by: Ethan Reece
2026s Jaquan Clay and Cole Cloer (Carolina Rockets)Can’t mention one of these guys without the other. They both are big and athletic forwards that have hit the early growth spurts, blessed with the natural ability to score. Even for young 2026s, they were men amongst boys as they flew around in their press getting steals and breaking out in transition. While eventually others will catch up athletically, these guys will be leaps and bounds ahead with more time to master their coordination.
2025 Torr Sorenson (SWV Hustle)As the event seems to be filled with versatile bigs, one name that can’t be left out is Torr’s. Definitely the best rebounder I saw on the day, occupying his role as a natural ball hawk getting putbacks. And given the positionless cutting offense his team ran, he showcases the ability to both find others and handle the ball, making good decisions with the ball in his hands.
2026 Max VanWeerdhizen (Carolina Impact)You can’t put words how important Max is to his team. He’s the glue guy, floor general, playmaker, and all of the above. For such a young PG, he’s incredibly decisive playing with pace and getting to his spots, whether downhill to the basket or pulling up for the mid-range. He came away with my favorite play of the entire day, as he dove 10 or more feet for the loose ball the opponent had rolled up the court. He nabbed the possession and came up clutch down the stretch hitting free throws to seal the win and advance to the ship.
2023 Brock Rose (Team Synergy)Without a doubt, Brock had the smoothest game I saw on the day, dishing out stone-cold buckets. He’s so fluid with the ball in his hands, never does anything too fancy to turn it over but has an array of moves to get by others. His pullup is so quick and effortless, he also has the feel and IQ to stop on a dime and fake for the step through as well after killing defenders with the jumper.
2025 Christopher Eagen (Charlotte Dragons)I was surprised to see Christopher was a 2025, as he battled extremely hard against some very athletic bigs from the Game Changers. He simply outworked opponents possession after possession chasing down rebounds and running the court. With so much time left in his journey, there’s exponential room for growth.