While it’s way too early for Phenom Hoops to calculate our North Carolina 2024 rankings, we decided to take a closer look at some of the state’s top freshmen.  In our first segment, we took a look at 6’8 Jarin Stevenson (Northwood HS), 6’5 Drake Powell (Northwood HS), 6’2 Zion Walker (The Burlington School), 6’5 Bishop Boswell (South Mecklenburg) and 6’6 Maurio Hanson (Vance HS). https://phenomhoopreport.com/five-standout-freshmen-stock-on-the-rise/

In Part 2, we featured 6’4 Jahseem Felton, 6’5 Rakease Passmore, 6’5 Lewis Walker, 6’5 Paul McNeil, and 6’8 Brayden Crump. https://phenomhoopreport.com/five-standout-frosh-part-2-on-the-rise/

In today’s issue, we will feature Kobe George, Langton Boyd, Zion Collins, Draven Pilson, and Ari Fulton

6’3 Kobe George (The Burlington School)

Kobe George has enjoyed a terrific freshman season, playing for one of the top teams in the state. As a matter of fact, The Burlington School has played one of, if not the toughest schedule in the state. George is currently averaging 8.5 PPG and 3.0 RPG, but more importantly, he brings a toughness and competitive streak that is often needed going up against some of the nation’s top teams. In the game against nationally ranked Combine Academy, Phenom’s Colby Lewis stated the following. “George continues to make his presence felt. He finished the game with 10 points, seven rebounds, one assist and steal. He led both teams in rebounding, which we can’t stress enough how valuable that is for his team, especially against a team like Combine, which crashes the glass hard every single time. He will continue to be a big piece of this team moving forward.” Photo courtesy of Jack Leary

6’3 Langston Boyd (Concord Academy)

At our Open Gym Report, Phenom’s Tyler Lewis wrote the following. “The young freshman has a chance to be really good. He has all the tools that will make him a D1prospect. He’s an athletic guard who has the ability to get to the rim and finish over bigger defenders. Not only can he finish at the rim, but has a really good pull-up game as well.”  In speaking with coach Frank Cantadore of Concord Academy, Boyd is averaging 10 PPG coming off the bench. Boyd will be a major contributor in Concord Academy’s quest for back-to-back state championships.

6’3 Zion Collins (Durham Hillside) 

We have seen Zion Collins countless times this summer and fall. He is a strong, athletic and explosive guard that is averaging 6.9 PPG and 2.4 RPG. Phenom’s Jeff Bendel stated it best in a previous evaluation. “It’s easy to see the long-term appeal. Add in his flashes of dominance, and folks should be monitoring his development very closely. He’s already blessed with amazing size, fluidity, and understands the game pretty well on both ends of the floor. Collins played without the ball in his hands a lot throughout the summer, but really turned a corner after moving into a role as a primary creator. He’s more than capable of asserting himself as a scorer from all levels. However, Collins is truly at his best when running the team, setting up others, and seizing scoring opportunities within the flow of the action. He’s a dynamic creator with craftiness, vision, and obvious upside remaining.”

6’6 Draven Pilson (Forsyth Country Day) 

We’ve had ample opportunities to watch Draven Pilson at our Phenom camps over the past two years. Not once, has he disappointed with his overall performance. Just last March, we wrote the following. “Really impressed with the upside and potential of Pilson. He has length, athleticism, but more importantly, plays with a big-time motor. In addition, he won the camp’s Mr. Defense award.” It’s not often you find young players with his physical attributes to play with the passion and intensity. He’s a willing defender, plays hard and gives maximum effort on both ends of the court. For Pilson, his motor, versatility and defensive prowess will all be coveted attributes that will make him an attractive D1 prospect. 

6’5 Ari Fulton (Gray’s Creek)

Playing with his peers and age group at various Phenom events this past summer and fall, Ari Fulton was simply terrific for the Team Wall 2024 team. The long, athletic and skilled wing showcased his overall arsenal. At our Hoop State Fall League, we stated, “Fulton may have the most consistent player for Team Wall 2024. He brings tremendous length and understanding, as he scored inside and out. He was tremendous for his team.” As a freshman, Fulton is averaging 7.1 PPG and 5.1 RPG.