Centennial’s Match up with Camp Jewel Went Down to the Final Second

Centennial High School (Roswell, GA)

Centennial is an extremely well coached, gritty group. They get after it on the defensive end and move the ball fluently on offense. They won an instant classic, defeating Camp Jewel 65-64 at home on a put back buzzer beater by Carter Wit. Wit’s first 2 points of the game couldn’t come at a better time. KJ Garris, Kennedy Warren and Jahmir Smith-Blount led the way for the other 35 minutes and 59 second of the game.

KJ Garris, 2025 prospect is a big body wing that can play the guard position as well. Garris uses his body in elite fashion. His slashes to the rim are so episodic and his smooth jumper opens up the lane for those drives to the basket. Garris’ skill set looks as if it comes natural and rightfully so. His father Kiwane Garris is a former NBA player. KJ Garris has the will, developing skill and body to get to become a high major prospect. Garris finished with a team high of 20 points.

Kennedy Warren, is another slashing wing that opened the game up for Centennial. His ability to finish through contact, along with forcing fouls and getting to the line showed Warren knows how to use his body. He displayed one of the lost arts in today’s game, which is the midrange jumper. Warren hit key shots from the elbow and short corner that kept Camp Jewel on their heels. Warren’s finished the game with an 18 point performance. Warren is currently receiving interest from Notre Dame University of Maryland and Ferrum College. The 2024 prospect is looking to have a big spring and summer. 

Jahmir Smith-Blount controlled the pace of the game beautifully. The experienced senior guard hit his teammates in stride and in their spots, made key defensive rotations and scored when needed to, or when the opportunity presented itself. Pace of the game is something every coach is looking for in their lead guard and Smith-Blount has that down to a science. Great overall performance.

Camp Jewel (Conyers, GA)

Jacob Zhu is the most finesse guard I’ve witnessed in the class of 2026 so far. Yes, he’s a freshman. Mr. Land Rover himself; a nickname I gave to Zhu back in the summer after witnessing his skillful ways at the NGS Elite 60 Showcase. (A Land Rover is a small guard that doesn’t play above the rim, but there isn’t a place on the floor they can’t score from or get to comfortably.)

In this instant classic against Centennial, Zhu kept his team in the game with smooth play making and tough shot making. It took a put back buzzer beater to spoil Zhu’s 36 point performance. 31 points of the three level scoring barrage that Zhu displayed came in the scoring half. He’s a lead guard that isn’t fazed by physicality. I witnessed Zhu take on defensive challenges even being undersized. The tangibles and intangibles are there in Zhu’s arsenal. Playing and training in Coach Chuck Person’s system will bode will for Zhu and his D1 goals.

Person is a former NBA player that played 14 seasons and coached at multiple Division 1 schools. He training and coaching is a plus for special talent like Jacob Zhu. Zhu fits the modern day lead guard position well. College coaches all around the country will have Zhu on their board sooner than later.

Bilal Benjamin is a professional journalist and basketball scout. Benjamin has evaluated some of the best in grassroots on circuits such as MADE and Marqee Hoops to the Elite Circuits such NIKE EYBL and UAA. Bilal is currently a journalist for the NBA G-League, and an evaluator for Pangos All-American Camp and Hoop Group. Benjamin is also founder and chief journalist of 1st Love Basketball and creator of The Basketball Journal. Bilal can be followed on Instagram @1stlove.b and Twitter @1stloveb