There's so much that goes into being a noteworthy high school basketball prospect. For some, it's highlight-reel explosion, crafty ball-handling skills, or massive scoring totals. Each player has their own unique identity, but talent, mentality, and work ethic are ultimately the biggest separators in determining who will reach their ceiling. This is often difficult to conclude, particularly for middle and high school-aged kids, simply because there are so many variables that must be taken into account. That being said, it's easy to see why folks throughout the country already know about Josh Leonard and his incredible appeal as an overall prospect.
Still only 14-years old, Leonard is currently next in line to carry the torch for the state of South Carolina. He already possesses maturity, high IQ, all-around ability, and an incredible array of physical tools. Earlier this summer, Leonard could be seen playing up multiple age groups for Upward Stars and not only contributing, but regularly dominating as the best player on the floor. He's quite comfortable at making an impact and finding opportunities with or without the ball in his hands. Leonard is a reliable playmaker, rebounder, and scorer from all levels. He has a keen sense of how to assert himself within the flow of the action, yet always seems ready to apply constant pressure. Leonard moves extremely well, both for his size and age, and possesses great athleticism at this stage in his development. There's really nothing he's uncomfortable doing, which is a rarity for the vast majority of freshmen.
It’s pretty clear that playing varsity basketball as an eighth-grader and performing at a notable level is indicative of a potentially special prospect. Leonard has shown a ton of talent, both in the high school and travel ball seasons, but still possesses considerable upside as a long-term prospect. Right now, he's tracking as one of the top overall prospects in the Carolinas (regardless of class) and has all the intangibles to continue trending upward. Expect the 6-foot-6 wing to climb national rankings, collect a ton of offers, and continue progressing at a rapid rate. Leonard truly possesses all the makings of a special player.