Thursday afternoon last week, Phenom Hoops was in the Raleigh area to check in on the talent. After our stop at Word of God, we drove just minutes down the road to check in on NC GBB Academy, a new program that will certainly bring eyes their way this year. Many of these guys we saw this summer and will look to have themselves a big upcoming high school season. Let’s dive into more of what we saw, as NC GBB Academy will have two teams on display this year, the national and regional team.
2022 Willie Lightfoot
Lightfoot comes into North Carolina and certainly is one that will make his presence known on both ends of the floor. Competitive, strong ball-handler, creates well for himself and for others, terrific court awareness, and can be a strong on-ball defender.
2023 Keyon Webb
Webb made his presence this summer and with Lightfoot helping at PG, it will allow Webb to have more scoring opportunities as well. Webb though plays with a strong, physical game. He understands how to create for himself, finish through contact, and can score from multiple levels on the floor. He can help lead the offense but also play off the ball and be more of a scoring option as well.
2023 Tichyque Musaka
Though he wasn’t able to practice, there is no doubt that what Musaka can provide to this team. At 6’11, his size and mobility as a big are impressive, running the floor well, scoring inside as well as being able to step out, and really be a rim protector for this team.
2023 Asa White
White is a known name around NC already but one can see that he has made strides with his game, especially his offensive game down low in the post. Showing off more of his post moves and touch around the rim, White still has that versatile game that allows him to be a matchup problem in several areas of the court.
2023 Caden Bell
Bell comes into the program that will help both on the offensive end and defensive end. Defensively, he showed what he did last year; being a strong defender and getting into an opponent. Offensively, has a nice balance of working as a playmaker for others and for himself, showing a strong feel off the dribble.
2022 Lureon Walker
Walker comes in as a name many saw this summer but could see an uptick being with GBB. Has a natural/smooth feel to his game, plays at a great pace, and is an athletic prospect that can finish at the rim. A skilled prospect that creates opportunities for himself well.
2023 Jajuan Nichols
Jakuan, the older brother of Jalik, has more of an inside presence compared to Jalik. Nichols has a 6’7 frame, plays well inside the arc and around the rim, moves from end to end well, can put the ball on the deck to score, and also makes his impact in blocking shots and on the boards.
2024 Jalik Nichols
Jalik on the other hand is a young 6’5 prospect that has more of that perimeter feel to his game. Can stretch the floor with his perimeter game, comfortable knocking down mid-range jumpers and stretching it out behind the arc. Also runs the floor well, finishing strong at the rim in transition.
2023 Jakel Powell
Powell is a known prospect around the state and at 6’5, he can be a big problem with his offensive arsenal and ability to play multiple positions. He does a terrific job in finding ways to create his shot, especially with his mid-range jumper but also uses his size to his advantage to finish strong.
2022 Broderick Ellis
Ellis could be still considered an under-the-radar type player, especially with what he can provide for this team. Showcased his leadership on this team, and with his 6’8 frame, he does a great job in impacting the floor in many ways that can go unrecognized. He runs the floor well, gets back on defense to block shots, attacks the board, and can step out for his shot. Really like his energy level for this team.
2023 Nigel Okwakol
A name to track, as Okwakol is a 6’5 prospect that brings a strong frame, finishes well around the basket and at the rim, but also brings versatility to the floor. Still a developing prospect but he can make an impact and play multiple positions on the floor.