by: Ethan Reece

2026 Josiah Johnson-Freeman (CC Elite)
In the truest sense of the term, Josiah really is a stretch wing. He’s got great size with his athleticism at this age, and even as a leading scorer he leaves an impact on all the other aspects of the game. His ability to handle the ball and initiate offensive possessions puts other bigs in uncomfortable positions and he has a controlled explosiveness to be able to stop on a dime and rise up for the mid range jumper, hitting them at a high rate whereas others shy away from even taking them.

2026 Luke Sigmund (Pro One TN)
In terms of young bigs, you couldn’t ask for one that operates better and knows what works. He positions himself optimally and gets to his go to hook, utilizing his length to score with his back to the basket and over his shoulder. His speed and efficiency inside comes from the foundational footwork basis of simple drop steps without wasting a dribble, and there’s no doubt he’ll continue to frustrate opponents with the simplest of things.

2026 Victor Peral (NC Rise)
As an eighth grader getting good experience playing up on a competitive team, Victor has made gradual progress. His feel for the game and awareness in the lane is noticeably more purposeful from his timid nature he started the season with. As he gets stronger and more aggressive, there’s a lot of potential to look forward to with him impacting multiple facets of the game. Just to signify his growing confidence, he capped off last night’s win with a poster dunk.

2025 Howard Williams (Team United GSO)
Depending on the makeup of teams and their size, it’s important to have a guy like Howard who go out there and be a dog on both ends. Howard accepts this as well as tough defensive assignments on bigger guys with a competitive fire, because even as the biggest guy on his team he’s really a guard. But he uses his athleticism to it’s fullest, and seemingly comes up everywhere with rebounds, loose balls, or simply making the necessary play.

2025 Alex Walker (Pro One TN)
When you talk about a guy being a presence around the rim, most people will typically just think of dunking. But Alex had a high level of activity around the rim following one of the golden rules, follow your shot. The rim crashing wiry post made a living naturally gravitating towards the goal and providing value with tips, boards and deflections. And even though valuable and effective, shoutout to his team for hitting the 3-ball at a high clip as well, making his services on a need-be basis.

2026 Michael Williams (Future Kings)
There’s a lot of qualities Michael has that you just can’t teach. He’s got a streetball swagger to his game, pulling off moves that will dazzle you while consistently finishing them. And he plays with an intensity and toughness that only comes from the natural mindset and approach of a player. He was practically unstoppable in transition, breaking out like a loose cannon and showing off a balancing act around the rim with his body.