At the Phenom Stay Positive, it was a great opportunity to view some of the younger prospects in the Class of 2024 and 2025 in the region and there were certainly plenty of standouts. So, we look back at a few names that really impressed us over the weekend and ones that you should start monitoring NOW, as they could be the next rising stars around the area.

2024 Jamaal Phatty (THG): Phatty may have been the most surprising new name that captured our eyes, as the 6’7 prospect had a tremendous tournament.  Coming from Germany, Phatty showed that he can be a difference-maker on both ends of the floor, blocking shots with his length and athleticism while also showing tremendous fluidity and skill on offense.  He was throwing down several impressive dunks but he also screams versatility with his handles, ability to create and make plays, and smooth feel for the game early on.

2024 Ryan Lewis (Charlotte Royals): Lewis continues to be a name that pops up tournament after tournament.  He is an aggressive scorer and produces every time he steps on the court.  He shows that he can score from multiple areas, create for himself, finish through contact, and makes his team better on the floor.  It looks like he has a bright future and should be a name that many should write down for the future.

2025 Hayes Oxendine (East Carolina Elite): Oxendine was one of the better young shooters at the tournament, as he displayed a terrific ability to knock down shots from the perimeter.  There isn’t a spot on the floor that he believes he can’t knock down a shot.  What was really impressive was his ability to let it fly off the catch, showing tremendous confidence from behind the arc and knocking down multiple threes throughout the tournament.

2025 Q Williams (CP3): Williams may be one of the more well-known players in his class already but that isn’t a surprise with him making an impression at Forsyth Country Day.  The young point guard already has a tremendous feel for the game; he sees the floor well, makes plays for others, and is an effective scorer as well.  Williams is a special talent and looks to be a popular name already in North Carolina and should only continue throughout his years.

2024 Paul McNeil (Garner Road): There will certainly be discussions surrounding McNeil and his game and where he may land as far as rankings in the class of 2024 in North Carolina.  But there isn’t a doubt that he will be up near the top, as he has a lot of early tools that attract your eyes. First off, it is his size at 6’6 already but then you add the combination of IQ, his ability to score and knock down shots from all levels, his ability to defend and rebound, and how he can create for himself, McNeil looks to be yet another special talent in a loaded 2024 class.

2024 Rakease Passmore (NLPB): It may sound like we are repeating ourselves with Passmore, as he was one of the best we saw at the event but when we are talking about rising young stars, he has to be on this list as well.  There aren’t many out there that have his athleticism, his bounce, and downhill ability; he is just starting his story with his game.  Passmore is going to be up there with McNeil as one of the top prospects in the class, which is why schools are already coming his way.

2025 Kody Frey (Save Sports Elite 2025-NC): Frey already has the DNA to be a big-time player, being the son of Coach Kevin Frey who is now at Apex HS and was a former player at Xavier.  As far as Kody goes though and his game, he has a smooth handle, a great frame early on, tremendous IQ and vision, and can be a knockdown shooter on the court along with finishing with his length. 

2025 Bryce Baker (Team BOND 2025): Baker could be one that some may not know of yet but he opened a few more eyes this weekend in Bermuda Run.  He helped lead the charge for Team BOND 2025 on their way to the championship, especially with his scoring ability; something that is impressive with his 5’9 frame.  He is still young but he has a good skill set and understanding early on, pushes the ball well in transition, and really showed how he can score in a variety of ways.

2024 Cameron McKinney (Team HOPE): Every time we watch McKinney in action, the first thing you immediately notice is his motor as he is non-stop on the court.  McKinney simply competes everywhere he is on the floor, moving well on both ends, guarding multiple positions, diving for loose balls, and scoring well around the basket.  He continues to grab our attention each time we watch and it looks like this is a young man to really start taking seriously in the class of 2024 in NC.