Dallas, Tx — 2021 Season Premiere, presented by Jermaine O’Neal and Coast2Coast Preps, was a talent-filled event with the best middle school teams and players from all over the country. This tournament gave me the opportunity to see the next…
Dallas, Tx — 2021 Season Premiere, presented by Jermaine O’Neal and Coast2Coast Preps, was a talent-filled event with the best middle school teams and players from all over the country. This tournament gave me the opportunity to see the next wave of ballers that will be taking over the high school basketball scene in the next few years. The 2021 Season Premiere consisted of every type of prospect, lights-out shooters, true big men, lockdown defenders, athletic freaks, and highly skilled guards. These 7th-graders stood out and were some of the most outstanding players in the entire gym, game in and game out. Let’s take a look at the top performers in the Class of 2026.
Maleek Simeus Maleek Simeus 5'10" | PG NV | Las Vegas, NV | Class of 2026
Maleek Simeus Maleek Simeus 5'10" | PG NV is known as one of the most dynamic scoring point guards of his class. He’s a score-first baller that plays with a true killer mentality. During this event, Maleek was at his best, wreaking havoc upon any team he faced. The Houston Hoops guard showed a natural ability to create offense for himself as well as others. He’s an outstanding ball-handler that can control the tempo and break down his man before slicing through the defense for a layup. A highly creative player with the ball in his grip, very controlled handle, impressive footwork, can get his own shot at any moment, and also get to the rack effortlessly where he’s a crafty finisher with either hand. This young man was supremely problematic when isolated out on the wing. Not only did Maleek display the ability to get to any spot on the court, but he also showed that he can score at a high level from anywhere as well just by using his stop on a dime pull-up jumper and his fearless slasher instincts. In transition, he was near unstoppable, displaying tremendous open court speed and quickness, he was very elusive, and changed directions with ease. Defensively, Simeus excelled, consistently finding a way to knock the ball loose and force a turnover, showing off his potential to develop into a great defensive stopper someday. Remember the name Maleek Simeus Maleek Simeus 5'10" | PG NV , he’s a player that can be extremely effective from both guard positions, he appeared to be the most complete and most skilled prospect of his class in the tournament.
Jayden Joesph | Miami, FL | Class of 2026
Jayden Joesph made his presence felt as soon as the ball went into the air. The Miami native played with good aggression and physicality, showing no fear when battling down low amongst the big boys and initiating contact when driving into the teeth of the defense. If Joesph wasn’t drawing a foul, he was using his smooth footwork, usually, a euro-step, to get inside before finishing with a layup at the basket. There was no stopping him from getting into the paint. His knack for completing layups at the hoop was tremendous and a huge staple in every game; Jayden showed great poise, concentration, and touch each time attacked the lane. This high motor prospect displayed a fantastic nose for the ball, his timing when going after the rock was impressive, and seemed a bit quicker than everyone else. He continuously found a way to get the ball no matter what he had to do, whether it was hustling and diving for looses balls or going after any rebound in his vicinity. Jayden’s a strong, solid built kid with good size, strength, and big hands. He knew how to use his length to his advantage when contesting shots, shooting layups, and grabbing boards, Joesph consistently got a hand on the ball when it came off the rim. Jayden Joesph is one of those guys that doesn’t need set plays to get him open or to get the ball in his hands, he’ll get it off the glass and score one way or another.
Xavier Green | The Colony, TX | Class of 2026
Xavier Green played out of his mind at the Season Premiere using his lightning-quickness and shiftiness to score in an abundance of ways and get to basketball at will. He easily got his defenders off-balance with his elite ball skills, showing that he can stop and start on a dime and make quick combo dribble moves that either opened the lane or created the space he needed to get a shot off, and he did it all without over dribbling. When it came it shooting, he was a knockdown shot maker that scored from all three levels efficiently while displaying a nice shooting form, high release point, and good elevation. Xavier Green looked as if he could get his shot off against just about anyone that you put in front of him. He shot the ball exceptionally well off the dribble and when spotting up from deep. This crafty point guard played with a high basketball IQ, he went out there and dropped dimes all over the place, fitting the ball through tight windows, and setting his teammates up with easy and open shots. Very impressive court vision, if you’re open he’s going to find you. As a defender, Green had a great defensive presence, he was in full-on lockdown mode both on the perimeter and in the post, he focused in on his man and made sure to take them out of the game with his glue-like defense. He stayed all over his opponent, didn’t give any breathing room, or give up anything easy, even if it meant running from one side of the court to the other just to contest or block a shot. I loved the motor and attitude Xavier Green played with, he brought a lot of energy and emotion for his team that rubbed off on all of them and pushed his guys to the top.
Tim Winkler | Napervile, IL | Class of 2026
Tim Winkler was one of the tallest prospects in the building. He’s a long lean player with the widest wingspan and longest-standing reach I saw all weekend. Winkler’s use of his size made it easy for his guards to pass over the top of the defense or dump the ball down low to him whenever he was in a position to score. His great length gave him a major advantage when scoring in the post. Tim showed the ability to spin or turn around and cleanly shoot a shot over contesting defenders. Good versatility on the offensive end due to his talent for stretching the court. Winkler can put the ball on the floor to get to the rim or to his spots in the mid-range for a quick pull-up jumper. He ran the pick-and-roll, pick-and-pop, and also stepped out to the perimeter to catch-and-shoot. Tim Winkler has a lot of potential and can be as good as he wants to be. If he continues to work hard he’ll be in the national spotlight for years to come.
Bo Ogden | Arlington, TX | Class of 2026
Shooters are going to shoot, and that’s exactly what Bo Ogden did. He’s a true shooting marksman that showed off his prowess in catch-and-shoot, spot-up, and pull-up situations. Ogden shoots every shot with the same precise motion, getting the ball out of his hands smooth and quickly. It didn’t take him long to heat up either, once he saw a couple of shots fall he took off from there. He seemed like the most reliable scorer and shooter on his team and when he was called upon he answered the bell. In double-overtime with 10 seconds remaining, Bo Ogden got open and hit a big-time clutch 3-pointer at the top of the key to help push his team to a victory. The shot was phenomenal, he let it fly and knew it was money in the bank as soon as it left his hands.
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