Be Seen - New Haven Heat 2021
The 2019 season was a groundbreaking one for the New Haven Heat. With two different u17 teams they each scored big wins throughout the course of the season, produced scholarship caliber prospects, and then came together to take an AAU u19 championship to culminate the season.
This year, there is even more talent in the program. In fact, when we saw them workout last week as part of the Be Seen Tour, there were roughly 30 prospects in the gym, all with aspirations to play at the next level, and many of whom have a chance to contend for a scholarship.
We’ll begin with a look at their 2021 class before breaking down the underclassmen in the program tomorrow.
Kazell Stewart, Lee Academy – The Prince Tech grad is headed north for a post-grad year and has added recent offers from LIU and Bryant because of it. That may prove to be just the tip of the iceberg through as Stewart’s athleticism and explosiveness is truly unique while the rest of his game is making gradual strides as well.
Mason Romano, Winchendon – Another highly athletic forward, Romano was held out of the workout with injury, but is already the most recruited player in the program’s 2021 class with currently offers from Stetson, Quinnipiac, NJIT, LIU, Charleston Sourthern, and Hartford.
Akili Evans, Lee Academy – The Holy Cross alum is also headed to Lee Academy for a post-grad year and while he doesn’t yet hold any offers, should be able to play his way to the scholarship level. Evans has good perimeter size and is just a natural scorer of the basketball, who can get buckets in a variety of different ways.
Tyler Dubose, Bridgeport Prep – The 6-foot-9 big man is another prospect who has always had scholarship tools with good size, soft touch inside, and good hands. It was only his conditioning that was holding him back. Now though, he’s gotten himself into the best shape of his life and so there should be nothing stopping him from taking his game to the next level.
Sheldon Schuler Jr, Ansonia – Perhaps the most pleasant surprise of the group, Schuler is a big-bodied true guard. He’s 6-foot-4, built like a football player and can play that way too with a physical attacking style, but he’s also got some instinctive playmaking ability, basketball IQ, and passing potential to match.
Kairon Hooks, Notre Dame West Haven – Another guy who was previously under-the-radar and made a definite impression here, Hooks is a big guard at 6-foot-4 who shot the ball very well from behind the three-point line and is just beginning to fill out his frame and tap into his physical upside.
Ben Carroll, Notre Dame West Haven – Another ND product, Carroll is a versatile southpaw who can score inside and out. He fits the modern game because he can definitely stretch the floor but he’s also gotten himself into very good shape and is reportedly a year young for his grade.
Kris Laing, Bridgeport Prep – He was a breakout performer at last fall’s Connecticut Open Gym but has battled some nagging injuries since. Now finally healthy, Laing has a great build – long and strong – is a much improved perimeter shooter and also capable of making plays with the ball in the open floor.
Mike Greene, Hamden – “Who’s that guy?” That’s the question we were asking when watching this explosive 6-foot-6 forward play above the rim with the type of finishes that only Stewart and Romano could match. He’s long, wiry, and clearly possessing a lot of potential to keep developing.
Eli Blackwell, West Haven – He may be undersized, but he understands how to utilize that to his advantage. Blackwell plays low to the ground, understands how to use his body, is very shifty with his dribble, and equally crafty at the rim. He’s also a pest defensively and reportedly an excellent student in the classroom.
Dereyk Grant, Wilbur Cross – His resume this past season was off the charts – SCC championship, SCC tournament MVP, All-SCC first-team, and second-team all-state. He is a compact and strong lefty who plays both ends of the court and is a scoring threat at multiple spots on the floor.
Tahmeen Dupree, Lee Academy – The New Britain alum is the third member of the program who will head to Lee for a prep year. Dupree also had a decorated high school career. He is a two-time All-SCC selection, 1000-point scorer, and was all-state this season. He’s a volume scoring guard with good instincts in the lane and a strong body.
Justice Carter, New Britain - Dupree's running-mate in the New Britain backcourt last year, Carter is a high IQ guard who shoots it well from long-range. He was All-CCC last season and is primed for a big senior campaign.
Malikai Delgado-Fisher, PHS Academy (FL) – A big-bodied playmaker, Delgado-Fisher is built like a forward with broad shoulders and a very strong upper body, but he has some guard skills with his ability to handle the ball and create, all of which made him one of the more versatile match-ups in the gym.