On Monday, Phenom Hoops traveled out to Shining Light Academy in Greensboro, North Carolina for an extended preview of the NC Spartans Hartzell and Haidinger 17U rosters. Both teams feature a heavy mix of talent from throughout (and beyond) the triad area, the only difference being the Haidinger group includes multiple unsigned seniors worth noting. Founder Josh Thompson, in addition to his coaching staff, worked as a catalyst in getting players to the next level over their time as an organization. Given the Spartans’ program history, it should go without saying, but both of these groups will be highly competitive and deserving of attention from college coaches. Let’s take a closer look at both squads…


5’11 ’22 Jackson Hartzell (Northwest Guilford)

Given their structure, Jackson Hartzell should be a valuable piece on this roster. He’s a noted perimeter shooting threat, but also capable of running the offense as an initiator for stretches. Hartzell proved to be effective in both areas throughout the practice, setting up the action in the half-court while hitting a variety of midrange and three-point jumpers. He scored off the bounce and catch, and displayed quality effort defensively. 

6’5 ’23 Wyatt Harbaugh (Northwest Guilford)

Despite recovering from an injury, Wyatt Harbaugh still found ways to stand out as a complete workhorse and blue-collar player on both ends of the floor. Between his motor and positioning, he naturally finds production and opportunities within the flow of the team. Harbaugh is an excellent rebounder, especially at his size, and is capable of outworking bigger opponents for one, two, and even three rebounds on the same possession. Harbaugh is mature for his age and does an excellent job of embracing his role.

5’11 ’22 Grady Sherrill (Page)

Arguably the steadiest presence on the roster, Grady Sherrill is a heady floor general that quietly goes about his business. His IQ, calm demeanor, and well-rounded skillset make him a reliable, productive player on either side of the ball. Sherrill displays great vision and handles the ball well, offering a blend of craftiness, unselfishness, and willingness to make the best possible play. His game isn’t flashy, but it’s extremely effective. Sherrill is a gamer and just the type of guy who could find opportunities with any collection of teammates. 

6’1 ’22 Caden Fitzgibbons (Mount Airy)

Although folks should already know about him, Caden Fitzgibbons is a prospect who is still somewhat under the radar. His vertical athleticism is always going to be an intriguing trait, as it’s usually the first thing Fitzgibbons looks to showcase in a competition setting. He’s long, wiry, and shows enticing flashes as a passer and perimeter scorer. Fitzgibbons is great in transition, understands how to move without the ball, and looks to finish above the rim whenever possible. He operates with a high motor and rebounds the ball well for his size/position. 

6’1 ’22 Finley Simmons (Mount Tabor)

It should come as no surprise given our previous viewings, but Finley Simmons continues to stand out as a reliable player in every possible basketball setting. His combination of IQ, motor, and well-rounded skillset allow him to consistently make plays within the team structure. Simmons is a quality passer, steady creator, and capable all-around scorer. He has a nose for the ball and simply understands how to always do the correct things on the court, regardless of role. 

6’2 ’22 Bralen Morris (West Forsyth)

Given his athletic build and clear upside, there’s a lot to like about Bralen Morris. He’s strong, fluid, and displays nice scoring balance within the flow of the action for this group. Morris understands how to operate as a glue-guy but also has the tools to become a leader on either end of the floor. 

5’10 ’22 Isaiah Razmani (High Point Christian)

It’s easy to appreciate the contributions of Isaiah Razmani, who operates within his role while offering a reliable spot-up presence along the perimeter. He’s a relatively low-maintenance player that simply does a little bit of everything. Razmani defends, hits shots, and makes smart passes. 

6’3 ’22 Griffin Powell (Westchester)

Most of the team got better as the practice went along, including Griffin Powell—who showed some useful inside-out ability. He’s a long, wiry forward prospect with the ability to space the floor, battle inside, and make hustle plays within the team structure. Powell utilized his length well around the basket and hit numerous timely jumpers.

6’0 ’22 Joshua Durham (Atkins)

Like so many others on this roster, Joshua Durham does a terrific job of playing with a high motor and making plays on both ends of the floor. He’s steady and well-rounded, which allows him to consistently affect all facets of the game without ever needing to force the action. Durham operates very well within his role at all times. 


6’6 ’21 Shad Thomas (Salem Baptist)

Anyone entering the gym should be able to find immediate appeal with Shad Thomas just by taking a mere glance. His frame, motor, and overall demeanor alone should be warranting attention from scholarship-level coaches. Add in his current production crossed with the fact that he’s still not even close to his long-term ceiling, and Thomas’ recruitment is legitimately confusing. At a long, fluid 6-foot-6, Thomas appears more comfortable operating with his back to the basket and overpowering opponents into strong finishes. He plays with a high motor, rebounds effectively on both ends, and shows strong defensive instincts—both when blocking shots and intercepting passing lanes. However, upon further examination, Thomas clearly possesses untapped potential and amazing tools to utilize in expanding his game. While he doesn’t necessarily look to shoot the ball, the potential to be a quality shooter is all there in terms of mechanics. Thomas should have college coaches in pursuit, as he’ll likely be a steal in the long-term for scholarship-level programs.

5’10 ’22 Brooks Sizemore (Mount Airy)

Given our viewing of Brooks Sizemore with Mount Airy during the high school season, we’ve already become pretty familiar with his skillset and identity. He’s a crafty, heady, shot-making guard prospect with a nice balance between scoring and playmaking. Sizemore didn’t shoot the ball at his usual percentage but still displayed the ability to create space and generate clean shots from little to nothing. He’s slightly undersized but utilizes his quickness, both laterally and on his shot release, to keep opponents on their heels. While it wasn’t his best showing, Sizemore still showed a lot of ability.

6’5 ’23 Rio O’Hale (Bishop McGuinness)

Despite being the youngest player on either roster, Rio O’Hale continues to display the makings of a useful two-way piece. He plays hard and understands what is expected of him within the team structure. O’Hale rebounds well, runs the floor hard in transition, and alters/blocks shots at a solid rate. He doesn’t look to force the action or do too much and, like most guys on these teams, operates extremely well in his role. O’Hale is already a nice player but should only continue to get better going forward. 

6’2 ’22 Carson Fitch (Triad Baptist)

Possibly the most consistent guy on this roster, Carson Fitch operates within his role as well as anyone in attendance. Given his surrounding teammates, he found opportunities to stand out as a catch-and-shoot threat while making an impact defensively and on the glass. Fitch does a great job of making plays on both ends of the floor. 

6’7 ’22 Saylor Schott (Forsyth Country Day)

Given his natural physical attributes, Saylor Schott can already make plays but is still just beginning to harness his long-term tools. He displays flashes of spacing the floor, altering shots defensively, and being a capable rebounder. Schott runs the floor in transition and should be able to continue progressing going forward. 

6’1 ’22 Jonathan Compton (Rockingham County)

Like multiple others on this team, Jonathan Compton is simply a steady player with the ability to find opportunities and make plays within the flow of the action. He’s a sturdy, fairly well-rounded guard who provides great effort defensively and rebounds effectively for his size/position. Compton can also hit shots and make the extra pass whenever available. 

Not in attendance: Owen Griffith (Northern Guilford), Dawson McAlhany (Bishop McGuinness), Nathan Fuller (Bishop McGuinness)