By: De’Ajai Dawkins
2025 Kaleb Phillips (Team Heat Elite)
Kaleb has been making his presence felt through his natural ability to score. He’s a wing player with the size to play in the post and used his combination of size and shooting touch to provide high scoring outputs every game. One thing I appreciate about Kaleb is his willingness to score, he doesn’t allow himself to shoot himself out of games. I appreciate the confidence in a player who isn’t afraid to put up shots within the flow of the offense, Phillips epitomizes this talent. Someone with his scoring confidence, that leads his teams to victory as Kaleb did with Team Heat Elite this weekend, should be very valuable in the future.
2025 Zymicah Wilkins (Team Heat Elite)
Zymicah was the very first player to catch my attention on Saturday morning due to his impressive size and relentlessness on the boards. Sunday, he opened up his team’s championship game with two back-to-back deep mid-range jump shots. He proceeded to solidify himself as a glass cleaner and keep his team in control of the game by contributing on the boards and scoring when the ball came his way. He plays on a team with a healthy balance of scoring contributors on the roster, including forementioned Kaleb Phillips, therefore he does not get as many shots as he would on a team with less scoring power. I expect Zymicah to develop into a prospect that we gain familiarity with in the near future.
2025 Jayden Dunn (Upward Stars Columbia 7th grade)
In terms of both production and long term potential, Jayden Dunn was definitely one of the best 2025’s of the weekend. His game is bruising and predatory in his ability to attack the basket with only scoring intentions. Dunn is physically advanced in comparison to a majority of his peers due to a strong frame that can only be attributed to either elite genes or an already structured workout program. In my opinion, despite him continuing to develop comfort shooting the ball from the perimeter, Jayden can play the 2-4 at this point in his development. His Ox-like strength allows him to get to the free throw line at will, I wish I could see how many free throws he attempts per game. I’m a fan of Jayden Dunn and have high hopes for his future.
6’0 2023 Jarvis Green (Upward Stars Columbia 15U)
I’ve boasted about the 2023 class’ guard pool for a very long time, always looking to find new talent to add to that watch-list. An assistant coach from Upward Stars Columbia 15U made me aware of a player on their roster named Jarvis Green that he assured me would impress. A positive impression would be an understatement, as Jarvis Green was arguably one of the best 2023 players from this weekend altogether. I was not able to watch every single 2023 player from this weekend, therefore I won’t jump the gun and call Green the best rising sophomore of the weekend, but from the players I got to personally watch he has my vote. Jarvis is a winner, point blank. He plays with a level of intensity that would be absolutely impossible for a team not to rally around. Jarvis is a dual sport athlete, also playing football at South Carolina powerhouse Dutch Fork. This experience on the gridiron has aid frame makes him difficult to stop when attacking the basket. He takes pride in his defense to the point that I’d be willing to call him an elite defender on top of his offensive talent.
6’0 2023 Terry Leonard Jr. (Next Level SC 15U)
Terry Leonard Jr. has slowly become one of my favorite 2023 scoring prospects that I’ve become familiar with over the past few weeks. Terry has a lengthy frame with impressive fluidity and efficiency, not relying on multiple dribbles to create scoring opportunities. Leonard has shown the ability to lock in on the defensive end and use his length to cause disruption in both the passing lanes and defending on the perimeter. He’s a 3-level scorer that doesn’t shy away from taking vital shots in late-game situations. He plays for Dorman High School, a program that’s maintained a storybook level dominance in the state of South Carolina over the past few years. This dominance has propelled Dorman to the national stage and each season they play an array of competition that would help prepare any prospect for the next level. I feel like under the guidance of this program, along with the addition of other very talented prospects including 2023 Jordan Miller, Terry Leonard Jr. can develop into one of the school’s next long-lasting names.