Posted On: 02/20/21 8:00 AM

Fishers, Ind. — And just like that, it’s time for another weekend on the Prep Hoops Next circuit! The inaugural event series will make its fourth stop of the year, this time in the greater Indianapolis area, with another regional line-up on hand that is sure to unveil additional names worthy of being added to a growing list of youth basketball talent. The “Heartland Kick-off” will take place at Fishers High School and the two-day tournament featuring nearly forty teams is set to provide a platform for approximately 400 prospects to be evaluated. Here are a few storylines to follow as the action tips off…

Make Way For The Youth Movement

The recent rise in popularity across the country for the Prep Hoops Next circuit seems to increase with each passing day and the interest from fifth and sixth-grade teams continues to be stronger than ever. In case you missed the announcement, there will be at least ten (10) more opportunities for teams and players in the Classes of 2027 and 2028 to compete and be evaluated at upcoming events. Programs like the Chicago Demons (IL), Illinois Flight (IL), Indiana Elite (IN), Project Basketball (MI), Team Manimal (KY), Team Teague (IN), and others will have their groups on the hardwood and will be looking to make a statement this weekend.

National Implications In The Seventh-Grade Division

The Heartland region is home to several of the nation’s best teams in the Class of 2026. A number of those groups will take the floor this weekend at the Prep Hoops Next Heartland Kick-off with several highly-anticipated match-ups sure to follow. Programs such as All-Ohio Elite (OH), Grand Park Premier (IN), Indy Premiere 219 (IN), North Coast Blue Chips (OH), and The Family (MI) will face several challengers in the form of All H.E.A.R.T. Basketball Club (OH), Ball Hogg Academy (IL), Mid-Michigan Wolves (MI), Vette City Thoroughbreds (KY), and more! In fact, the field of organizations participating in the event was so talented, we moved back the release of our Prep Hoops Next National Team Rankings for the current seventh-grade class as we await this weekend’s results.

Eighth-Grade Division Is Up For Grabs

It’s difficult to pinpoint a potential favorite for the eighth-grade division, particularly in the Heartland region, with the travel circuit season still being so new. However, C.M.B. Runnin’ Rebels (MI), D1 Indiana (IN), D. Rice Elite (MI), EZ Work Elite (IL), Grind Family Chicago (IL), Iowa Barnstormers (IA), N.E.B.C. (NY), and Progeny (IN), in addition to several more of the programs listed above, should all have a shot at the Class of 2025 tournament championship. Pool match-ups in the Class of 2025 will be critical as only one (1) team from each pool will advance into the championship (platinum) bracket with the other teams dropping into consolation (gold and silver) match-ups.

Exciting Line-Up Of Individual Talent 

The pool of prospects at the Heartland Kick-off is as deep as it has been for any prior Prep Hoops Next circuit event. Team Manimal (KY) features the tallest player in the sixth-grade division in 6-foot-4 Brock Woods while 6-foot-1 Jaylan Mitchell of Team Teague (IN) is also beginning to attract attention in the region. Indiana Elite (IN) has several players to keep an eye on from the Class of 2027 including Jason Gardner, Jr. and Peyton Miamba. In the seventh-grade division, The Family (MI) features a loaded roster led by 6-foot-8 Trevor SmithTrevorSmith6'8" | CMI, and talented perimeter prospects Jayden JohnsonJaydenJohnson6'3" | WFKY and Jaquan Stennis, Jr. That’s only a very tiny sample of the individual talent that will be in attendance, so be sure to check back and read the exclusive reports on each division in the days following the event.

The Action Will Continue As The “Kick-offs” Conclude

It’s hard to believe that the Heartland Kick-off is only the fourth of nineteen events that will take place on the 2021 Prep Hoops Next circuit calendar. Overall, we’ve already seen approximately 150 teams and nearly 1,500 youth prospects come through our doors to begin the season and our events continue to grow each day. Be sure to find an event near you and stop through to find out what all of the talk is about!

Stay tuned for more from Prep Hoops Next!