2022 6’3 Judah Ravenell (Grindhouse Lakers): The sturdy big guard led his team to start Day 2 at the Phenom Challenge. Ravenell brings a physical feel, using his strong frame to go through defenders and get into the paint or create space. But he also showed nice patience and feel with his game. Stepped up big for his team.
2023 6’2 Conall Lowry (Bigger than Basketball): Lowry is a new name for many, but he came out and really showed his ability to be an effective knockdown shooter on the court. Time after time, he showed his ability to be a threat from the perimeter, eventually hitting seven three-pointers but also creating well off the dribble, as he led the charge with 31 points early on Day 2.
2023 6’4 Gabriel Tooper (Fort Mill Force): Tooper continues to have a strong showing in the event. When you watch this young man’s game, one of the first things you see is his confidence in his perimeter game. Tooper has a confident and smooth shooting stroke, knocking down mid-range shots and scoring well around the basket but also making his opponent pay from the free-throw line.
2024 Jaylen Sturdivant (Sandhills Machine): When coming over to watch a very talented Sandhills Machine team, Sturdivant immediately stood out with his 6’4 body but one that was running the offense. He showed his ability to get the offense started or push in transition but also being able to create for himself as well. He used his size extremely well and was able to get to his spots or finish well over defenders.
2024 Nicholas Westmoreland (Dream Big Elite): Westmoreland is one that consistently shows his ability to score the ball. Whether it is his jumper or putting it on the deck and creating for himself, Westmoreland finds ways to put the ball in the basket even when the defense is looking to slow him down. Has a natural feel in getting our defenders and make the right decision on his shot selection.
2023 Addison Archer (Team Hickory): Archer continues to attract the attention of many, being now in the big spotlight and showing just exactly what he can provide. We already know about his athleticism, his shot-blocking capability, his ability to get on the boards, and his presence around the basket. But with the addition of his perimeter game and being more fluid in creating off the dribble, Archer should only attract more eyes his way with his game.
2024 5’11 Tavaris Bell (Upward Stars Columbia): Bell is a new name personally for me but the 5’11 guard really displayed his playmaking on both ends. On several occasions, he was able to turn his defense into offense and he was lightning quick out in the open floor, slashing through the defense and getting to the bucket.
2024 6’3 Derrick Benbow Jr. (East Coast AllStars): Benbow Jr. was aggressive and assertive all game long, creating well off the dribble, showing his burst of speed to get by defenders and getting the basket along with great body control. With his explosive game and energy, Benbow was a dominant piece for his team and really showcased his athleticism.
2023 6’5 Richard Poole (Go Hard): At 6’5, Poole really brings a nice versatility to the floor for his team. He is comfortable in operating and getting the offense going, finding his teammates and handling the pressure, but also uses his size well in being a scoring factor. The young man continues to make strides and add new pieces to his game every time we get a chance to see him.
2025 5’9 Derek Rivers Jr. (Team Chemistry 15u): Rivers was shooting the ball absolutely lights out early on in the day. He ended up with 29 points and knocked down eight 3-pointers in the win. He showed patience on the floor, didn’t force his shots, but also oozed confidence with his perimeter shooting, most of the time barely touching the rim. Terrific shooting display.
2025 5’10 Drew Johnson (Team PUSH NC): Johnson is going to be name you continue to hear throughout the rest of his high school career. Why? Because this is a smooth operating point guard that understands how to lead, be effective with the ball in his hands, and create for himself and others. He is one you just want to have the ball in his hands to make plays especially with his IQ; plays like a veteran on the floor.