By: DeAjai Dawkins

5’11 2022 Kyron Weil (Believe Prep) 

Kyron earned my unwavering respect after his final game against Word of God. Weil, with that single game, showed me a level of toughness, composure, ball-handling, and team-orientation that proved his competence to me. I believe this is a lead guard that  coaches would fawn over. Relentless attacker that gets into the lane and creates for others.

6’3 2022 Toby Nnadozie (Believe Prep) 

If the Hoopstate League had/has All-League selections, Nnadozie 100% deserves consideration for the consistency he’s displayed over the course of these last few weeks. Toby is an impressive athlete, both laterally and vertically, with an obvious knack for scoring the basketball. His toughness and responsiveness to coaching seems to be a direct correlation to the principles that Believe Prep maintains. 

6’0 2025 Trevor Best (Word of God) 

One of the more acknowledged freshmen in the state, Trevor Best deserves every bit of credit he’s receiving. While he may receive limited action on a star-studded roster, Best is already so good as a freshman. His poise and confidence with and without the basketball is something that I believe can’t be coached. Mature on the ball, making sound decisions in relation to scoring or passing. Impressive athlete with sneaky bounce, almost flushed a eyebrow-raising tomahawk in the final game. He’s going to develop into a very fine player over the years.

2023 6’5 Jakwon Moore (Word of God) 

Simply put, Jakwon Moore is one of the most impressive players I’ve seen today. The explosive forward has solid size on the wing, and is an absolute bruising force when attacking the rim. There is no surprise to me that Division One coaches of varying levels have began to prioritize Moore, and it’s quite frightening that he has two years of high school left. Possibly a guy that could immediately contribute once he gets to school. Finished his last game with over 6 blocks, from the G/W spot.

6’5 2023 Truman Claytor (Word of God) 

Another one of the more impressive performances I saw today, Truman had one of my favorite performances at the NC Top 80 last weekend. The scoring guard teeters a bulky frame and hits shots at a high volume. I believe that while his scoring talents are refined, we are yet to see the best of what’s to come from Claytor as it pertains to his scoring ability. I personally believe, with development at the next level, Truman is capable of adapting to a guard role at any level of college basketball.

6’5 2022 Josiah Evely (Winston Salem Christian PG) 

Josiah caught my eye last summer, and continues to impress me as a perimeter shooting option with size and competence off the catch. He boasts size that onlookers can’t help but notice, especially once he starts hitting from beyond the arc. It seems that his journey has been a unique one, likely blossoming toward that latter half of his high school career. Nonetheless, Evely has a chance to be special for the right college program willing to display faith in his abilities.

6’9 2023 Donovan Raymond (United We Stand/West Charlotte) 

Following an impressive NC Top 80 showing where he was named Defensive MVP, Donovan has done a solid job rebounding the ball and protecting the rim. He’s been one of the more impressive big men in the entire Hoopstate League, as many predicted he would be at the beginning of the League. Raymond is still a bit raw offensively, but has clearly made strides on that end since his sophomore season. Likely to have an explosive junior year, and attract even more college attention. 

6’5 2022 Darrien Barios (Moravian Prep PG Blue) 

One player that I saw today for the very first time, Darrien shot the cover off the ball today. Barios is a solid-bodied wing with some impressive range from behind the arc. Hit a multitude of threes in multiple games today, showing that his high outputs aren’t limited to one contest. Reminds me a bit of Po’Boigh King, another unique shooting prospect out of the state that has garnered Division One attentions of all levels. I don’t mention King to say they’re the same player, or even claim that the two will play at the same level, rather shed light on the fact that Barios might be slightly underrecruited.

6’6 2022 Ty Barbee (Underrated Athletes/Lake Norman Christian) 

Barbee is an impressive leaper, who has garnered a bit of attention over the past few weeks playing with this group. Today, Ty showed a bit of promise creating for himself off the dribble, as well as giving his team a unique rim protector. He’s a catalyst in transition that’s liable to get the crowd on their feet with electric slams. Had a sequence where he blocked a shot and finished in transition with a lob. 

6’0 2022 Gabe Proctor (Papa Pete’s Patriots/Apex Friendship) 

I’ll say it without any hesitation, in my opinion Gabe Proctor is a top 3 shooter in the state. Proctor is an absolute clinician shooting the basketball, with mechanics that look as natural as breathing. Effortless and as confident as you’ll find from behind the arc. He has the IQ and on-court presence of a coach, and has even coached this group before while nursing an injury. Can only imagine what his game will look like after a few years of college, and what his future in basketball will hold after the fact 

6’2 2023 Darius Abraham (U Boyz/Harding) 

Darius is really beginning to look like a top tier guard talent in Charlotte. Abraham is a poised scoring guard with a strong frame and desire to defend. He plays low to the ground, benefitting him a great deal on both endsX and has proven his shot making ability both off the catch, as well as the dribble. Darius with a level of energy that radiates throughout this group. College-level talent who hopefully will begin receiving attention sometime soon. 

6’6 2024 Paul McNeil Jr. (Richmond Jammers/Richmond Senior) 

Paul McNeil Jr. is only a sophomore and is already one of the most repeated names in North Carolina High School basketball. Get used to this though, as he’s in a prime position to be the state’s most valuable piece to a public school program’s success this season. The top 25 national talent has natural, yet budding shooting abilities with deep range. His athleticism and physique gives him the appearance of a high school senior. With his presence on the floor being what it is this early, I can only imagine his senior season.