Each year, North Carolina reminds everyone just how'much talent resides within the Hoopstate. New faces emerge, prospects transfer in to prove themselves, and dozens upon dozens of players earn opportunities to further their career at the next level. That being said, the consistent amount of young, upcoming talent is what continues to stand out across the entire state. Now, North Carolina's Class of 2024 have turned into freshmen–with many of them expected to lead or contribute immediately. Although there are countless names worth noting, this first article will take a closer look at five prospects'

6'5 Lewis Walker (Winston-Salem Christian)

With so much talent coming into the Winston-Salem Christian organization, it feels like some might've forgotten about Walker and his intrigue as a prospect. Since he's on the regional squad, Walker actually has the opportunity to showcase his dominance'which was also on display last season at North Forsyth, but few acknowledged the young star. He's a big, tough, versatile forward prospect with the ability to cause mismatches through his mobility, ball-handling, and sheer strength. Walker is too nimble for most posts and will bulldoze wings en route to the rim, where he finishes with relative ease. He's a consistently imposing two-way rebounder with IQ, defensive intensity, and a high motor. Walker is already a focal point for this group and should be on the national squad sooner than later. 

6'3 Jaxon Prunty (Davidson Day)

Although major pieces departed from Davidson Day, they've quickly reloaded with a talent-laden roster'which certainly includes the young Prunty. While his growth, both physical and in terms of skill, has been noticeable over the last calendar year, it's clear that he's still only beginning to scratch the surface of his long-term greatness. Prunty is just beginning to fill out his wiry frame, and might continue growing, but already highlights the skill and understanding to be an immediate contributor for a high-level program. Prunty handles the ball well, displays IQ and patience, and can score the ball in a variety of ways. He will be one to watch progress into a potential star over the foreseeable future. 

6'2 Langston Boyd (North Mecklenburg)

In terms of polish and ready-now players, one would be hard-pressed to find many freshmen more capable than Boyd. He already showcases a full game on both ends of the floor and is able to reliably adapt to various roles, whether operating as the primary offensive option or finding opportunities within the flow of the team structure. Even for a program as loaded as North Meck, Boyd should easily be able to emerge as a useful contributor as soon as this season, but certainly going forward. He's smart, mature, and simply understands how to make the right play with consistency. Boyd is a quality defender, rebounder, and well-rounded athlete that should only become more and more productive over time. 

6'6 Kaden Hammond (Cummings)

Despite probably being one of the lesser-known players on this list, Hammond has the tools to be a prospect worth monitoring. He should quickly emerge as one of the better players and a clear-cut leader for Cummings, given his toughness and two-way versatility. Hammond is already quite skilled and capable of posing a strong offensive threat from inside the paint or along the perimeter. He handles the ball well for his size and regularly knocks down jumpers from midrange or beyond the arc. Hammond is an excellent rebounder with the necessary skill to push the break in transition and make plays with the ball in his hands. Though young, Hammond should be productive and continue to develop over time. 

6'5 Paul McNeil (Richmond Senior)

With the recent emergence of Nygie Stroman, it's only fitting that another notable prospect comes through the Richmond Senior program in McNeil. Already blessed with quality skill and positional size, he should be able to carve out a productive role and contribute right away. McNeil handles the ball well, displays craftiness, and shoots at a high clip from midrange and beyond the arc. He creates well for himself and others, utilizes his length effectively on defense, and makes a quality impact in transition. Though somewhat under the radar, expect McNeil's name to pick up in circulation over the coming years.