Cartersville, Ga. — In this feature, we wrap up player analysis from Pool A in the 5th grade division at the inaugural Prep Hoops Next Southeast Kick-Off by highlighting a handful of prospects that made an impression at the two-day…
Cartersville, Ga. — In this feature, we wrap up player analysis from Pool A in the 5th grade division at the inaugural Prep Hoops Next Southeast Kick-Off by highlighting a handful of prospects that made an impression at the two-day event. This is the final segment of a four-part series, but there will be more to follow from the Class of 2028!
Austin Sears | Prospect, KY | Class of 2028
One of the leading scorers in the 5th grade division of the Prep Hoops Next Southeast Kick-Off, Sears proved to be one of the tournament’s most capable perimeter marksmen, and was a fan favorite due to his trademark headband and the flash with which he competed. In addition to his shooting range, it was clear that Sears has made the midrange area a focus of his development, as he showed proficiency converting his floater over the top of defenses. An effective ball-handler in the halfcourt, Sears also displayed touch a passer, and certainly solidified the sentiment that his development is currently well ahead of the curve.
Chase Smith | Charlotte, NC | Class of 2028
Easily one of the most intriguing prospects in the 5th grade division of the Prep Hoops Next Southeast Kick-Off, Smith is a wiry 5-foot-8 forward, and exhibited excellent versatility on both ends of the hardwood. He demonstrated promising touch shooting the ball and transitioned the floor with ease, running rim-to-rim, and proving to be a dominant defensive presence in spurts. His combination of length and skill is quite rare and as Smith learns to compete consistently and utilize his abundance of physical gifts to his advantage, he could emerge as a star for a Team CP3 (NC) Basketball Academy group aiming to earn national acclaim this season.
Taylor “Bleu” Lewis | Grayson, GA | Class of 2028
Lewis was among the more impressive backcourt performers in the 5th grade division of the Prep Hoops Next Southeast Kick-Off. The 5-foot-2 guard can best be described as both confident and fearless with the ball in his hands, showing the ability to attack opponents off the bounce, as well as showcasing efficiency with his pull-up jumper. Lewis was also an assertive defender for his Team Huncho (GA) Bell squad, aggressively pursuing loose balls, and capitalizing on opportunities to create turnovers. The Georgia native was comfortable under pressure and is simply a great fit for his club in a combo guard role.
Kadontre “Tre” Ware | Hopkinsville, KY | Class of 2028
Arguably the most physically imposing player in the 5th grade division of the Prep Hoops Next Southeast Kick-Off, Ware was an absolute monster in the best ways possible for the Louisville Legends (KY). The 5-foot-9 post is built like a prospect best-suited for the football field, but he showed surprisingly nimble footwork in the lane, and gave maximum effort transitioning the court. Not so surprisingly, Ware’s combination of size and strength made him a dominant force on the glass, and allowed him to finish through contact in the paint. He’s a bruiser at this level and is likely to continue being difficult for opposing teams to contain.
Braylon Williams | Buford, GA | Class of 2028
A steady ball-handler at the lead guard position, Williams impressed with his vision, patience, and ability to command a team, particularly among the fifth graders in attendance at the Prep Hoops Next Southeast Kick-Off. His balanced demeanor is an asset as a floor general and he displayed creativity as a passer in the lane. The Georgia native did a nice job of finding his way back to the ball while keeping the pace and flow of the game moving at the appropriate tempo for his club. It was refreshing to see Williams react equally as positive in assisting a teammate for a score as when he was creating his own offense.
Stay tuned for more from Prep Hoops Next!