Best of the 2027 Guards 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 some of 2027’s most promising guards, with more on the group to come tomorrow.
Patrick Otey out of CATS Academy has been on our radar for quite some time, and his reputation is well-deserved. As a 6’ 5” guard, he has knock down shooting ability. Otey is not just a shooter though; he's a marksman. His accuracy from mid-range is exceptional, and he's a threat from beyond the three-point line as well. What sets Otey apart is his ability to create shots. Whether he's on or off the ball, he can navigate through defenses and create scoring opportunities for himself and his teammates. His performance in the EYBL 15U division speaks volumes about his scoring efficiency, averaging an impressive 18.2 points per game, making him the most efficient scorer in his age group according to Synergy. Additionally, Otey had the opportunity to represent Brazil in FIBA 16U competition, showcasing his talent on the international stage. With a Division 1 offer already in his pocket, Otey's skills have not gone unnoticed at the national level. His consistent performance and improvement make him one of, if not the most promising underclassmen in New England.
Antonio Pemberton has already demonstrated his high potential on some of the grandest basketball stages, most notably with Mass Rivals 17U in the 3SSB circuit as a middle schooler. What sets him apart is his role as a confident lead guard who thrives under pressure and minimizes mistakes, making him a reliable floor general. Pemberton's ability to direct traffic on offense is a testament to his basketball IQ and court awareness. He's not just a scorer; he's a playmaker. He excels at setting up his teammates and orchestrating the offense, showcasing his leadership qualities on the court. What makes Pemberton even more exciting is his offensive arsenal. At such a young age, he already possesses a diverse and promising set of offensive skills. Whether it's his scoring ability, ball-handling, or shooting, he has the tools to become a dynamic offensive threat. In the New England basketball scene, Pemberton is already recognized as one of the top underclassmen, and we will continue to track his blossoming career.
Ethan Njenga out of St. George's is a guard known for his exceptional speed and dynamic pacing, consistently keeping opponents guessing. His finesse in finishing near the basket with either hand highlights his versatility as a scorer. Furthermore, his dependable perimeter shooting not only bolsters his offensive repertoire but also makes him a threat from long range. Ethan is the younger brother of Bradford Christian’s Sean. His impact was felt on the competitive stage with BABC, where he contributed to their success in the Adidas 3SSB Circuit.
Preston Bollin, the second youngest among the Bollin siblings, is making a name for himself at St. Sebastian's as a savvy guard with a keen understanding of defensive strategies. His ability to accelerate down the court, coupled with his knack for driving to the basket and finishing with authority on either side, showcases his impressive combination of strength and physical prowess. On the defensive end, Bollin is a reliable and versatile asset, a trait he shares with his siblings, who are equally comfortable playing positions 1 through 5. Continuously refining his game, Bollin is an integral part of the Baystate Jags, competing on the Under Armour Rise Circuit.
Hunter Peabody is a standout freshman at Phillips Andover, having made a recent transition from Austin Prep, where he spent his middle school years. Impressively, his basketball IQ far surpasses his age, reflecting a deep understanding of the game. Peabody's value on the court extends to his versatile scoring abilities, and his stock is on a rapid rise as he continues to hone his skills, particularly as a reliable three-point threat who can catch fire in an instant.
Keyshon Joyner is a 5'8” guard that brings a valuable set of skills and attributes to join the reigning state champions at North High School in Worcester. Joyner is described as a traditional point guard, emphasizing his role as a playmaker and facilitator for his team. He makes the right plays and showcases solid passing skills which contribute to the success of his teammates on the court. His proficiency in converting from mid-range is a valuable scoring asset. Despite his height, Keyshon Joyner's skills and qualities as a point guard make him an important contributor to a North team looking to once again contend in the MIAA.
Devin White of Beaver Country Day School undeniably possesses all the essential attributes required to excel as an up-and-coming guard. Standing out as one of the fastest athletes on the court, he masterfully employs changes of speed to his advantage, keeping defenders off balance. Notably, White’s proficiency as a shooter adds depth to his skill set, and while he may thrive as a shooting guard , his versatility allows him to contribute effectively in either the shooting guard or point guard position as needed.
Reece Ayala, a left-handed guard from Milton Academy, is an exciting prospect with natural finishing skills and the potential for a strong jumpshot. As a 2027 prospect, he has the necessary tools and time to develop into a significant player in the future. Ayala's transfer to the reigning champions at Milton Academy make him a player to watch closely in the coming years.
Max Kellogg from Williston Northampton carries a basketball pedigree evident in his skills on the court. His pure long-range shot holds promise for future excellence, and he demonstrates a strong command of the game. Kellogg's comfort on the court is palpable, thanks to his adept ball-handling and overall comfortability. Notably, his father Derek, a former point guard and Head Coach at UMass who is now an assistant coach at Creighton, undoubtedly influences his basketball upbringing.
Xavier Sanchez, a rising talent at Beaver Country Day, is an up-and-coming guard. His game is marked by finesse moves and exceptional ball-handling skills, allowing him to smoothly navigate through traffic and slash to the rim using crafty maneuvers. Notably, Sanchez has a strong mid-range game and a delicate touch on his floater. With his high-upside potential, he's a prospect worth closely monitoring in the coming years as he continues to develop and grow.
Stay tuned tomorrow as we discuss more of an intriguing and sizeable group of guards in the class of 2027.