The Hoop State League presented by Phenom Hoops has given us a great opportunity to learn a few new names that we will be looking out for more this year and down the road. These four names were ones I wasn’t quite familiar with or have yet to see and should be on the radars down the road from what we saw so far.
2027 Julian Lowe (Wildcats): I hadn’t had a chance to watch Lowe in action before Week 2, but I walked away really impressed with what I saw. Not knowing who he was at first, I figured he would be a new veteran player for his team but when I learned that he was a freshman, I was blown away. He plays with such confidence and fearlessness in his game, something you definitely don’t see much from a player his age. He is crafty and creative, and he showed that he can hurt you in a variety of ways, whether it is creating off the dribble or from outside. He had an impressive 33-point showing to end Week 2, and I can’t wait to watch more of him down the road.
2024 Joshua Dalton (NC Vikings): The NC Vikings, known mostly as Central Cabarrus, bring a ton of firepower once again and they look early like they have their eyes on another title. They have plenty of weapons around, but a new player to watch out for is 2024 6’9 Joshua Dalton. He is a long, bouncy prospect who will help this team in a variety of ways, especially bringing more size, help on the boards, and as a rim protector. He shows flashes of his ability with his long length, finishing at or around the basket, altering shots, and also being able to step out. Look for him to be a name that pops up a lot more.
2024 Dwayne Williams (Moravian Prep): Williams was another player that I’d heard of before, but this was one of my first true viewings of his game and I walked away impressed. The 6’6 wing was equally impressive with his ability to knock down shots confidently from the perimeter, stretching the court well, as well as being able to attack, get paint touches, and finish over defenders and at the rim. He didn’t settle when he could attack, as his 6’6 frame can cause some issues but is extremely comfortable in hurting you with his jumper. He holds offers already and should earn more looks as well.
2027 Malachi Shipp (HYAA): In Week 1, there was a young prospect that I really enjoyed watching that I hadn’t seen before, as 2026 Malachi Shipp who attends Cox Mill could be a name to watch down the road. The youngster showed poise, control, and the ability to create extremely well. He created really well, was able to get inside the defense consistently, and capitalized on scoring opportunities. Strong-bodied guard early on who has a chance to make a name for himself down the road.