By: Kevin Moses

Player: Jahlil Hope
Twitter: @JahlilHope
Height: 6’3, 185
Class of 2024
School: Ashley Ridge High School

Hope is a fierce young gem that does many things well out there. Offensively, he is a triple-threat scoring option but loves attacking the lane and getting to the rim. Electric off the bounce. He uses his strength and speed to impose his will when he sets his mind to get downhill. A high IQ as he learns and adjusts to in-game actions on the fly. Jahlil finds a way to beat you against any odds. Any weakness and Jahlil will find it and exploit it. Tight handles and a defensive stud. Using athleticism and speed to contest shots and get steals, Jahlil is a thorn for opposing players. Size and length certainly aid him in being a great defender, and man can Jahlil mix it up on the boards. Tenacious rebounder and turns those rebounds into offensive opportunities quickly fueling the transition game in a flash. Jahlil is the total package with a little dog in him making him a force to be reckoned with on both ends. Takes the personal challenge of guarding your best play and taking him completely out of the equation.

Player: Jayden Castillo
Twitter: @JCastillo24_
Height: 5’9, 145
Class of 2026
School: Cabell Midland High School, WV

Castillo is a dynamic high-energy athlete that can be a natural game changer. Jayden is a solid triple-threat scoring option with a soft touch but his thread-the-needle passing and the scrappy defense are special. Quick and crafty handles along with great court vision and a high IQ allow Jayden to be an awesome floor general and facilitator. The things Jayden accomplishes on defense at his size are impressive. Jayden’s biggest improvement over the AAU session was his passing. Jayden averaged 10pts and 7asts, with a huge 20-point game against Team Loaded. Jayden has set his goal to start for the varsity this season and be a big part of fueling this team and making a deep run in the postseason. Jayden will have to continue to elevate those skills and thrive at becoming the leader on the floor effectively. What coaches should know is with his grit and tenacity, he won’t ever be outworked or quiet. What sets Jayden apart is his warrior mentality matched with his high IQ. Jayden must maximize every minute he can and focus hard to play fiercely against bigger players, consistently letting his game make room for him by turning the right heads.

Player: Braden Duckworth
Twitter: @BradenDuckworth
Height: 6’7, 210
Class of 2024
School: Gardendale High School

Duckworth is a dominant big that has an extremely versatile skillset. He can light up the scoreboard in a flash. With great footwork, Braden is a brute force with his post-play and his back to the basket, but he also has a wicked midrange game and can demand attention from deep with the long-range, silky-smooth touch. But Braden is not just a scorer. He can drop some sweet dimes, gobble up boards with the best out there and he is a ruthless defender. Don’t bring that weak game into his house. He isnt taking any prisoners as he is ready to throw a block party every time. Last season, Braden averaged 18 points and 11 rebounds a game. His goal for this upcoming season is to average a double-double again while opening the door for double-digit offers too. With his incredible skill set at his size, that’s a strong possibility. Pretty sure the tournament run will be a statement run as with his confident swagger and high energy, Braden will lead them well hauling in all sorts of awards along the way. His biggest improvement has been his ability to shoot the three. That classifies him as a matchup nightmare. That shooting ability with that size is what sets Braden apart. And he wants to take a unique path. You better buckle up for this last run because Braden is on a mission and to get what he wants he has to take it to everyone that comes before him and be a punisher every single night. Don’t miss one minute.