2023 National Prep Showcase Recap
The National Prep Showcase at Albertus Magnus College, presented by NERR, provided a captivating glimpse into the upcoming prep school basketball season, drawing top-tier talents from across the nation. The event not only lived up to its prestigious reputation but exceeded expectations, with a number of games won in the final seconds in front of scouts ranging from college ranks to NBA representatives.
The defending national champions, Putnam Science Academy, left an indelible mark on the showcase. Newly acquired talent, Justin Johnson, immediately asserted himself with efficient scoring, tenacious rebounding, and intriguing defensive skills. Ben Ahmed's ability to deliver a consistent double-double and Sacred Heart-commit Mekhi Conner's multifaceted contributions, plus the future return of Oswin Erhunmwunse hinted at Putnam Science Academy's readiness to contend for the National Prep Championship come March.
Sunrise Christian, the 2023 National Prep Championship Runner-Up, emerged as a force to be reckoned with. The uncommitted players on their roster showcased individual brilliance: Max Pikaar's stellar defense, rebounding, and spot-up scoring ability, Makhi Myles' precision in long-range shooting and defensive impact, and Colin Hawkins' all-around scoring prowess complemented by his physicality and strength. Corleone Dandrige's aerial impact added another layer to Sunrise Christian's formidable lineup.
UMass-commit Nate Guerengomba led South Kent with a dazzling display of scoring, notching 31 and 39 points in two games. His three-point accuracy at 52.4% and ability to convert shots around the basket highlighted his versatility on offense. Kelvin Odih's game-changing steal and poster dunk in clutch moments showed South Kent's power, even without key players Jojo Wallace and Badara Diakite.
The Newman duo of Boston College-commit Luka Toews and Providence-commit Ryan Mela continued to impress, steering their team to two victories. Collins Chidera Onyejiaka's dominating presence in the paint and American-commit Wyatt Nausadis' gritty play at the guard spot added depth to Newman's well-rounded performance. Despite facing formidable Florida teams like IMG and the Academy of Central Florida, Newman showcased their promising upcoming season in AAA & NEBL play.
St. Thomas More boasts one of the most talented forward duos in New England with Cincinnati-commit Tyler Betsey and a high-major prospect in London Jemison. The duo led the team in scoring, showcasing versatility against various styles of play. Izaiah Pasha emerged as an under-the-radar postgrad prospect in the 2024 class, while Boston University-commit Ben Defty controlled the paint. Iona-commit Justin Menard and Will Davies displayed impressive leadership at the backcourt.
Massanutten may not have secured victories, but the team's performance hinted at a promising EPL season. Connecticut native Troy McKoy delivered an impressive stat line of 22.5 points, 13 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2.5 steals per game, demonstrating his well-rounded skills, while Jayden Harris earned recognition as one of the standout performers, as noted by Adam Finkelstein.
Western Reserve's trio of nationally ranked prospects—Damarious Owens, Royce Parham, and Niko Bundalo—generated considerable buzz despite facing challenges in their games. Owens' ability to attack the rim with length and fluidity, Parham's efficient three-point shooting, and Bundalo's superstar talent showcased especially in the first game indicated their potential impact this season.
Hargrave's guards, Walt Andrews Jr. and Khalil Williams, caught the eye of many in attendance despite facing tough losses. Andrews Jr., a Connecticut native, is set to join former Hargrave head coach Thomas Messinger at NJIT following the season. While the team suffered losses in both of their game sets, their resilience hinted at potential future success.
Highly touted KJ Cochran lived up to his billing with a standout performance, putting up 26 points and 5 rebounds in a close contest. Monmouth-commit Lucas Orchard showcased his shooting prowess from long range, despite an unconventional release. We won’t have to wait too long to catch the Pennsylvania-based school as they will be at Scholar Roundball in just a couple of weeks.
Bradford Christian, missing star player Texas A&M-commit George Turkson, finished 1-1 with a loss to a talented Sunrise Christian squad. Michigan State-commit Kur Teng once again showcased his elite, efficient shotmaking that has earned him national recognition, and the dynamic backcourt of Warren Keel and Antonio Pemberton made significant impacts in all aspects of the game. Brayson Green's all-around play and Umari Seney's consistency in impacting big games suggested future success.
