2024 HoopHall Prep Showcase Recap

Dylan Thayer | Wednesday, January 17th, 2024

2024 HoopHall Prep Showcase Recap

Over the weekend we joined the party in the birthplace of basketball to host our annual HoopHall Prep Showcase. With over 65 teams coming from all around the United States, Canada and Europe it was bound to be a good one. College coaches checked in throughout the weekend to get their eyes on a number of renowned postgraduate programs and were able to witness a number of highly contested games. 

We extend our gratitude to all of those who were in attendance from teams to fans, and the dedicated event staff who kept things moving smoothly. We appreciate everyone’s support and strive to put on the best event we can. 

Let’s take a look at what went down this weekend.

The Contentious Prep Coaches Poll

As we get closer to the National Prep Championship in March, the field could not be more competitive. With the NERR Prep Coaches Poll going around, there were a number of games that are going to make the ranking even harder to vote on.

For example, #9 Fork Union took down #13 Perkiomen by 22 points, but then lost to #8 Vermont by 25 on Sunday. 

#4 Newman handed a loss to #3 New Hampton in a New England matchup, while #11 Bradford Christian put on a defensive clinic in their win over #14 Phelps. 

#4 Newman also took down #11 Combine Academy, but Combine took down #2 Sunrise Christian who beat #5 South Kent handily on Monday. Both Newman and Combine seem bound to move upwards in the upcoming February Coaches Poll. 

#6 Mt. Zion prep looks to be a threat come March as they beat both IMG and #7 Link Year Prep in their two outings.

Unranked Golden State beat #7 Link Year Prep by 12 and both Tennessee Prep and Covenant College Prep very handily, finishing with a 3-0 weekend.

How will the poll shake out after the next voting sequence? There will definitely be some tough choices to make.

The Return of Two National Names Out of Connecticut

Nationally-ranked 2025 forwards Oswin Erhunmwunse and Badara Diakite made their much anticipated returns to the court over the weekend.

While playing limited minutes, Providence’s new commit Oswin looks to be back and ready to go as he finished 7/9 on Friday night against Vermont with 5 rebounds and a block.

Diakite averaged 11 points and 4.5 boards over two games while putting his intriguing versatility and athleticism on full display.

Badara Diakite - Ryan Lee Productions

High Major Commits Put On a Dominant Display

Andre Mills once again put on a show over the weekend. In two games, the Texas A&M-commit posted 95 points, 52 and 43 respectively. While Mills can score at-will from all around the floor, the most impressive thing that stands out to me is the way he puts his team on his back. He not only always leads the team in scoring, but he keeps his teammates focused, coaches them up and is their leader. About a month and a half left in the season, if you haven’t been to a Brimmer & May game yet, you need to.

Coming over from Finland, Drive Academy has a very interesting group of guys. Okku Federiko, a South Carolina-commit, is a swiss army knife 6 '9 power forward with upside. In their lone appearance he posted 21 points on 7/15 from the floor and 3/6 from deep.

SMU’s Mitchell Holmes was a notable presence for Link Year Prep. Holmes posted 12.7 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.7 steals per game. He was particularly noticeable against the Bridgeport towering frontcourt duo as he scored 17 points and pulled in six rebounds. 

California-commit Jeremiah Wilkinson of the Skill Factory Prep was outstanding over two games, hitting a game-winning buzzer beater in both contests. Wilkinson is an undersized guard with shiftiness off the dribble, three-point marksmanship and a high motor.

New England’s current top-ranked 2024 prospect, Cincinnati-commit Tyler Betsey, was impressive in their Monday morning win over Spire. Betsey posted a double-double with 34 points on 8/19 from the floor and 11/12 from the free throw line with 10 rebounds.

Standout Performances From Unsigned Players

2024 Aris Rodriguez of Spire Academy was one of the best unsigned prospects over the weekend as the guard finished averaging 20.3 points per game on 60% from deep on 15 attempts in three games. Rodriguez’s craftiness was notable as he slips through the defense on driving opportunities and uses his handle to create space for shot attempts. 

Springfield Commonwealth’s Jorjan Flores put on a shot-making clinic in their close 79-72 loss to Massanutten to open up the action of the event. Flores dropped 31 points powered by his shot creation ability and relentlessness to put the ball through the net. He knocked down five of nine attempts from downtown. 

Golden State’s Jayden Russotti poured in 25 points in their win over Link Year Prep going 7/10 from long-range. The big guard was dominant throughout the weekend averaging almost 5 made three’s a game and 18.7 points per game. 

6’10 big man Brett Dent was a force in Combine’s big win over Sunrise Christian on Sunday. By halftime, Dent had already collected 11 rebounds, but ultimately finished with 21 for the game. His impact on the offensive end was immense as he had 10 offensive rebounds and 17 points in the contest.

Charlie O'Sullivan led his Loomis-Chaffee team to a win over Milton in a double overtime thriller. The stretch big was red hot from downtown finishing 7/9 from deep as well as seven rebounds. A number of his shots came in clutch moments down the stretches of the second half and overtime. In talks with him after the game, he has been receiving interest from schools in both the Ivy and Patriot leagues.

In a win over Macduffie, Silvano Ismail once again showed why he is one of the most underrated post-grad prospects in New England. If you don’t believe me, let’s let the stats do the talking for me: 18 points, six rebounds, seven assists, five steals and three blocks. How many 6’2 point guards can make that big of an impact on all facets of the game? 

Link Year Prep’s All Wright was impressive over their three games contributing 21.7 points per game throughout the action. The guard was also a menace on defense totaling seven steals and forcing a number of turnovers. Always Wright's younger brother has received interest from Southern Illinois and Oakland. 

Worcester’s Jake Blackburn is a known knockdown shooter in the New England ranks, but his performance on Friday earned him an offer from Fordham who was watching on. Blackburn posted 26 on 7/11 from downtown to go along with five rebounds and two steals.

Reported by Elite's Tom Keller, Bridgeport’s Stefano Allesso is taking an unofficial visit to Seton Hall this week. The Argentinian big man has turned heads with his soft hands, physical paint presence and expanding shot range. In two games he posted 15 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. 

Underclassmen Standouts

6’6 Ruey Ruey of Massanutten is an intriguing big guard prospect in the Virginia class of 2026. In their win over Brimmer & May, he contributed on both ends with 20 points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals. His length and defensive skills were noted by many watching on. 

2026 Desmond Bellot’s performance was notable as he averaged 21.5 points in two contests led by his ability to break down defenders and is a threat to score from all three levels. Recently earning a UMass offer, the Minuteman were present for one of his games at the event.

Jayden Harrington’s 7/9 game from long-range against Newman was eye-catching as the guard knows how to relocate for solid looks and shoots the ball with confidence. The thing about his game that stands out the most to me is how well-rounded he is and his ability to make the right plays time and time again.

Warren Keel was particularly impressive in Bradford Christian’s win over Phelps as he controlled the tempo of the game. Keel was able to accrue 24 points off a number of pull-up shots where he broke down opposing defenders, and also was facilitating the offense. His final line was 24 points, five rebounds and 8 assists. 

March is getting closer and closer, and we are thrilled to see where things lie as the National Prep Championship nears. Stay tuned to both NERR and the National Prep Championship (@PrepNational on X) accounts as the finale looms.