2022 Jayden Epps (Combine Academy): What else can be said than JAYDEN EPPS; the senior showed up one last time on the year for Combine Academy, hitting the game-winner in the championship game and fully taking over in the fourth quarter. Scoring all the team’s points and securing the title was just the icing on the cake for a special weekend from Epps. He continues to be the go-to leader and isn’t afraid whatsoever of the bright lights; in fact, he lives to be in those pressure moments, and he delivered. Epps has been the go-to scorer for Combine all season long and showed that all weekend long in Rock Hill.
2022 Ezra Ausar (Liberty Heights): Ausar had a great showing throughout the weekend and played some of his best basketball this weekend that I’ve personally seen. He was aggressive, he was able to create with the dribble, fight through contact, get to the line, defend multiple positions on the court, and be extremely active on the boards. Ausar really shined with Liberty Heights as a senior and after the weekend he showed, more schools could be coming his way in his recruitment.
2022 Takai Simpkins (Liberty Heights): In all reality, you could put Takai and Tajuan Simpkins names on this list but Takai was one that really captured my eyes. He came up big on several occasions in key games, including against a battle against Word of God. The twins continue to be one of the best duos in the state and we haven’t seen anyone slow them down, as they are relentless in transition, are incredibly athletic, finish well, and are simply playmakers. They both showed that, especially Takai, this past weekend in the Hoop State Championship.
2023 Mayar Wol (Moravian Prep): Without one of Moravian’s key pieces for the tournament, 2023 Mayar Wol really stepped up his game and provided that offensive threat on the court. The long, versatile, and athletic prospect showed more of his complete arsenal offensively, scoring from the perimeter, creating space for himself, rising over defenders, finishing at or around the basket, and being more assertive with his game. Wol gave everyone a glimpse of that in the game against Combine in the Final Four.
2024 Lewis Walker (Winston Salem Christian): Though it wasn’t the outcome that WS Christian wanted, Walker’s 24-point showing was impressive in the first round and I continue to be intrigued with what the future holds for this sophomore forward. Walker continues to outwork his opponents down in the paint, really has a knack for getting his hands on the ball off the boards, and has a tremendous feel for the game with the ball in his hands. You don’t always see a player at his position with his skill set and his ability to operate in an array of ways on the court, especially for a sophomore.
2022 Po’Boigh King (Word of God): It was honestly a great reminder for everyone in how dangerous King can be when he is on the court. Though he missed some time this season for Word of God, he came up big with 26 points in the first round and continues to show that he can produce with his quick release and jumper, from all levels of the floor. But he also showed his ability to get to the rack and finish strong. Though it was a tough loss, King was impressive in what he showed.