By: DeAjai Dawkins
6’3 2022 Joseph Thompson (Raising Young Men/South Central High School)
Joseph has been amongst the more impressive players I’ve seen this weekend. He’s a well-built off-guard that shows comfort handling the ball and finding the lane. Rather than consistently looking for his own points, Thompson is comfortable making winning plays and finding teammates.
6’2 2022 Nicholas Taylor (Raising Young Men/South Central High School)
Nicholas oozes the type of confidence a coach should desire out of a reliable, primary scoring guard. Taylor can comfortably knocking down open perimeter shots from deep, and challenges defenders by extending his range. While he’s not a lightning-quick ball handler, his ability to create off the bounce is positive.
6’5 2024 Carlos Vazquez (Eastern Carolina Phenomz/Wayne Country Day School)
Carlos should have a productive summer, as well as an overall productive junior season for Wayne Country Day. The aggressive, attacking wing makes good use of his size/length well when extending at the rim. The multi-faceted leader puts in effort on both ends, and is continuing to refine his rebounding capabilities.
2023 Caleb Ellison (NC Spartans/Reagan High School)
Caleb can be an electric player to watch when the ball is in his hands. The rising senior guard may raise eyebrows due to a lack of size, standing at a nimble 5’10. I can confidently say that Ellison helps compensate for his lack of immediate size with an array of ways to score the ball from 15-feet extended. He has a tight handle with a soft touch, and I expect a positive summer/school season for him.
2023 Nigel Vincent (NL Disciples 17U/Piedmont Classical High School)
Nigel is a guard on the cusp of proving his long-term value at the college level. Vincent’s overall length and athleticism makes him appear larger than his listed 6’1 frame. I believe he’s engaged on both ends, and would provide any varsity program in the state a winning player. While his overall athleticism blossoms, I’m curious to see how his game accompanied it.
2023 Josiah Watkins (NL Disciples/Burlington Christian Academy)
Josiah is a consistent combo guard that has led this program for sometime now. The two-way Watkins is getting better and better about asserting his leadership without driving his usage rate through the roof. He is another player on this roster who could serve a program at the next level, and I hope college coaches soon share that belief. Josiah should headline many wins in his senior season.
6’4’2023 Nicholas Elliot (NL Disciples/Grimsley High School)
Nicholas is already on my radar as one of the best shooters in this event. I’m surprised Elliot does not receive more attention, given the fact that his frame and skillset shows a player clearly equipped to play at the college level. I want to track his development over this summer, in order to see whether or not he’s currently on an upward trend.