Posted On: 06/26/21 10:00 AM

Deerfield Beach, Fla. — The 2021 Balling On The Beach tournament is officially in the books, and over the past week, I’ve scoured through my notes from the event to identify 50 of the top players in attendance from the Class of 2025. Overall, BOTB proved to be an excellent venue to shore up evaluations on a large number of rising high school freshmen, many of which are likely to emerge as national-caliber recruits in the coming years. Here are a few of the headlines you may have missed from last weekend in South Florida…

Nightrydas Elite (FL) Make Their Case

Only a few teams can legitimately make a claim as the nation’s #1 eighth-grade team and Nightrydas Elite (FL) certainly have an argument after capturing the 2021 Balling On The Beach crown. The group avenged their only loss of the tournament, a pool play blunder to Rose City Rebels (OR), in the event’s championship game. It’s already been written, but let me again go on record that Cameron Boozer Cameron Boozer 6'6" | PF FL has my vote as the premier frontcourt prospect in the Class of 2025 nationally, as of today. Twin brother, Cayden Boozer, as well as Dante Allen, MJ Feenane, Benny Fragela, Alexander Lloyd, and DJ Wimbley each caught my eye on this loaded roster.

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In-State Prospects Shine Bright

One of my favorite aspects of the Balling On The Beach tournament is that the field is well-represented with local teams that are anxious to match-up against regional and national powers. While some of those national powers certainly call the Sunshine State home, several lesser-known clubs made impressive weekend runs at the event. Trey Card and Darius Washington III of SE Elite Grassroots Academy (FL), formerly CP25 Team Parsons, were the in-state headliners earning the most attention while guys like Sian Morris and Lyrique Sartin of XPC Elite (FL) refused to let their performances go unnoticed. Here’s hoping the future will be bright for Cowan Innocent of Florida Stampede (FL) as well.

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Backcourt Talent Galore

The depth of backcourt talent on hand at the 2021 Balling On The Beach was substantial and the fact that nearly every region was present is significant. Many tournaments claim to have national representation but BOTB delivered. Breakout stars like Christian McAllister (GA) and Trey Powell (TN) made lasting impressions while others such as Jalen Atkins (OR), CJ Dorreliand (NY), Bryce Heard Bryce Heard 6'3" | WG IL (IL), Myles Herro (WI), Shelton Henderson (TX), Arael Jones (NC), JJ Mandaquit (HI), and Cameron Ward (MD) each provided memorable performances that gave additional flavor to the weekend.

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Contenders Emerge On The Wing

Isiah Harwell Isiah Harwell 6'4" | WF ID (ID) and Sebastian Williams-Adams Sebastian Williams-Adams 6'5" | WF TX (TX) were two of the more well-known eighth-graders in attendance at the 2021 Balling On The Beach tournament, but several other talented wing players added depth to the position, and are likely to climb the Class of 2025 depth chart as they continue to advance their games. Xzavion Mitchell (WI) is a name to remember as is JJ Massaquoi (MD). If you like sleepers, Sean Van Dorn (GA) may be your guy, but Omarion Harvey (TX) is also one of the more underappreciated talents nationally from my point of view. It was also great to see a healthy Kenny Gatling (PA) back on the hardwood again. Needless to say, BOTB provided the stage, and all of the players above took advantage.

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Big Men Ready For The Moment

Youth hoops fans tend to lean in one of two directions when it comes to young post prospects. Either, we get too excited simply because a player is tall and ignore his (lack of) translatable abilities, or we dismiss the big guy too early because his production doesn’t equate to our expectations. Frankly, neither is the right approach, as talent is certainly required but the development of frontcourt players typically takes much longer. That said, Shareef Jackson Shareef Jackson 6'6" | PF PA (PA), Andrew Radar (WI), Nigels Walls (NM), and Kaleb Wilson (GA) each proved that they are ahead of the curve in their own ways during the 2021 Balling On The Beach tournament and all appear poised to make their mark in the Class of 2025.

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