After scouting such a wide variety of talent at the Grassroots Tipoff, we made a list of standouts from both 17U divisions that stood out the most over the course of the weekend.

6'4' SO. Breyon Gaddy

HIGH SCHOOL– Booker T. Washington (Norfolk, VA)

AAU PROGRAM– BWSL-16U (Hampton, VA)

THOUGHTS ON GADDY:

Breyon Gaddy was an absolute BEAST for BWSL-16U at the Grassroots TOC. Heading into the event, we weren't exactly familiar with the big man, but after an impressive weekend of play, and a little additional research, we automatically knew we had to add this rising star to our radar. Playing up in a division tends to be a struggle for some, but Gaddy seemed to thrive against the older competition. In the post, this monster was virtually unstoppable. Right from the start, the 6'4' 300+ pound behemoth went to work. Play after play, Gaddy used his bulldog strength and surprising quickness to work opposing big men deep in the trenches. He displayed phenomenal touch and footwork around the basket, and always seemed to finish with ease. Whenever defenders decided to double-team down low, Gaddy stepped out, set a screen, and buried continuous mid-range jump shots. Simply put, this hoss was an offensive force. On the defensive end, he was just as stellar. Despite being a tad bit undersized, Gaddy caused endless problems for bigs throughout the course of the weekend. He rebounded well, clogged the paint, and never backed down from the competition. His athleticism provided a much-need spark for BWSL-16U during crucial moments of each game. On the gridiron, Gaddy is quite the performer. He is listed as the #23 player in 247Sports class of 2017 (#1 in VA), and currently holds 13 high-caliber D1 offers from the likes of Tennessee and Florida State. Gaddy is a player with endless potential in all aspects of his young athletic career. We are definitely excited to see what the future has in store for this ferocious nose tackle.

 

6'5' SR. Zach Cuthbertson

HIGH SCHOOL– West Craven (Vanceboro, NC)

AAU PROGRAM– New Bern Storm (New Bern, NC)

THOUGHTS ON CUTHBERTSON:

Zach Cuthbertson put on a show for the New Bern Storm at the Grassroots TOC. Following a few early round dominating performances, it was easy to tell the 6'5' unsigned senior came to Greensboro to make his name known. After a long, hard-fought weekend of play, Cuthbertson and his squad battled their way to into Sunday afternoon's 17U Big East Championship Game. We already knew this stud could compete, but we were eager to see how he would perform down the stretch with a title on the line. My man didn't disappoint. Blessed with a 7'2' wingspan, Cuthbertson's freakishly long frame gave him a slight advantage against WCBA Elite-White's backcourt. His blazing speed and abnormal athleticism allowed him to consistently guard every position on the floor. Offensively, Cuthbertson was electric. He attacked the glass with full force, hustled hard, and took control whenever the ball was in his hands. Cuthbertson's high basketball IQ and sensational court vision created momentum on several offensive possessions. His range was also limitless. If he wasn't knocking down deep shots behind the arc, Cuthbertson would put defenders on skates and drive strong to the basket for an astonishing slam. His bounce blew us off our feet. Defensively, Cuthbertson was an opponent's nightmare. He blocked shots, created turnovers, and played that tight on-ball defense that all coaches desire. Cuthbertson isn't the flashiest player, but he's a scrappy, fierce competitor with a dedicated mindset and will to learn. It was shocking to hear this kid was unsigned this late in the year. If he can put on some weight and work on a few pieces of his game, Cuthbertson could definitely excel at the next level. Coaches in need of a last second sign need to pay close attention to this hidden gem.

 

7'1' JR. Raekwon Long

HIGH SCHOOL– Lincoln Charter (Denver, NC)

AAU PROGRAM– PSB Select- Elite (Charlotte, NC)

THOUGHTS ON LONG:

Raekwon Long quickly emerged as one of the top performers from all age divisions at the Grassroots TOC. When we first stepped foot into Proehlific Park late that Friday evening to catch some early round 17U action, this 7'1' brute immediately caught our attention. He was confident, intimidating, and ready to put in work. Long is a player with an extraordinarily gifted skill set on both ends the floor. On offense, he was fantastic. Possession after possession, Long dropped buckets. His skyhook and beautiful post moves were absolutely lethal. Opposing defenders continuously struggled with Long throughout the course of the event. He was a post presence that no one wanted to deal with. If the hook shots weren't falling, Long used his size and strength to draw countless amounts of fouls, sending him to the line for a chance at an easy two points. Defensively, Long put opposing bigs on lockdown. His versatility and long body allowed him to control the paint on every defensive possession. Long swatted shots left and right, rebounded strong, and moved quick for a player of his size/build. With over 80 college coaches in attendance, Long definitely raised his recruiting stock a bit. North Carolina's class of 2016 is filled with some of the nation's most talented players. If Long can stay out of foul trouble and effectively expand his game outside of the post, he could easily climb to the top of the rankings. Lincoln Charter is in for a treat next season. Keep an eye out for this young gun in the coming years.

OTHER NOTABLE 17U STANDOUTS:

Andrien White– River City Reign- Wright

Brandon Gaddy– BWSL-16U

Davion Mintz– Charlotte Nets

Devonnte Holland– Spectrum Sports Academy

Jack Konstanzer– NC Blazers

Jay Huff– Carolina Flyers

Nico Payne– Charlotte Royals

Parker Julian– PSB Select- Elite

Patrick Tape– PSB Select- Gold

Ray Kowalski– PSB Select- Elite