By; DeAjai Dawkins
6’6 2023 Walker Woodall (Wildcats Elite 17U)
Woodall is a player I’ve seen make his presence felt this summer alongside his Jordan High School teammates. Woodall can take control of a game through his perimeter shooting and overall intelligence. He’s a competitor that should be tagged alongside the perimeter at all times. Standing at a strong 6’6, Woodall contributes heavily on the glass and is often responsible for defending opposing bigs, regardless of size. Today Woodall slid his feet well defensively, got ahead of the defense on the break, and most importantly knocked down catch and shoot jumpers a high volume.
5’10 2025 Derek Ross (Wildcats Elite 2025)
Another Jordan High prospect, 2026 Derek Ross has very special court-vision. Ross sees the entirety of the floor in transition, making use of his quickness and sharp handle to create plays. Plays with pace but keeps the dial turned up, especially in the open floor. His overall confidence is so easy to pick up on through his body language and effort-level on the floor.
6’0 2024 Chase Owens (Hoop Dreams)
2024 Chase Owens has an excellent day, justifying the high praise he receives from those who have been around him for some time. The athletic guard assumes a lead role in which he approaches with a high level of focus. A multi-sport talent, Owens plays for Gaston Day amongst a roster of legitimate talent, and does nothing less than further improve that roster’s pedigree both on and off of paper. Owens has excellent footwork, with noticeable scoring prowess and aggressive defense
6’0 2024 Markiest Houston (Elite 1)
One of the most gifted pure athletes on this list, Houston has been productive for as long as I’ve covered him. The improvements in his game from his sophomore to junior summer is something to take note of. Houston’s perimeter shot-making has taken strides while his vertical leaping abilities never fail to amaze me. Houston’s West Charlotte team should enter this season with an impressive array of guards looking to repeat as 3A state champions; Markiest will surely be an asset amongst that group.
6’7 2024 John Holbrook (Team Hickory)
Holbrook embodies traits that I believe could service a program at the next level. The sturdy big stands at a legitimate 6’7 with soft hands. At the moment he assumes space in the paint, furthering his presence on the glass especially. Aside from being an excellent dump pass option, Holbrook has shown he can act as a competent option in screen and roll situations More of a post-up forward than arim runner. Makes solid passes from out of the post. Easily an all-conference caliber player entering his junior season.
2025 6’7 TJ Drain (Loyalty United)
One of the more enticing prospects in the gym this weekend, TJ Drain is clearly a special 2025 big. Drain displayed solid footwork on the low-block, with the ability to hit post shots over his dominant shoulder. Aside from his disruptive length that he uses to alter shots to the best of his ability, Drain wears a size 17 shoe with a frame that I can only believe will grow given that he’s entering his sophomore year of high school. I would recommend coaches begin paying attention as soon as it makes sense for them as, as this is a player you won’t want to regret under-evaluating.