Memphis, Tenn. — The frontcourt talent on display at the 2022 Under Armour Future Presidents’ Day Classic was extremely impressive, particularly in the eighth-grade division, as a number of prospects from the Class of 2026 provided memorable showings. Here’s a…
Memphis, Tenn. — The frontcourt talent on display at the 2022 Under Armour Future Presidents’ Day Classic was extremely impressive, particularly in the eighth-grade division, as a number of prospects from the Class of 2026 provided memorable showings. Here’s a rundown of the event’s best post players that I observed during the three-day tournament in Tennessee…
Aidan Chronister | Rogers, AR | Class of 2026
Perhaps the most skilled player that I evaluated during the 2022 Under Armour Future Presidents’ Day Classic, Chronister is a versatile talent at the forward position for AAO Flight (AR), capable of stretching the floor with his shooting touch while also possessing the ability to convert opportunities inside the lane. There’s an extra dose of length in Chronister’s 6-foot-6 frame, so I am expecting him to spurt a few more inches in the coming years, and additional fluidity will only enhance his game. It’s worth noting the Arkansas pedigree runs deep for this young man, with both parents having competed for the Razorbacks at the collegiate level.
Ethan Gatewood | Germantown, TN | Class of 2026
Gatewood brought a valuable interior presence to the P7 Elite (TN) roster at the 2022 Under Armour Future Presidents’ Day Classic. A burly post prospect with soft hands and emerging touch within the paint, the 6-foot-6 forward flashed immense potential throughout the weekend. Not especially explosive, Gatewood did, however, display solid footwork around the rim and the ability to finish through contact due to his strong frame. As with all young big men, there’s room for improvement with regard to both athleticism and skill, but it was an excellent first impression from the local Memphis native who efficiently capitalized on his opportunities at the event.
Derrick ‘DJ’ Hudson | Fayetteville, AR | Class of 2026
An athletic frontcourt prospect, Hudson is not yet fully comfortable on the offensive side of the floor, but was a long and bouncy defensive presence around the rim for his AAO Flight (AR) club. An excellent complement to the previously mentioned Chronister, Hudson blocked and altered shots at a fairly high rate, and also competed end-to-end, sprinting by defenders for easy finishes in transition. Nearing 6-foot-7, I’ve observed his steady improvements during the last year and anticipate that his development and confidence will continue trending upward in the coming months. Watch for Hudson to earn more ink as his skill level rounds into form.
Evan Jacobson | Waukee, IA | Class of 2026
Jacobson was a key factor in Kingdom Hoops (IA) run to the eighth-grade championship at the 2022 Under Armour Future Presidents’ Day Classic. The 6-foot-6 forward was a steady force for his team, providing ample rebounding at both ends, while also producing consistent scoring outputs from the block. The son of former UNO (Nebraska-Omaha) standout, Bill Jacobson, and the brother of current Indianapolis Colts’ tight end, Michael Jacobson (who played college basketball at Nebraska and Iowa State), bloodlines are certainly in the younger Jacobson’s favor. He’s a name to remember the Midwest region’s Class of 2026 group.
Fred Smith, Jr. | Memphis, TN | Class of 2026
Paired with Ethan Gatewood in the P7 Elite (TN) frontcourt, Smith brings a point-forward style to the hardwood, while already standing 6-foot-6. A smooth and skilled prospect in the mold of a modern stretch-four, Smith has the talent to dominate a game, he simply needs to concentrate more on his approach and consistency. An extremely unselfish player with excellent vision, Smith’s passing touch, paired with emerging face-up abilities resulted in an extremely difficult match-up for defenders throughout the tournament. It’s worth noting that Fred Smith, Sr. played with the Harlem Globetrotters and set the world record for a vertical slam dunk in 1997.
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