By: DeAjai Dawkins
6’5 2023 Harrison Poole (Go Hard 16U)
Harrison Poole had periods in the game I watched him where he was the most active player on the floor, and other sequences where he seemed to slightly blend in. In the sequences in which he shined, Harrison Poole left no doubt in my mind that he could make these next two years of high school very productive. A long, wiry wing that shows some serious scoring potential, I was happy to see that Poole is already comfortable playing above the rim. Harrison secured a highlight reel dunk through contact in the first half that woke his entire team up. I expect plays like this, amongst other winning plays over the course of these next two years.
6’0 2023 Jordan Miller (Upstate Select 16U)
Few 2023 guards between North Carolina and South Carolina excite me the way 2023 Jordan Miller does, solely because of the work ethic I’ve seen Miller display. Last summer when I first watched him, he stood around 5’10 with a similarly muscular frame, just about 10 pounds lighter. His defensive focus, patience, and facilitative instincts were enough to let me know early that he could soon blossom into an elite lead guard. Attending South Carolina power Dorman High School, Jordan has been able to take witness to elite-level lead guard play years before today. He has continued to develop on the skillset that initial grabbed my attention, as well as beginning to blend in formidable scoring habits as well. I imagine for these next two years, the keys belong to Jordan Miller; I’m excited to see how he handles that task.
6’1 2023 Terry Leonard Jr. (Upstate Select 16U)
When I first watched the aforementioned Jordan Miller last summer, there was a wiry scoring guard on his team that attempted tough shots and rarely wavered in confidence. This year, Terry Leonard Jr. presents himself as a matured, varsity-ready version of that wiry guard. Growing about an inch or two in height, Leonard’s overall presence on the court seems to have taken exceptional strides, as he makes it a purpose to find his favorite spots within the arc and attack them. Terry Leonard Jr. is past three-level scoring “potential” as he’s displayed an ability to consistently produce from all 3 levels. It looks like Dorman High School has a reliable backcourt on their hands for the next two seasons.
6’0 2024 Cedric Kenan (Team Slay Basketball 2024)
I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to explore the minds of certain young prospects weekend after weekend, and am often left surprised at some of the exceptional personalities a number of these players possess. There have been very few, if any, that have moved me with their general maturity like Cedric Kenan. Maturity is an overstated word in sports, as it can be referring to a player’s mentality, mannerisms, or on-court play. I believe that despite an energetic, fiery personality, at his core Cedric Kenan is one of the most mature 15 year olds I have ever met. I could spend paragraphs discussing his mentality off the court, but that is not what this is for. On the floor, there are few players as engaged in their respective game as Kenan is, and that fact is obvious in his facial expressions. After a made basket he rarely celebrates, rather retreating back on defense with a slight grimace on his face. He’s vocal on the floor and hustles as if he feels that his individual efforts will propel his team to a win in any game they face. His attitude and work ethic embody the characteristics coaches claim to seek for in players.