At the beginning of each new year, Phenom Hoops works to assemble a series of articles centered around unsigned senior prospects. Last season, over one hundred players from North Carolina went on to play at the Division I, II, III or NAIA levels, and that number looks likely to continue increasing with the current senior class. Typically, we take a closer look at guys who are overlooked and underrated but today’s edition will highlight Emmanuel Bonsu of Cape Fear Academy and Brookwood Elite.
With the way that basketball is trending, one would imagine Bonsu fitting perfectly with any type of up-tempo program at the highest Division I level. Unfortunately, that simply hasn’t been the case with his recruitment. Despite being a clear leader for Brookwood Elite and Cape Fear Academy, Bonsu has somehow fallen under the radar. His location and summer play for Canadian teams probably works against him, as he doesn’t live somewhere like Charlotte or Raleigh. However, Bonsu can legitimately go toe-to-toe with any of the point guards in North Carolina’s Class of 2020. His IQ, pace, and frame are excellent and pretty easily noticeable, but his polished skillset often gets overlooked. Bonsu is a powerful physical specimen with sharp vision, a tight handle, and the ability to score in a variety of different ways. On top of all that, he’s basically unstoppable in the open floor.
After seeing him at our North Carolina Top 80, we stated: “Moving onto a player that possesses an incredible motor and array of translatable skills, Emmanuel Bonsu. He’s a big, strong, athletic point guard prospect with incredible tools and the ability to physically overwhelm any opponent in his path. Bonsu is an absolute monster in transition and capable of punching it on any victim around the basket. He shows no fear of any opponent and happily welcomes any challenge from the opposition. Bonsu is an excellent defender with particularly impressive on-ball and rebounding instincts, which allow him to secure rebounds and force turnovers at a pretty phenomenal rate. He’s an adequate shooter that can hit shots along the perimeter, but typically prefers to get downhill and attack the basket with strength. Bonsu should already be regarded as a Division I prospect and should start truly dominating throughout the next calendar year.”
Kudos to American for being the first (and only) program to get involved with the strong-bodied point guard. While it would be a steal for American and quality fit for Bonsu, it’s somewhat disappointing that more schools aren’t in pursuit. He checks all the boxes in terms of skill, physique, mentality, and leadership, which is what makes his lack of recruitment so frustrating. That being said, Bonsu has plenty of time to continue proving doubters wrong throughout the remainder of his current high school season and beyond.