How time flies when you’re in this industry… it seems not long ago when you are watching young prospects start their journey in high school and before you know it, we are watching them on television playing either college basketball or even in the NBA. It certainly does go by fast…
That got us thinking and looking back at one player in the Class of 2023, Freddie Dilione, who has had a tremendous rise in the last few years and is now finally being regarded as one of the top players in the country. But it hasn’t been always easy, as Dilione has put in the work.
Rewinding to when we first watched Dilione in action when he was a young prospect at Trinity Christian Academy. A few years ago, when watching Dilione in action, we said “2022 6’5 Freddie Dilione is one to really start tracking for this program as he looks to lead the charge at Trinity Christian.” (Click Here)
At that time, his recruitment was just starting as schools were taking notice of his game and size but he still felt underrated, saying “I say I’m very underrated but that just makes me go even harder.” And not long after that article, Dilione had a breakout performance that we remember so vividly. He was off the charts at the Summer Havoc back in 2020, averaging 25 points at the event and a viral dunk as well. (Click Here)
Even though he was earning interest from several schools at the time, once he announced he was part of the class of 2023, that list started to grow quickly with offers and expanded even more once more schools watched him at Word of God. After that, everything started to take off but the hard work that Dilione put in to develop into one of the premier prospect in the country was impressive and didn’t come easy. Once feeling underrated, Dilione was finally being seen as the player he wanted to be.
Phenom Hoops quickly realized that Dilione was a special talent, even before many national outlets had him ranked. He was ranked as the No. 1 player in North Carolina not long after and as of right now, he has yet to give up that spot. And Dilione has only continued to get better as a player each year. He continues to show that he is a prolific scorer, using his frame to operate in a variety of ways, make plays off the dribble, pull up with range, and finish at the rim. But it is also the other variables in his game that make him special; being able to be a playmaker for others, using his size to impact the boards, guard multiple players, and his balance as a player.
This is why we can’t wait to see what he is capable of doing at the next level at Tennessee. One thing though is for sure, if Dilione continues his trajectory and the hard work he has put in (which we fully expect him to), it is going to be fun to watch him in Knoxville and you will be hearing his name a lot more.