Each summer season, the grassroots basketball community is presented with an opportunity to reevaluate the eighth-grade prospects as the begin the start of their high school journey. While it’s typically too early to place levels on prospects, we can certainly identify the players who are already worth noting as potential stars. Some kids received varsity experience while others stood out for their middle school, but greatness has stemmed from both categories. Let’s take a closer look at some of those guys…
6’5 Addison Newkirk (Team CP3)
Arguably the safest bet on this list, the 6-foot-5 Newkirk is already a proven leader on the varsity level. His combination of IQ, size, and skill made him the most productive eighth-grader across the entire state. Newkirk is very versatile and possesses an innate all-around feel for the game, making him a matchup problem for all types of opposing wings/forwards. His 16 PPG, 7 RPG, and 3 APG led to an All-Conference selection while subsequently putting everyone on notice for what to expect for the foreseeable future.
6’7 Zymicah Wilkins (Heat Elite)
It’s extremely difficult to imagine many prospects in the country with more tangible upside than Wilkins, who was already quite advanced as a seventh-grader. That being said, he’s only gotten better and better over the last eighteen months. Though expected, Wilkins physical growth has possibly been the most vital part of his development. He was already extremely polished on the block and showcased IQ, touch, and footwork with consistency. Wilkins has also shown incredible improvements as a creator, shooter, and overall perimeter threat. He has all the tools to become a high-level prospect.
5’9 Q Williams (Team CP3)
Joining Newkirk as the only other eighth-grade varsity contributor listed, Williams already made a lasting impression as one of the smartest players across the state. As a leader and floor general, he had no issue running the team in a savvy, sophisticated manner and securing an All-Conference selection in the process. Williams’ feel for the game cannot be described as anything other than special. His ability to see things unfold so many steps ahead of others is truly unique. Although slightly undersized, Williams is an elite playmaker, efficient scorer, and deceptive defender with great anticipation. Expect continued success with Williams at the helm.
6’5 Sadiq White (Team Eat)
After walking away more impressed with each viewing, it’s fair to say White has as much upside as anyone in the class. For a fluid, legitimate 6-foot-5 wing prospect, he already possesses a long list of favorable tools—both physically and in terms of skill. White is versatile enough to do virtually everything on the court, from creating and scoring to rebounding and defending multiple positions. He’s capable of making high-level plays appear routine. White is very talented at an early stage, but he might not even realize just how phenomenal he could become in the coming years.
6’4 Jackson Keith (Durham Hurricanes)
Though it should come as no surprise that the Durham Hurricanes’ organization has another notable young prospect, Keith has as much ability as any of their previous stars at the same stage. He’s already quite skilled and shows the understanding of how to dominate a game on either end of the floor, but his combination of size and fluidity is arguably even more appealing. At 6-foot-4, Keith truly looks, moves, and plays like a guard. Add in the fact that he’s just scratching the surface and others should be genuinely worried about his continued growth. It’s early, but Keith will certainly be another name worth noting from the storied program.