open shots on the perimeter is just another day for this young man. While being a perfect compliment to his team’s design, he’s no slouch of a scorer himself and is absolutely good for a few clean looks each game and can finish at the rim well.

2026’s Will Koonin and Dane Cassada (Big Shots Elite NC):

A nasty guard tandem that provide their team with a little bit of everything, and a lot of scoring. Over the course of this weekend, Cassada averaged 20.3 PPG with Koonin right behind him at 19 PPG. Getting almost 40 points per game from two guards consistently is outstanding, especially two guards playing up an age group. On top of that, these two have an impact far beyond just filling up the bucket. They both consistently pull down big rebounds, come up with scrappy steals and play phenomenal help defense. Their constant communication helps their teammates stay engaged and in the right spots, and the energy they provide pumps constant morale into their squad. I’d keep an eye on these two as they get older, college coaches will be all over these two scrappy guards.