Coach: James Wilhelmi
#7: 5’6 ’23 Thomas Stafford (Page)
Starting things off, we look at a player that already possesses a quality array of two-way skills, Thomas Stafford. He’s a young point guard prospect that can pass, handle, and shoot, all at a reliable rate. Stafford offers a steady presence on both ends of the floor and understands how to operate within the flow of the offense. Next in his development process is working to add strength, as it would make him a better finisher through contact. Coach Wilhelmi on Stafford: “Thomas did an excellent job of holding his own against older and bigger players. He is a team player that will become more and more effective as his strength improves. In fact, each game we played he became more and more comfortable with the level of competition. Some bright days are ahead of him.” Stafford got better as camp carried on and, although young, should be able to grow into a nice role at Page sooner than later.
#27: 5’10 ’22 Mari Adams (Crest)
Next, we look at a player that really made an impression with his defensive presence, Mari Adams. He’s a high-motor guard prospect that showed the ability to consistently get downhill and score within the arc while shutting down his assignment on the other end. Adams displayed an unselfish mentality and nice overall feel for the game throughout camp. He forced numerous turnovers and did an excellent job of pushing the break in transition. Next in his development process is working on his consistency as a perimeter shooter, as it would complement his penetration sense nicely. Coach Wilhelmi on Adams: “Defensively, Mari was one of the best off-ball defenders around. He rotates and understands how to affect the game without the ball in his hands. With the ball, he is an effective penetrator that knows how to finish around the rim and can see the floor. When his perimeter jumper improves, he will definitely take his game to a new level.” Adams showcased an excellent foundation throughout the weekend and should emerge as a quality contributor for Crest over the next calendar year.
#42: 5’11 ’23 Nick Elliott (Grimsley)
Moving onto a player that is truly just beginning to scratch the surface of his long-term abilities, Nick Elliott. He’s a long, wiry guard prospect with a great frame and a blossoming offensive skillset. Elliott can handle at times but already makes a noteworthy impact as a perimeter shooter, which allows him to play either backcourt position and make his presence felt. He plays hard and possesses exceptional footwork and shooting mechanics. Next in his development process is working to tighten his handle, as it’ll allow him to become a more reliable creator for himself and others. Coach Wilhelmi on Elliott: “Nick is an excellent shooter whose best basketball is ahead of him. As his strength, ball-handling, and knowledge of the game improves, he will develop into a very good prospect. Overall, he’s a team player and a pleasure to coach.” Elliott has a lot of enticing qualities, so it’ll be exciting to monitor his growth over the coming years.
#73: 6’2 22 Jackson Hawkins (North Iredell)
Continuing onto a player that simply knows how to make things happen on both sides of the ball, Jackson Hawkins. He’s a strong-bodied wing prospect that can consistently do a strong amount of everything. Hawkins is a three-level scorer with an excellent motor and nose for the ball. He rebounds at a high rate and moves extremely well without the ball at all times. Hawkins displays great footwork and a nice feel for the game, which allows him to operate in a variety of different roles on either end of the floor. Next in his development process is working to become quicker, as it will make him even more difficult for opponents to contain off the bounce. Coach Wilhelmi on Hawkins: “Jackson plays hard, has a positive attitude, good strength, and is very versatile! He must continue to be coachable and put in the work. If he does, some very good things will happen for him. It was a pleasure coaching a competitor like Jackson.” Hawkins continues to make strides in his game while still maintaining his incredibly productive on-court persona, which should make him a likely contributor next season at North Iredell.
#89: 6’3 ’22 Julius Reese (Glenn)
Next, we look at a player that seems to stand out as the primary leader of every team he’s on, Julius Reese. He’s a smart, fairly well-rounded guard prospect that thrives at getting downhill and attacking, both the rim and midrange area. Reese is unselfish and actively looks to get others involved whenever possible. He rebounds extremely well for a guard and was one of the best off-ball cutters at camp. Reese plays hard and causes havoc with his defensive presence, given how well he defends in all areas. Next in his development process is working on his consistency as a three-point shooter, as it would take his offensive game to an entirely new level. Coach Wilhelmi on Reese: “Julius “Juice” Reese works hard, has natural leadership qualities, and is very coachable. He’s a very versatile guard that can affect the game in a number of ways. He works hard on both ends of the floor. If he stays hungry and coachable, some very good days are ahead of him.” Reese has been a standout performer throughout the last year and looks ready to continue being the unquestioned leader for Glenn during the upcoming high school season.
#101: 6’4 ’20 Jai’Breon Ferguson (Greer Middle College)
Moving onto a player that made quite the impression with his ability to relentlessly penetrate and finish, Jai’Breon Ferguson. He’s a long, athletic wing prospect with a nice two-way feel and the ability to switch across multiple positions defensively. Ferguson has a solid handle and utilizes his body well to finish through contact. He displayed a very nice jumper inside the arc and was able to knock down multiple three-pointers during camp. Ferguson certainly has the motor and two-way presence to be very successful at the next level. Next in his development process is working to become a craftier ball-handler, as it would make him even tougher for opponents to contain off the dribble. Coach Wilhelmi on Ferguson: “Jai’Breon is the epitome of a “slasher” that also has the ability to knock down the open jumper. If his ball-handling improves, his stock will continue to rise. He is very coachable and possesses a positive attitude!” Ferguson enjoyed a very productive showing at camp and appears poised to have a big-time senior season at Greer Middle College.
#116: 6’10 ’20 Jonas Aidoo (Voyager Academy)
Finishing up, we look at a player that stood out as arguably the best long-term prospect in the building, Jonas Aidoo. He’s a long, skilled, athletic big man with a ton of appeal as a next-level prospect. Aidoo is an elite rebounder and rim-protector with truly impeccable defensive timing and instincts. He moves incredibly well for his size and truly embraces his role on both ends of the floor. Aidoo scores the ball nicely from the perimeter and around the basket, but doesn’t force the action or require offensive touches to make a constant impact. Next in his development process is simply playing with more aggression, as he already has all the tools to be a high-level player at the Division I level. Coach Wilhelmi on Aidoo: “Jonas has a chance to be an elite player. There were moments when he dominated the game on both ends of the floor. For a big man, his skill level from the perimeter is quite solid. The best, most developed part of his game is his off-ball defense. He blocked several shots throughout camp. When he plays with intensity, he is a force!” Aidoo has continually trended upward for much of the last year and that only looks likely to continue, given his ability to truly dictate the action on both ends of the floor.