By: DeAjai Dawkins

6’5 2024 Iverson King (Forsyth Country Day) 

This weekend, Iverson King appeared to be one of the clear leaders of this young group. He’s long been discussed by on-lookers as an early college priority and seems to be living up to his potential as a player that scholarship-level schools should be paying attention to right now. King is hitting with efficiency from beyond the arc, while also making use of his length on the defensive end to round out a wing group that should cause a deal of disruption this season. As King continues to develop his scoring prowess, I can only wonder what his game will be like as he continues to grow.

6’6 2024 Draven Pilson (Forsyth Country Day) 

Forsyth Country Day presents one of the strongest young rosters that you’ll find in North Carolina. A number of the players that round out this group have very attainable goals of playing basketball at the collegiate level, and Draven Pilson may have the most upside on this roster. Pilson is steadily becoming more fluid on the offensive end, showing signs of full-time wing capabilities if called upon. His defensive versatility is what currently serves this group the most, as Pilson is talented enough to be tasked with guarding all positions if necessary. He made solid use of his length this weekend, proving to be a tough cover for smaller defenders with an elite ability to create separation. His offensive game will only continue to flourish, so his current defensive potential leads me to be very optimistic for his future.

 6’3 2022 KC Shaw (Mooresville) 

The first time I watched KC Shaw was last summer on a loaded Charlotte Supreme team that won many games, and will see a variety of players reach the next level. On that roster, Shaw stood out to me as the most polished scorer, given his blend of length at the combo guard spot and natural scoring prowess that he showed in spurts. Over time, Shaw began to display true three-level scoring ability that slowly, but surely began to place him in an elite-tier of scorers. In my opinion, Shaw is in a prime position to win the Greater Metro 4A Conference Player of the Year award. He and AJ Parsley will present a backcourt that could very well produce exciting games. 

5’7 2024 AJ Parsley (Mooresville) 

AJ Parsley understands the little details of what makes an all-around basketball player. This was my first time getting to see Parsley in action with a Mooresville team looking to make an impact in the Greater Metro 4A Conference. The sophomore’s vocal presence is immediately noticeable, as he values communication on both ends of the floor. His offense game continues to expand as his quickness and speed blossoms with age. He’s making reads this weekend that I strongly believe will translate to the season, proving that he can impact a game without having to chase points of his own. Aside from communication and facilitation, many would argue that Parsley’s strongest current skill is his on-ball defense. A concern with most under-sized guards is their ability to defend at the next level, a concern that Parsley works through. He plays low with excellent footwork, allowing him to stay with guards of varying skill levels. Excited to see what his high school career brings. 

6’6 2024 Christian Foy (North Mecklenburg)

The first time I saw Christian Foy, he was a 6’4 interior-favoring wing playing for the NC Rim Runners. He had a solid offense feel for the game, and presented a frame that gave me optimism in relation to his long-term defensive ceiling. Yesterday was the first time I had a real chance to see Foy in action for North Meck, and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Foy now stands at a steadily chiseling 6’6, with big hands and budding low-post prowess. To top it off, he’s wearing #50. I couldn’t help but notice some of the similarities between Foy and a sophomore Jeremy Gregory. The two have different play styles, but their body types look more similar than I ever initially considered. With 3 full years left in his high school career, I’m extremely curious to see what a senior Christian Foy looks like. 

6’0 2022 James Wilkins III (Asheville Christian) 

The defending NCISAA 3A state champions boast a player (Florida State commit De’Ante Green) who many believe is the #1 player in the state. Due to Green’s recognition, most opposing teams approach Asheville Christian with the mentality to solely focus on Green. I am here to tell you that that mentality will be the downfall of many this season. Following the final game Saturday night between Asheville Christian and Chambers, I walked away with James Wilkins III on my mind. Wilkins showed one of the most impressive scoring displays of the day, knocking down shot after shot, with varying levels of difficulty. Wilkins operates best coming off of screens, whether that be off the ball or with the ball in his hands. The two-man action between Wilkins and Green will leave many teams in disarray, as you can not afford to leave either of them unattended.