This past weekend, Phenom Hoops traveled out to the Sportsplex in Greensboro, North Carolina for the annual CP3 Rising Stars Camp. The two-day event is known for bringing in the best rising freshmen across the country, pitting them against each other, and seeing who rises to the top. Anyone who has ever attended should already know the validity of what it means to be included amongst so many notable names from throughout the years. Although being invited certainly holds merit, it doesn’t decide a player’s fate. The state of North Carolina had a total of seventeen representatives at camp, with four coming from the Triad area. This article will take a closer look at each (with the addition of another freshman who didn’t attend but could’ve easily stood out amongst his peers) …
6’6 Addison Newkirk (Greensboro Day)
Although folks should be pretty knowledgeable about Addison Newkirk, another reminder couldn’t hurt. His combination of IQ, size, and skill immediately puts him in uncommon territory as a 14-year-old prospect. Add in his varsity production as an eighth-grader for Caldwell, flashes of greatness with Team CP3, and decision to transfer to Greensboro Day School, and Newkirk has put himself in a position to be very successful over the foreseeable future. Unlike most freshmen, he actually found various ways to contribute and produce with the Bengals during the June Live Period. Newkirk possesses obvious star-like potential, and should steadily develop into a high-level prospect within the coming years.
6’5 Zacch Wiggins (Grimsley)
Like the previous entry, we’ve covered Zacch Wiggins at length, detailing his pending ascension into becoming the next notable athlete to attend Grimsley High School. He’s long, skilled, and athletic with toughness, adaptability, and excellent two-way feel. Wiggins already looks more than comfortable operating as a creator and applying scoring pressure from multiple levels, but can also make an impact without necessarily requiring the ball in his hands. His length already seems to bother opponents as a defender and rebounder, which allows him to regularly force turnovers and make plays in transition. Wiggins has the size, skill, physical tools, and basketball lineage to be one of the safest young prospects to bet on. Expect him to be a major contributor as a freshman.
6’1 Jacari Brim (Atkins)
There are plenty of prospects who have gone on to play for their parent at the high school level, and Jacari Brim looks likely to be the next notable name to fit that bill. Although his father coaches at Atkins, Brim’s talent and ability will warrant playing time—not any relation to the staff. Throughout the summer, he could be found shining as a constant asset for Team CP3. Brim was among their most reliable, consistent scorers, defenders, and overall creators. He’s smart, quick, and polished, making him a pretty difficult matchup for most guards at this stage. Brim can create his own shot or set up others, but has no issue asserting himself from all levels within the flow of the action. He has the ability to be a leader immediately upon entering campus.
5’9 Q Williams (Forsyth Country Day)
It should really be unsurprising to see Q Williams appear on this list, especially given how much buzz has surrounded his name over the last calendar year. He’s on an extremely short list of the top, most brilliant passers from North Carolina within recent memory. Sure, Williams is slightly undersized but it’s difficult to say anything other than positives when he effortlessly dictates the action, chops up the opposition, and truly gets wherever he wants on the floor. He’s one of the few active players who actually seems to see the game multiple possessions ahead of others. If Williams wants a specific teammate to get the ball in a scoring position, it will happen. After being the main floor general for Forsyth Country Day (as an eighth-grader), folks should expect him to be even better going forward.
6’2 Jerron Blackwell (Page)
Last but certainly not least, Jerron Blackwell was the lone player on this list who didn’t attend the prestigious camp. However, he is as (if not more) talented than various guys from the weekend. Regardless, Blackwell should already be a known figure within the grassroots scene. Between his last four to five months with Page (only in June) and Team Bond, it really shouldn’t be much of a hot-take to consider him amongst the top freshmen in the state. He’s already so smart, poised, and mature on the court, which allows him to control the action as a steady, reliable game manager from the point guard position. Blackwell is a consistent scoring option from all levels, but typically looks to run the offense and pick his spots as needed. He should immediately stand out as a top contributor for the Pirates.