Best of the 2027 Frontcourt and Wings

Dylan Thayer | Tuesday, September 19th, 2023

Best of the 2027 Frontcourt and Wings

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 first take a look at the best bigs that we saw from the class of 2027.

Big man Kamsi Awaka was one of a handful of representatives of the New Heights Lightning program out of NYC, and will be a name we get to know around New England as he starts to play with Cheshire Academy. Standing out with an imposing physical presence and a set of intangibles, the big man may step into a large portion of playing time immediately in the NEPSAC. Known for his formidable paint presence, he excels in blocking shots and finishing plays with remarkable power, and has the physical upside to be a force to be reckoned with on the defensive end. Awaka possesses the raw talent, natural athleticism plus physical attributes, and looks to be on an exciting trajectory in his basketball career. As he continues to develop their skills and refine their game, Kamsi Awaka is certainly a player to closely monitor in the New England class of 2027.

Peter Uzgiris, a towering presence at 6'10 on St. Luke's, possesses impressive skills in the post. With his considerable height advantage, he has the ability to catch and control the ball effectively, making him a valuable asset in the low post. Uzgiris’s capability to elevate and utilize his physicality to dominate defenders and secure points around the basket is a notable aspect of his game, and one that has a lot of upside to improve down the line. As an early-bloomer in his basketball journey, he has already demonstrated great promise. It's worth monitoring his growth and development, particularly in terms of expanding his skills beyond the paint, as he continues to evolve as a player in the coming years. He demonstrated floor-stretching potential at the event, knocking down standstill treys and we look forward to seeing where his talent takes him down the line. 

Loannis Loupos boasts an impressive skill set as a post player. His proficiency in scoring near the basket is marked by a delicate touch. Loupos is recognized for his role as an interior defender, where he combines his size and physical presence to make it challenging for opponents to penetrate the paint. Remarkably, he is still in the early stages of his basketball journey, having recently turned 14 in June, which means there's ample time for his skills and physical attributes to develop further. As he embarks on his high school career at Brighton High School, his is one name to monitor.

Logan Lang of Reason Prep warrants close observation thanks to his imposing size and potential. Standing out with his physical stature, Logan showcases impressive defensive instincts near the basket, often disrupting opponents' shot attempts with his shot-altering abilities. On the offensive end, his scoring repertoire includes deft teardrops and hooks, highlighting his evolving touch around the basket. Notably, his post-game is a work in progress, indicating room for growth and improvement in this aspect. A big reclassed big man with plenty of time to improve upon his rim-running skills.

Emmanuel Lawrence from Kolbe Cathedral stands tall at 6'8 and is a budding talent with substantial raw potential. Blessed with an imposing physique, Emmanuel possesses promising attributes that hint at a bright future in basketball. His athleticism and agility allow him to throw down emphatic dunks, showcasing his ability to make exciting plays on the court. While he may be considered raw in some aspects of his game, his natural touch around the basket and physicality position him as a high-level prospect in the making. 

Moving from the recap of bigs to forwards and wings, the focus shifts to players with different roles and skill sets on the basketball court. While bigs typically dominate the paint and focus on inside play, forwards and wings specifically often bring versatility to the game, with the ability to score from both inside and outside, contribute as playmakers and shooters, and most importantly defend various positions.

Micheal McNamara, a 6'6" wing, is a player with immense potential and a bright future. His versatility and skills on the court make him a standout prospect. One of McNamara's notable strengths is his fluidity in movement, which allows him to navigate the court with ease. Offensively, McNamara is a scoring threat from multiple areas using good footwork, and gets up to finish above the rim. Moreover, his shooting range extends to the three-point line and midrange, where he can knock down shots off the dribble. He is an underrated rim protector with the ability to alter and block shots. Catch McNamara playing with both Catholic Memorial and the Middlesex Magic.

Mekai Brown, currently representing Greenwich Country Day School after a previous stint at Stepinac, is an electrifying high-flying wing player known for his ability to finish dunks with a combination of power and finesse around the basket. His versatility as a perimeter threat is a key aspect of his game, as he consistently demonstrates the capability to sink three-pointers. Brown is also a skilled post player, and his mid-range game is equally impressive, showcasing a well-rounded offensive skill set. With his multifaceted abilities and potential for growth, Mekai Brown is regarded as a high-upside prospect in the New England class of 2027.

Ikenna Okafor, a dynamic 6'4" playmaking forward, excels in driving to the basket with finesse and consistently makes sound decisions on the court. While his shooting skills are developing, his ability to penetrate defenses and get to the rim is a notable aspect of his game. Okafor is known for his crafty finishing around the basket, which allows him to convert scoring opportunities in a variety of ways. Currently playing for Concord Academy, his development as a versatile player is evident. Additionally, you can catch him showcasing his skills while running with the Middlesex Magic during the grassroots season.

Will Hastings from Nashoba, stands at an impressive 6'4", which is notable for his rebounding ability. Hastings demonstrates his knack for positioning himself effectively under the basket to secure valuable boards for his team. He is a reliable shooter, particularly when left open, and shows good decision-making skills  It's worth noting that he is still in a phase of growth, and there are expectations that he may reach 6'7" to 6'8" as he continues to develop physically.

Colin Mburu from Moses Brown High School in Rhode Island made a strong impression at Frosh/Soph South. Standing at 6'2", he is a versatile wing player who excels at driving to the basket for scoring opportunities, demonstrates prowess in rebounding, and showcases excellent defensive skills.

Sam Kim, representing Groton School, is a relatively new player to the game but shows promise despite being raw. He's recognized for his mid-range shooting abilities and his tenacious, gritty style of play, demonstrating toughness on the court.

Otis Crosby, playing for St. Andrew's, is a reliable three-point shooter known for his consistent accuracy from beyond the arc. He's a versatile defender with the ability to guard various positions, adding a valuable switchable element to his game. Otis also stands out as a strong rebounder, and notably, he played at the prep level in eighth grade, indicating his advanced skill development for his age.

Patrick Costello, whose father played at BU, is a well-rounded player with a reputation as a capable three-point shooter. He possesses athleticism, enabling him to finish plays above the rim with ease. Additionally, Pat is a skilled playmaker who excels at reading the defense and making quick, effective passes on the court. He is a player to watch out of Natick High School.

Shane Grogan is a proficient shooter who excels at relocating to find open three-point opportunities and consistently delivers from beyond the arc. He is also effective at driving into the lane and displays good touch when finishing near the basket.

Stay tuned as we continue to recap the first Frosh/Soph since 2019 in the coming days.