Over six years ago, Josh Level tragically passed away on the basketball court when his heart stopped from a viral infection. Since then, the folks within the Josh Level Classic and SmileForJosh Foundation have done a valiant job to keep his memory alive while raising money for a truly great cause. This game seems to grow tremendously each year and is now arguably set to have the most talented group since the tradition began. They’ve also brought in two of the biggest coaching names in North Carolina basketball to represent this storied contest between Guy Shavers and Freddy Johnson. First, we’ll look at Team Shavers…
6’6 Wendell Moore (Cox Mill/Team CP3/Duke)
Everyone who attends the Josh Level Classic should already know Moore, as he’s easily been among the most dominant prospects within the state over the last four years. He’s a do-it-all type of player with the ability to be the focal point of an efficient offense. Moore was one of the first guys in Duke’s current class to sign and will join names like Joey Baker, Harry Giles, and Brandon Ingram as the most recent Blue Devils from the Hoopstate.
6’5 Josh Nickelberry (Northwood Temple/Game Elite/Louisville)
While there are plenty of high-level scorers across the country, few are capable of doing it quite like Nickelberry, who might currently be the most lethal bucket-getter in high school basketball. He possesses great size and instincts, but it’s his unbelievably quick trigger and ability to score from anywhere on the floor. Nickelberry is a quality athlete and true three-level scorer that is willing and ready to go at any opponent in the gym. His special scoring reign could certainly continue at Louisville.
6’9 Jaelyn Withers (Cleveland Heights/Team Loaded NC/Louisville)
The Cardinals had a phenomenal year in North Carolina, snagging the aforementioned Nickelberry and securing Withers, giving them two of the five most talented prospects from the current senior class. Withers is a walking mismatch given his blend of athleticism, perimeter skills, and interior presence. He can shoot the ball better than most guards and has the necessary ball skills to take advantage of bigger/slower opponents. Prior to this season, Withers was incredibly productive as the primary cog at North Mecklenburg.
6’6 Juwan Gary (Liberty Heights/Team United/Alabama)
The reign for Gary has been a very exciting one, given his polished skillset and excellent scoring ability throughout the last four years. He’s been a noteworthy name since his freshman season and has only gotten tougher since then. Gary was a main guy on last year’s Team United squad and led them to one of their best seasons in recent memory. He’s going to fit right in with Alabama’s style and should quickly emerge as a primary offensive option for the Crimson Tide.
6’8 ’20 Jaden Seymour (Northside Christian/Team Charlotte)
Though he’s easily one of the most appealing prospects within North Carolina, Seymour is still in the early stages of recovering from an injury. He’s an incredibly destructive, versatile defender with great size and big-time explosion. Seymour is a walking threat to put any opponent on a poster, regardless of size, and simply understands how to outwork his assignment at all the little things. He’s able to make a lasting impression on both ends of the floor and should remain very coveted upon his recovery.
6’0 Keyshuan Langley (Southwest Guilford/Team CP3/UNCG)
There’s a short list of point guard prospects that understand how to control the two-way action quite like Keyshaun. He and his brother are probably inch-for-inch the most dominant defensive players in the entire country. Keyshaun is a fantastic passer and game manager that rebounds, forces turnovers, and scores as needed. He shoots the ball extremely well, but it’s his constant poise and feel for the game that sets him apart from so many other prospects. Keyshaun could be a special piece at UNCG.
6’0 Kobe Langley (Southwest Guilford/Team CP3/UNCG)
Like his brother, Kobe is a show-stopping defensive player with all the tools to be successful at the next level. Their skillsets are very complementary, which allows Kobe to work without the ball and make a ton of plays as a cutter. Kobe is a high-level athlete with a useful jumper and relentlessness as a penetrator. He’s capable of finishing almost anything at the rim and poses a ton of problems for the opposition in transition. Kobe could also be a big-time addition for UNCG.
6’0 Jalen Benjamin (Meadow Creek/Stackhouse Elite/UAB)
The former Leesville Road point guard prospect returns to the Hoopstate for the Josh Level Classic, an event that is absolutely perfect for his style of play. Benjamin has a tight handle and phenomenal craftiness, which allows him to score the ball with terrific regularity. He is a three-level scorer that can fill it up in a hurry, regardless of competition. Benjamin is extremely tough to contain, especially with the ball in his hands, and should quickly become a contributor at UAB.
6’7 Derricko Williams (Winston-Salem Prep/Team CP3/UNCG)
There’s arguably no one on this list like Williams, a walking highlight reel with unbelievable athleticism and defensive versatility. He’s among the best UNCG commitments in recent memory and should be able to see quality minutes as an incoming freshman. Williams plays with a mean streak and a massive chip on his shoulder, which has been known to instill fear in the opposition. This will be an incredibly fun setting to see Williams in, as it should properly showcase his flair and excitement.
6’5 ’20 Ricky Council IV (Southern Durham/Team Felton)
Aside from maybe Jalen Cone, it’s tough to think of anyone else within the Hoopstate with a better blend of athleticism and scoring prowess than Council. He’s long, athletic, and able to absolutely take over on offense in the blink of an eye. Council has really picked up steam within the last calendar year and looks like a lock to become one of the most coveted prospects across North Carolina.
6’7 ’20 Nick Farrar (Apex Friendship/Team Loaded RDU)
Over the last few months, no prospect has seen a more drastic rise in their recruitment than Farrar, a big, strong-bodied forward that has just begun to scratch the surface of his potential. He’s a very versatile offensive player with an impressive balance between motor, skill, and athleticism, making him a nightmare assignment for all types of opponents. Farrar has an abundance of physical tools and typically stands out as one of the top two-way rebounders on the floor. He’s still somewhat under the radar for the casual fan, but this setting could be a perfect stage for Farrar to become a more widely-known name.
6’3 Shykiem Phillips (South Central/Team ENC/UNCW)
Arguably the most underrated prospect in North Carolina, Phillips has finally gotten what he deserved after committing to UNCW earlier this month. He’s an absolute winner and knows how to embrace the intangibles and characteristics that lead to winning. Phillips is as sharp as they come and truly knows how to lead by example in every facet of the game. He shoots the ball incredibly well from the perimeter and possesses deep range, but is also athletic enough to meet almost anyone at the rim.
6’1 ’20 Chris Hampton (Northwest Guilford/Team CP3)
The Greensboro-area has been blessed with a tremendous amount of talent over these last few years and Hampton certainly deserves to be mentioned with the best of them. He’s as tough and rugged as they come, often bullying his assignment on both ends of the floor while standing out as the single most destructive defender in the gym. Hampton’s motor is simply overwhelming and he’s shooting the ball better than ever before from beyond the arc. He’s another player that should shine in this type of setting.