By: DeAjai Dawkins
2025 Nick Hailey (Team Charlotte 2025/PDS)
I have been keeping a close eye on Team Charlotte 2025’s squad for the past couple of months. This team boasts an array of talent across the board that allows them to compete a year or sometimes even two above their respective age-level. Amongst this star-studded roster lies a player that I personally believe could become a nationally recognized talent. Nick Hailey is a long, wiry shooting guard that is easily one of the most threatening shooters I’ve watched today. Hailey’s height alone allows him advantages over most other 2-guards at this stage in his career. As of right now, Hailey presents himself as a catch and shoot threat with exceptional size. My high praise comes with the reality that Nick will develop year after year once in high school, and will only continue to trend upward in terms of size. By the time he’s a senior we could be looking at a guard with the ability to score at all 3-levels, shoot the three at an elite clip, defend/rebound due to his length, and provide his team with an advantage that most teams simply do not have.
2021 Julian Williams (Northwood Temple)
I want to make it extremely clear when I say Julian Williams is undoubtably a college player. Williams is a 6’8 wing with a wiry, yet defined frame. His extremely impressive wingspan allows him to be disruptive on the defensive end. His aggressive at the basket allows him point production either at the rim or the foul line. A question that is often asked about Williams is what level he’s capable of playing at collegiately. In my opinion, he’s a player that has the luxury of choosing which level is best fit for him. An NAIA/Division III school would be getting a prospect that could develop into a conference player of the year caliber talent. I see him fitting in wonderfully at a number of Division II schools, and his toughness especially reminds me of the renown CIAA conference. I could also see Williams developing into a solid role player after a few years at a Division I school. I encourage scouts and coaches avoid focusing too much on what level Williams is good enough to play at, as he’s a hard worker that will adapt to fit whatever role is asked of him. His defensive talents will keep him on the floor.
2022 Kheni Briggs (Kannapolis)
Kheni is, and has been one of my favorite guards in the state. I’m a fan of “big guards”, as I find the ability to absorb contact while still fulfilling the necessary roles point guard a rare skill. Many players are capable of finishing through contact, Briggs invites it. He’s one of the strongest lead guards you will find in the state and possesses a smooth lefty’s game. A high IQ and keen decision-making allows Kheni to lead his offensive at the 1 despite his size resembling that of a 2 or 3. His ability to lead an offense does not at all suppress his offensive scoring ability, as he’s shown the ability to score in a number of ways. I believe elite players have a signature move (or multiple) that they use as an unstoppable force when they feel like it. Kheni shows comfortability bouncing off contact around the perimeter and using the momentum to create step back jumpshots. This skill will only continue to develop and aid his overall game, it may become his signature.
6’9 2021 Jaquan Scott (TLPA Sports Academy)
Jaquan is a skillful wing threat that produces consistently while on the block. Scott grabs rebounds on both ends, using his height and wingspan to create easy opportunities on the glass. This same skill Scott has mastered in order to obtain rebounds, translates to his ability to score the basketball as well. He can score in a variety of ways, but is most effective from the free throw line and in. His shooting form is fluid and does not seem to require significant altering to become a consistent jump shooter, just practice. Scott is listed at 6’9, and his skillset reminds me of Brian Bowen when he played at La Lumiere. Jaquan has a body that could quickly develop the necessary muscle to compete down low at the next level, but his game is not limited to the block.