Hardwood Classic Middle School Standouts Pt.1

Cumming, GA – This travel ball season has been exciting. Teams and prospects from all over the southeastern region have come to NGS events to compete and leave their mark. This past weekend, there were quite a few young student-athletes that left a lasting impression.

Khalid Jones – 5’8” PG – 2027 | AE5 (Atlanta, GA)
This isn’t the first time and won’t be the last time speaking about Khalid “Sneaky” Jones. It’s very hard to watch him play without envisioning him as one of the current better guards in his class. His quickness is next level, he’s got great instincts and he routinely makes incredibly difficult plays look easy. Additionally, he’s got long arms and next level court awareness. 

Derrick Shine – 5’8” PG – 2027 | Shine Hoop Grinders (Augusta, GA)
Lights out. From the moment that Derrick Shine crosses half court, he’s a threat to shoot and bury a 3-pointer. At the first opportunity to watch him, he blitzed the scoring column for 15 points in the first quarter alone, with several of the points being long range shots from each side of the floor. He’s a lefty that can also create opportunities for others while getting to the rim.

Kohl Ward – 5’8” PG – 2027 | We Get Buckets (Ooltewa, TN)
Pure point guard. Kohl Ward sliced and diced his way through defenses with relative ease. He’s got an excellent handle on the ball, good court vision and finishes exceptionally well with either hand around the basket. In addition to his skill level, he’s not lacking in confidence. Ward loves to take over a game and makes big time plays. Came up huge in the clutch of multiple games.

Travis Burgess – 6’3” W – 2026 | Triple Double (Mableton, GA)
Over the course of the weekend, you’ll be hard pressed to find a player that put up better all around numbers than Burgess. He absolutely dominated the glass and scored at will in the paint. He also was able to shake free and create from the wing for extended periods of time. If he continues to grow and progress, he could become a very tantalizing wing prospect.

Jayden Richie – 6’2” G – 2028 | Team SAC (Madison, AL)
On a loaded 6th grade team that features several young phenoms, Jayden Richie still managed to stand out in a big way. He immediately caught my attention off an inbound play where he rose up high over a defender to catch the ball, brought the ball down, went back up and finished through contact. I wouldn’t be shocked if he’s dunking in games by the end of the summer. His athleticism, feel for the game and willingness to defend make him elite at this current stage. Going to track him going forward.

Symeon Watson – 6’1” F – 2029 | Atlanta Celtics (Atlanta, GA)
Watson stands out immediately with his immense length on the floor. He has a slender frame and extremely long arms. He protects the basket well, rebounds the ball well and even has some ability to put the ball on the floor to run a fastbreak. As a spot up shooter, he has good mechanics and shoots it with confidence. This is a young player with all the tools you like to see from a wing. Keep him on your radar.