5’9 ’24 Morgan Smith (Ben L. Smith)
It’s easy to see the value Smith brings to this Golden Eagles squad, especially given her status as their primary ball-handler and overall creator. She’s a very tough, rugged, polished lead guard with a quick first step and the ability to fill it up as a scorer or create for others. Smith attacked the basket and finished, but also hit pull-ups at a high percentage and proved to be a respectable shooter from beyond the arc. She plays well through contact and rebounds effectively for her size/position.
6’3 ’26 Janiya Milligan (Andrews)
Despite being the youngest contributor for either team, Milligan highlighted a ton of appealing qualities. She possesses phenomenal size, mobility, and coordination, especially for her age, and already understands how to impact the game without requiring a lot of touches. Milligan protects the rim, finishes as needed, and controls the glass on both ends of the floor. She also plays well through contact, draws fouls at a healthy rate, and converts at the line. Milligan displays great feel around the basket. She will certainly be one to keep an eye on going forward.
5’11 ’24 KJ Burke (Ragsdale)
Although the Tigers were missing one of their key pieces, Burke was quick to step up and make a huge impact in this showing. He’s a knockdown three-point shooter who can spot-up or reliably attack off the bounce. Burke can initiate, contain his assignment defensively, and rebound nicely for his size. He’s able to force turnovers and make his presence felt in transition.
6’3 ’25 Snook Peterkin (Mount Tabor)
Given everything he’s shown this season, it would be extremely difficult to walk away feeling anything other than impressed with Peterkin and his overall identity. He’s a long, wiry, bouncy, shot-making guard prospect who possesses an excellent blend of IQ, size, polish, and athleticism. Generally speaking, Peterkin gets wherever he wants off the bounce. He’s a quality three-level scorer and capable playmaker who looks to set up others whenever possible. Peterkin is a high-level football player, but he could easily fetch Division I offers should he choose to pursue college basketball.
6’3 ’26 Adam Grier (High Point Christian)
Though young, there’s already a lot to like about Grier. Between his IQ, feel, and well-rounded ability, he’s quite productive on both ends of the floor. For this group, Grier operates as a primary ball-handler and creator who sets up others with consistency, but can also score at an efficient rate from all levels. He utilizes his body well when attacking and looking to finish through contact, and on the defensive side of the ball. Grier makes intelligent decisions with the ball in his hands, but also understands how to make plays without the ball. He defends and rebounds his position well.
6’2 ’25 CJ Neely (Ben L. Smith)
Between the two days, Neely has arguably been as impressive and productive as anyone on the Golden Eagles’ roster. He’s a tough, high-motor guard who naturally does a little bit of everything on the court. Neely can pass, score, handle the ball, make plays defensively, and outwork his assignment on the glass. He displays IQ and a scrappy approach on both ends of the floor. Given the fact that he’s only a sophomore, folks should expect Neely to steadily emerge as a leader for this group.
6’2 ’23 Will Gray (East Forsyth)
Though it should come as no surprise to anyone who has watched East Forsyth, Gray continues to absolutely dominate. No player in the state burdens more responsibility on a nightly basis, point blank. Gray does literally everything to make an impact as an all-around leader for this group. Whether carrying the scoring load, getting others involved, or setting the tone as a defender and rebounder, he truly does it all. There’s really nothing negative one could possibly point out about his overall identity. Even though he’s already committed to UNCP, Gray deserves every bit of acknowledgment he should receive throughout the course of the high school season.
6’3 ’26 Dane Cassada (Calvary Day)
In terms of players in North Carolina’s Class of 2026, Cassada continues to be a name worthy of noting. He’s a smart, sturdy, highly skilled guard prospect with excellent vision and knockdown ability as a shooter from midrange or beyond the arc. Cassada is capable of initiating the offense or dictating the action with the ball in his hands, but also causes a ton of problems for opponents with his spot-up presence. He’s a great decision-maker who looks to make the best possible play but understands how to take advantage of scoring chances. Cassada displays nice defensive instincts and provides consistent effort on the glass.
6’2 ’24 Zion Walker (The Burlington School)
Without sounding like a broken record, Walker continues to warrant a ton of attention—both from spectators and college coaches alike. It’s easy to see why his recruitment has picked up, as the strong, physical guard has been nothing short of incredible for the Spartans. He gets downhill whenever he wants and possesses the necessary blend of strength, toughness, and body control to finish pretty much anything he attempts around the basket. Walker hits jumpers at a consistent clip, sets up others, and makes a steady impact on the glass. He’s a nice defender who welcomes physicality and forces turnovers at a healthy rate. All the buzz surrounding Walker is completely justified.