The new-look Brewster Academy squads competing in both the EYBL and NEPSAC AAA divisions respectively displayed an impressive level of play. The national squad received strong performances from 2025 forwards Preston Fowler and Dwayne Aristode, while Purdue-commit Daniel Jacobsen, Stanford-commit Elijah Crawford, Murray State-commit DJ Shine and Iowa State-commit Nojus Indrusaitis all proved why Brewster has made national rankings once again. The NEPSAC AAA prep team, led by an impressive showing from Daniel Johnson and Harris Jackson with a combined 45 points, hinted at a promising season ahead.
New Hampton's Keyshuan Tillery stood out as one of the standout players of the weekend, delivering a near-triple-double in a thrilling game against Mount Zion. Mason Blackwood's strength and force in the paint posed challenges for opposing defenses, while Oscar Edelman and Ty Tabales showcased their long-range scoring skills. The debut of Naz Meyer, a 3&D prospect, caught the attention of scouts, adding a stellar piece to New Hampton's starting five.
Blair Academy from New Jersey displayed their highly thought of squad, securing a tight win against Worcester. Deron Rippey Jr. showcased his rising reputation in the class of 2026, powering his team with 21 points through crafty and confident play. Jayden Williams, Eric Ihekwaba, and Jack Bailey also contributed significantly to the team's win.
Worcester Academy faced a tough loss but fought until the final whistle. Georgetown-commit Kayvaun Mulready may not have had an ideal shooting night but showcased his impact in steals that led to points and assists. Jake Blackburn's lights-out shooting from three-point range and James Jones' near double-double further highlighted Worcester Academy's resilience in a loss.
In a thrilling late-night matchup, IMG suffered a loss against South Kent, but Trey O'Neil's exceptional three-point shooting stole the spotlight. Will Shortt's growing reputation and floor-stretching abilities combined with strong play from Dante Oliver, Frederiks Meinarts, and Danil Glazkov make for an intriguing season ahead for the Florida-based school.
Brimmer & May, led by Texas A&M-commit Andre Mills, displayed masterful play in a one-point loss with 27 points, seven rebounds and five steals. Guard Windston Legentus poured in 19 points with seven rebounds and five assists, while Rutgers-commit Bryce Dortch made significant contributions with blocks, steals, and scoring on second chance opportunities.
Cushing staged an impressive second-half comeback against Central Florida, overcoming a 39-21 halftime deficit to secure a 12-point win. Ebuka Okorie and Jaden Zimmerman played pivotal roles in the comeback, while Jayden Johnson, Jacob Davis, and the team collectively showcased resilience and determination.
Vermont, led by 2025 guard Darius Lopes, delivered an efficient and impactful performance. Lopes poured in 20 points, earning a Siena offer shortly after the event. Top-ranked guard/wing prospect Joson Sanon and Towson-commit Chike Ndefo contributed significantly, showcasing Vermont's depth and talent as they look to have a strong season in both AAA & NPC play.
PHHoenix Prep made a strong debut in the NPC, with high-major 2024 prospect Jinup Dobuol earning a Washington State offer post-event. Ty Virgil's crafty play and Marsai Mason's standout performance in the second game added to the depth of college prospects on PHHoenix Prep's roster.
Bridgton faced two tough losses but saw Warren Yeh emerge as a stock-riser. Silvano Ismail and Porter Kelly made notable contributions, with Ismail recording 20 points and 11 boards in the first game, while Kelly added 18 points and 8 rebounds in the second. Despite the challenges, Bridgton showcased resilience and potential.
Central Florida's Keenan Emmanuel and Stefan Jimenez, along with Max Ndiaye's sharpshooting from behind the arc, garnered attention despite facing two losses. The team showcased promising qualities, hinting at a competitive season ahead.
The Fork Union duo of Jaden Johnson and DeSean Goode powered their team to a win and a close four-point loss to Bradford Christian. Johnson's remarkable performance, averaging 29.5 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 assists with a 45.5% three-point shooting, stood out as one of the most impressive showings of the weekend.
Mount Zion faced challenges in the first half of Game 1 but mounted a spirited comeback in the second half, despite ultimately falling short. Chris Jeffrey's consistent performance of 17.5 points and 4 rebounds in both games showcased his reliability. Malachi Palmer's return to NPS featured an impressive average of 18 points and 7 rebounds, particularly shining in a win against Brimmer & May.
The National Prep Showcase offered a comprehensive look into the landscape of prep school basketball this season. The event not only marked the commencement of the season but also set the stage for the upcoming months.