This past weekend, Phenom Hoops took the opportunity to maximize our downtime and continue providing coverage throughout the region. While the event in Rock Hill drew a ton of attention, prospects could be found playing in numerous locations—including at the Triad Blue Chips East Fall League in Greensboro. We traveled out to Shining Light Academy and caught most of the action, and this article will take a closer look at some standouts and the coinciding storylines from the evening…
6’6 ’22 Nolan Hodge (Northern Guilford)
After repeatedly vocalizing how underrated and under-recruited Hodge has been throughout the years, Duquesne deserves a ton of credit for being the first program to extend an offer. So many folks were on the fence or struggled to really buy-in and embrace the idea of what he could become. Now, anyone who doubted Hodge’s ability looks foolish. Everything that’s been said has held up nicely against the test of time. In fact, Hodge is still not even close to his ceiling despite already shining as a dominant force. At 6-foot-6 with IQ and true guard skills, he’s a legitimate matchup problem for pretty much any type of opponent. Hodge is a high-level offensive talent with blossoming physicality/athleticism and the tools to be an excellent defender. It’s still just the beginning for Hodge, who should collect at least another dozen offers by this time next year.
Northern Guilford Forming Their Best Squad in Recent History
Though we’ve written at length about Hodge as their leader, the Nighthawks’ appeal goes far beyond just one prospect. Adonijah Whitley is as valuable as anyone on the roster, but his subtle, unselfish, fill-in-the-gaps often doesn’t receive the proper recognition. His ability to naturally impact the game should have a ton of programs stepping forward to get involved with his recruitment. Whitley is smart, tough, well-rounded, and can essentially carve out a role with any collection of surrounding talent. Jackson Helms has probably improved more than anyone on the roster, but still looks likely to continue developing. He’s a pretty useful all-around floor general but consistently stands out with his grit, motor, and toughness. Helms is a quality defender with physicality and the ability to draw multiple charges in a given game. Meanwhile, Manny Elliott is the newest addition to this roster and could easily give them a reliable two-way presence. He’s known for his ability as a crafty scorer but also has the tools to find his place defensively and as a secondary creator. Aside from the main core, Owen Griffith brings motor, defense, and toughness while playing steady and hitting the open shot offensively. Sam Emerick also plays a nice role as one of their main interior players, displaying hustle, motor, and rebounding instincts. It seems like all the stars are aligning for this group to make a deep run in the playoffs and potentially throw their hat in the ring for a state title.