The Upward Stars Combine was a sensational event, and we at Phenom Hoops want to thank all the staff there for allowing us to check out the talent. Many players from North and South Carolina were on deck, and we got a great refreshing view of players as well as learned about a few new names.
2026 Elton Smith (Cardinal Newman): Smith is a proven big so far, and continues to be a strong presence on the court. Along with his size, Smith continues to add more to his game and understands how strong he can be down low as well as showcase his skillset from outside at times. Smith finished strong time after time at the rim at the event.
2026 Will Bush (Dorman): Bush is a younger forward who continues to show a solid feel in the post. He has a bit of an old-school feel, knowing how to get to his spots, carving out space, showing good feel in the post, and touch over his shoulder. Bush knows how to use his body well in the paint and brings a positive effect to the court when playing.
2025 Teon Tindal (Crestwood): Tindal has been a staple on the Phenom platform over the last year. The 6'8 big forward brings just a strong presence down low. He has the ability to be a consistent force on both ends, and always seems to make a presence on the boards as well as produce offensively when the opportunity is there. Tindal is a strong and physical prospect on the court and showed that at the Combine.
2025 Jones Lay (Atlantic Collegiate Academy): Lay is a newer name that quickly grabbed our attention with his 6'10 frame. He moves well, makes a strong impact with his size, and can be an offensive presence at the rim as well as alter shots defensively. He may not be flashy, but you can't deny his size and the impact he makes on the floor.
2027 Dez Harrington (Cardinal Newman): Harrington is going to be a name that you start hearing more often if you haven't already done so. We have spotlighted him quite a few times, and the young big continues to make strides in his overall feel and development. Harrington continues to show a nice feel and understanding at his size, moves and runs the floor well, and finishes at the rim consistently. But again, this may just be the beginning of what he could be by the end of his high school career.
2025 Clayton Hemingway (Atlantic Collegiate Academy): Hemingway may be a newer name for some, but this is our second time viewing him and what he provides. The 6'6 long, athletic prospect has an intriguing game, as he consistently finished at the rim, moved well on the floor, made a nice impression defensively, and was able to make flashes of his game on multiple levels.