Best of the 2026 Guards CT pt. 1

Dylan Thayer | Sunday, September 17th, 2023

Best of the 2026 Guards CT pt. 1

The Frosh/Soph Elite 75 Showcase returned in style as both the Massachusetts event in Hanover, and the Connecticut event in Hamden sold out. It was the first time that we ran this event since the pandemic hit in 2020, and things picked back up right where we left off. New England basketball is in good hands with the group of underclassmen we got a chance to see.

To continue our write-ups on the standouts we witnessed, let’s take a look at the best guards the class of 2026 has to offer from our Connecticut event. The second part of the recap on the 2026 Connecticut guards will be released very soon.

Chris Powell's basketball stock is rising by the day, highlighted by an offer from Oklahoma State and a top-60 ranking on 247Sports shortly after the conclusion of the event. As a crafty combo guard, Powell boasts scoring prowess from various areas on the court, making him a versatile offensive threat. His athleticism and size enable him to execute powerful dunks and finish acrobatically around the rim through contesting defenders. The guard was the leading scorer for the E15 City Rocks on their run at Peach Jam where they made it to the title game, but ultimately ended up losing. In 7 games he averaged 11.0ppg on 43.1% from the field, with a 20 point performance against the Florida Rebels, and an extremely efficient 17 points against Team Takeover in the semifinal. Powell is poised to be a force under Coach Pringle at Westminster, where his all-around game will be properly introduced to the NEPSAC. 

Jasiah Jervis, an emerging talent from the New York City area, made a strong impression during the event. Despite his young age, Jervis already held offers from four prominent Division 1 schools entering Frosh/Soph, and received another a few days after. Standing at 6'5", he is a lengthy scoring guard with the ability to convert from all three levels of the floor, showcasing his versatility on offense. He is an efficient scorer who hits pull-up opportunities with consistency, opening up the floor for his teammates. His playmaking skills are notable as well as he makes flashy passes to get others good shots. Competing with the Wiz Kids 15U on the 3SSB circuit, Jervis is a name expected to gain national recognition in the near future, and his continued development will be one to monitor as time passes.

DJ Biggins, a southpaw guard, built on his growing reputation this past grassroots season playing with New Heights 15U on the EYBL circuit. Known for his shooting touch, he's effective in both the mid-range and converting long-range shots. Biggins also exhibits strong passing skills, making intelligent reads on the court to create scoring opportunities for his teammates. As a potent slasher, he can navigate to the basket effectively and finish plays at the rim. Currently representing Kingswood-Oxford in the NEPSAC, Biggins is a versatile player with valuable offensive and playmaking abilities.

DJ Hawkins, a 2026 prospect from Connecticut, has caught the attention of scouts and will be closely monitored in the coming years. Hawkins impressed on the 15U level of the EYBL circuit during the spring and summer, showcasing his athleticism. His elite athleticism was on full display at the Elite 75 event, where he took long strides through the defense and executed powerful dunks. Hawkins is a lengthy and aggressive rebounder, making him a player to watch closely in the upcoming school year as he continues to develop his skills on the court.

Dior Anderson, hailing from the NYC area, showcased his impressive skills during the event. Despite standing at 6'0", Anderson possesses a built frame and plays with tenacity. He excels at scoring, often putting up points in bunches, and has a knack for slashing to the rim. Anderson is also a standout defender, known for his ability to keep the ball in front of him, thanks to his strong legs and quick feet. As a member of the Wiz Kids 15U on the 3SSB circuit, Anderson is part of a talented group of players to keep an eye on.

Elijah Avery-Turner, a highly athletic guard, possesses the ability to finish above the rim with impressive bounce. At the showcase this athleticism and pop towards the rim put the gym on notice. Avery-Turner is a twitchy guard off the dribble with fluid shooting form to score from all around the court. He is also known for his intense work ethic on the defensive end, making him a tenacious defender as he crowds passing lanes and forces turnovers. Representing Daniel Hand High School in the CIAC, Avery-Turner's athleticism and defensive prowess make him a player of note moving forward.

Jackson Southerland, often referred to as the "manchild," has made an exciting move to South Kent. This versatile guard boasts the ability to score effectively from all three levels of the court, making him a potent offensive threat. Southerland is not just an offensive powerhouse; he also possesses active hands on the defensive end and plays with unwavering effort, contributing to both sides of the game. With his exceptional ball-handling skills, impressive court vision, and smooth movement, Southerland is undoubtedly a promising prospect for Coach Chillious.

Jonathan Ocasio, a reclassified 2026 player now at Deerfield Academy, has quickly become a standout to watch in the NEPSAC. His scoring ability is a defining trait, highlighted by his exceptional three-point shooting prowess. Ocasio is versatile, capable of knocking down shots both off the catch and off the dribble. Furthermore, his agility and slashing skills allow him to maneuver through the lane effectively, making him a multifaceted offensive threat. In addition to his offensive skills, Ocasio exhibits relentless defensive qualities that further solidify his status as a promising prospect in the NEPSAC.

Rokas Zilys, representing Vermont Academy, shows promising potential as a lead guard. He boasts exceptional ball-handling skills, displaying tight control over the basketball. Zilys possesses a high basketball IQ, consistently making intelligent passes and demonstrating a keen understanding of the game. Additionally, he has the ability to contribute on the offensive end by knocking down shots, further solidifying his role as a well-rounded guard with a bright future.

Josh Bergeron from Lincoln High School is a rising star in the RIIL. What sets Bergeron apart is his uncanny ability to light up the scoreboard with his remarkable scoring prowess. He's known as a microwave scorer for his talent to heat up rapidly, especially from beyond the arc, where he can bury threes with pinpoint accuracy. With a keen basketball IQ and excellent offensive instincts, Bergeron is poised to make a significant impact as he moves up the ranks with BCRI.

Stay tuned for part two of the 2027 Connecticut guards which releases very soon!