ZGXL: The Launch - Recap

Dylan Thayer | Monday, April 29th, 2024

ZGXL: The Launch - Recap

The official kick-off of this year’s Zero Gravity Exposure League down in Atlantic City was a resounding success. Over 350 teams from a number of different states and even Canada made the trek down to New Jersey to battle it out for the Launch. The gym was buzzing with energy the entire weekend as people flooded into the Convention Center.

Standing Room Only

The most memorable game of the weekend took place on Saturday as the 17U team for the BABC 3SSB matched up with Topp Tier Basketball out of Maryland.

Finding a place to stand was a luxury as the court was swarmed with people. Joson Sanon (29pts) and Patrick Curtin (34 pts) led the way for both teams scoring wise as the two Division One prospects traded threes throughout the game.

PC: Zerogravitybb (IG)

Upon viewing Curtin for the first time, his shooting ability off the dribble is one that defenses need to beware of. The guard gets his shots off in an instant and can hit them from well beyond the arc with efficiency. His confidence radiated throughout the crowd and his ability to thread full-court passes was eye-opening.

Fellow Topp Tier guard, Eli Croskey was another key cog for Topp Tier as the guard brings lightning quick feet, shiftiness with the ball in his hands and threw down probably the craziest dunk of the weekend.

The second half of the game saw BABC pull away as Sanon packed on the points and the frontcourt of Oswin Erhunmwunse and Ben Ahmed locked in and held down the paint. Ricardo Nieves also played tough defense and contributed in the scoring, hitting jumpers and flushing down a dunk.

Under the Radar Prospects 

Larry Duncan of Cecil Strive Elite (MD) caught our eye in his Saturday afternoon outing as the 2026 wing put on a strong scoring display. Duncan packed on the points in a variety of ways but most notably showed off his fearlessness attacking the rim, three-level scoring, and great rebounding skills.

Diing Maiwen of XLP (ME) is an under-the-radar 2025 prospect out of Auburn Maine. Maiwen brings a lot of length to the court which he uses to impact the game. He can rebound at-will, alter shots defensively and really flush down athletic dunks. 

Unsigned 2024 guard Isaiah Gilliam of Boys 2 Men (NY) returned to the ZGXL circuit in strong fashion. The 6’3 PG brings height to the position to complement his handle, ability to break down the defense, and lock in on his matchup on the other end of the floor.

2025 Big guard Noah Limbago of the Nova Cavs (VA) made his stake as a scorer, knocking down pull-up jumpers and finishing dunks at the rim. He has a strong physical body which he uses to get to his spots and has reported scholarship & high academic interest.

Rivals Elite (MA) stretch big Matt Breen turned heads over the weekend. The 6’8 2025 throws down dunks using his length to live above the rim, controls the paint to alter shots around the basket, and spaces the floor as a shooter from deep.

Aaron Cote of the UA Rise 16U squad for Team Sims (MA) played very well in a competitive matchup with BABC. The 2026 brings a very shifty handle to keep defenders off balance, gets downhill quick and finishes acrobatically and can hit the three often.

Incoming Phelps postgrad Matt Kapfer of the Riverside Hawks (NY) just finished his career at Fordham Prep averaging over 23 points this season and carried the momentum into the Launch. Kapfer is as efficient as a scorer as they come, does so at all three-levels and is an above-average rebounder.

New York native, 2025 Evan Rainville of Elevate NYBC (NY), has picked up strong D3 interest thus far and stood out at the Launch. Rainville is a midrange maestro that gets to his spots and hit shots, as well as thriving as a transition scorer.

PC: Zerogravitybb (IG)

Vernon Perry is an unsigned senior guard for the Brooklyn Wildcats (NY) that caught the attention of our team. Perry is very quick off the dribble with smooth feet, he drives hard into the post to score at the basket, and sees the court well as a passer.

2025 Jermelle Cotton (Team Northeast) was a standout just a few weeks ago at NEHF, and once again stuck out. Cotton’s scoring abilities are undeniable as he has a deep bag, navigates the entire floor with his tight handle, and is a lights-out three point shooter

Mason Conrad, a 2026 scorer out for Total Skills (PA) had it working this weekend pouring in 30 in a single contest. Conrad is an elite shooter that scores the ball in bunches and wills his team to victory.

Nafees Padgett will be doing a postgrad this season for the Tilton School in New Hampshire and stood out for Black Bear North (ME). Padgett has a great pull-up game at 6’4 with size, strength and speed to take over a game.

Looking Ahead

The next chance to perform with your grassroots club in front of the NERR scouting team will be at the Super 16 in New York on May 11th/12th, as well as the next stop for the ZGXL on May 17-19th in Pennsylvania.