Covering Prospective Student-Athletes in the SouthEast US and beyond
Mint Hill, NC – I went to the Elite 48 hosted by Percy Wright of LBI last year in Charlotte under less stressful conditions. For those who don’t know I live in Jacksonville, FL. I try to plan my travel usually at least a week in advance and I wasn’t able to do that this time. Thankfully Charlotte is only a 6 hour drive so waiting until the last minute was possible. Definitely was a good reason to evacuate for a few days and see some good talent in a well run event.
The event began with trainer Jody Patton of Kingdom of Development putting the players through warmup drills and exercises. They then went through a series of 1 on 1, 2 on 2 and 3 on 3. Each time the winners at each basket met for a final round with the group watching. This is something they carried over from last year and an enjoyable component of the event. Some players thrive in these different setting and then don’t show as well in the 5 on 5 portion. Others don’t look as good in these environments but excel in the full court portion, so seeing players in both settings really helps in making good evals.
Approximately 100 players participated in the event and I thought at a minimum ⅓ of all participants had a good chance based on their current talent and ability to make it to D-1 if they so choose.
These players in particular caught my eye for 1 reason or another. In fairness there was a small group of players I did not see (maybe 20), simply because of time spent watching the other 80 players enough to make a good eval.
High School (2021-2019) –
Loyal McQueen – 5’7 PG/CG – 2020 – SC 76ers – Wilson HS (SC) – How can you not like Loyal? She’s a coach’s dream. She takes a lot of pride defensively. In the half court 3 on 3 portion she really worked hard to help her teammates with her off the ball D and talking loudly and repetitively to get stops. Offensively this lefty is a smooth slasher with some perimeter game. She shoots the ball cleanly and effortlessly from 3.
Destini Abramson-Lee – 5’7 PG – 2020 – Team Lady Wall – SE Raleigh Magnet HS (NC) – I tweeted that she played like she was having fun and that was true, seemed like she was always smiling. Offensively she did alot of things well with the ball in her hands. She’s a capable ball handler and hit some nice mid range shots while finishing in a variety of ways around the basket. There was some over dribbling, but in this setting with limited structure that’s to be expected.
Jeriel Nebbett – 5’9 SG/SF – 2020 – Lady Knights – TW Andrews HS (NC) – Went head to head defensively with Loyal McQueen and more than held her own. Did a good job of keeping the ball in front of her and was able to pressure the ball effectively. Has good size and athleticism and with more polished skills offensively could develop into a big time prospect. Her grit, determination and motor make her someone to monitor that might currently be well below the radar.
Nyah Leveretter – 6’3 PF – 2020 – SC 76ers – Westwood HS (SC) – I chatted with Nyah for a few minutes after one of her games and she is just a nice, friendly kid with a great demeanor, very pleasant to speak to. Her game for opponents is not pleasant. At 6’3 and athletic, Nyah has the ability to grab defensive rebounds and take them the length of the floor and score. I saw her do this 3 times and successfully finish the layup. Of course she had a multitude of offensive rebound finishes and easy baskets around the bucket, but the coast to coast ability is really impressive.
Anayah Rice – 5’9 PG/CG – 2019 – Club Team?? – Legacy Early College (SC) – Another player that I suspect is flying well below the radar. The more I watched Anayah the more I appreciated her game. She has a long athletic frame especially for a PG, had some especially nice dimes after getting by her defender, displayed nice form on her jump shot and had some fancy footwork around the basket that post players would be envious of.
Kemia Ward – 6’2 PF – 2019 – Hoop Dreams Athletics – McEachern (GA) – I saw something on twitter a few weeks back where an adult wrote something negative about this kid as a player. Obviously my first thought then was wow, that wasn’t very nice or mature to do that. But then I saw this kid play and she was legitimately good. Like a high level D-1 prospect good, got up and down the floor fairly quickly, elevated to rebound and finished very consistently with good size and athleticism. So totally off base comments on twitter, this kid can play.
Dazia Lawrence – 5’8 CG – 2019 – 1 Dream – Mallard Creek (NC) – One of the top 2019s in NC, maybe the top but what I truly enjoyed about her was standing next to her on the bench. She sat in the last seat but was really into every play, coaching her teammates in the most positive way possible. She really knew what was going on, so pretty much all the things she was telling them was on the money. Her explosiveness and scoring ability is impressive, but to have a player that positive and that knowledgeable to go with the talent is impressive. Hopefully she’s this engaged and positive all the time.
Other Standouts –
Kennedy Cash – 5’8 SG – 2019 – Team Phoenix Busby – Ardrey Kell (NC) – Blue collar, does a lot of little things.
Azriela Folkes – 6’0 SF – 2019 – SC Lady Raptors Elite – Woodmont (SC) – Bouncy athlete, raw w/ good upside.
Jadah Shears – 5’9 SG – 2020 – Hoop Dreams Athletics – Hickory Ridge (NC) – Athletic slasher, Gets to the rim.
Jordan McLaughlin – 5’6 PG – 2019 – 1 Dream – Phillip O Berry (NC) – Skilled PG with flashy handles, creates opportunities for others & self, standout.
Mallorie Haines – 5’9 SG – 2021 – Team Lady CLT – Bandys (NC) – Big time shooter, with good size, one of the top 2021s in NC.
Erica Neveah Caldwell – 5’8 PG – 2021 – FBC – Mallard Creek (NC) – Explosive PG, one of the top 2021s in NC. Legit top 50 player maybe higher.
Jamia Blake – 5’8 CG – 2020 – 1 Dream – Southpointe (SC) – Solid playmaker, plays hard, good skills. Plays with confidence.
Michelle Ojo – 5’10 SG – 2021 – NC Spartans – Ardrey Kell (NC) – Perimeter skills are developing and she’s got a great athletic frame with good body control.
Quadijah Moore – 6’0 PF – 2019 – SC 76ers – Emerald (SC) – Physically strong with perimeter skills including a nice 3 point jumpshot.
Middle School (2022-2024) –
Mia Xerras – 2023 – NC
Anala Nelson – 2022 – SC
Zakiyah Moss – 2022 – SC
Saniya Wilson – 2022 – NC
Chandler Brooks – 2023 – NC
Ashlyn Watkins – 2022 – SC
Zoey Ward – 2022 – NC
Peris Smith – 2023 – GA
Keona Curtis – 2024 – GA
Trinity Moreland – 2022 – NC
Zuri Goldsberry – 2023 – GA