F. Isaiah Abraham, Paul VI–Abraham kind of blew up on the recruiting trail last summer. This school year he transferred from Highland to Paul VI and did nothing but help his considerable stock. The 6’7″ wing is known for his high motor and athleticism. He’s a dynamic finisher and a talented defender who is highly-sought after at the Division I level. We really admired his ability to hit the key three-pointer this season.
F-C. Patrick Ngongba II, Paul VI–Abraham’s cousin is the physical Patrick Ngongba, who manned the middle this season for the Panthers. At around 6’10” he is anything but slow and prodding, and he has a motor similar to Abraham’s. At the next level you can see him manning the five for some Division I team, but he also has the skillset to play the four. Near the basket he’s relentless, and scarily, he still has physical upside.
F-C. Garrett Sundra, Paul VI–Sundra was always a great college prospect because of his 6’10”-plus height and ability to shoot efficiently from beyond the arc. This school year he noticeably improved and made a far greater impact on the court, and college scouts and fans took note. Stronger and more confident, Sundra is now a high-major prospect with offers from schools like Villanova and Penn State.
G. Ben Hammond, Paul VI–As tall and imposing as PVI is, where would the Panthers be without their clutch, do-everything guard to push the tempo and attack the rim? Well, they’d still be really good, but Hammond plays a vital role. He gets his share of assists to be sure, but he also sets up his teammates in lots of different ways that don’t show up in the box score. He’s tough, confident, and a plus-defender very capable of creating his own offense as well.
G. Darren Harris, Paul VI–Oh, yeah, there’s this guy as well–the tall guard who is still Duke-bound and regarded as one of the best shooters in the country. There’s his three-point shooting for sure, but we also slowly realized how considerably athletic Harris is attacking the rim as well this season. The first team all-state selection absolutely stuns opponents guarding him out on the perimeter when he either goes baseline or attacks the middle with a monster jam.
F. Jadyn Harris, O’Connell–If anyone should crack this PVI starting five, it is definitely Harris. Even with Division I offers, we feel Harris is still a little underappreciated around here. We love the way the second team all-WCAC wing attacks the basket from the perimeter, using his body smartly to prevent bigger guys from blocking his shot. Harris has good height himself, and can shoot, rebound, defend well.
F. Eli Adegbenro, Fairfax Christian–You could easily argue Adegbenro was as important as anyone on Fairfax Christian’s roster to their VISAA Division III title team. Adegbenro, an athletic wing, does the dirty work inside and is a tough defender. He cleans up virtually anything near the basket and regularly embarrasses bigger players on the glass. His perimeter game has developed considerably as well.
G. Amarion Custis, John Paul the Great–Custis must have a pretty good basketball mind, because watching him attack his opponents is kind of like watching someone adept at chess trap his opponent. The guard sees the floor well, whether he’s cutting to the basket off-ball or getting ready to carve up opponents with the rock. He’s got a good jump shot and good extension on his drives and averaged well into double figures this year.
F. Elijah Flowers, Potomac School–Flowers, like his brother Devon who played at Potomac School a few years ago, is a very tall forward with a nice shooting touch. Elijah was able to mix in some key three-pointers for the Panthers this season while also doing his part protecting the paint and working inside on offense. As his role should increase even more next season, Flowers is definitely one to watch.
F. David Rochester III, O’Connell–Rochester missed a part of the season to injury, but we just couldn’t leave him off this list as he was so good in the games we saw him in. The slender 6’8″ forward is a very good shooter from deep, and knows how to attack opponents on the drive when they try and close him out. He’s light on his feet and versatile. A very underrated major prospect in our eyes.
G. Jamari Hodnett, Bishop Ireton–Bishop Ireton has a lot of talented young guards that can run the show or fill it up off-ball, and Hodnett is definitely one of those. Aggressive and tough, Hodnett took over some games this year with his shooting/scoring. While he could fill it up, he definitely could ignite the Cardinals in other ways, too: steals, pinpoint passing, even blocks and getting tough rebounds.
F. Nijel Howard, Fairfax Christian–Howard makes people notice him with his spectacular finishing ability and put-back dunks. In the second half of the season he started to play with a lot more consistency, culminating in a 23-point performance in the state title game win. While the dunks grab your attention, he can shoot as well and has shown flashes of defensive excellence. Another one to watch going forward.
Mekai Johnson (Bishop Ireton), O’Marion Ferguson (Episcopal), Malcolm Stute (Episcopal), Patrick Nguyen (Seton), Dakota Sellers (John Paul the Great), Jaedon Harris (John Paul the Great), Deng Wutchok (Bethel Academy), Aimane Elbouazzaoui (Bethel Academy), Andrew Canda (Christ Chapel), Kyan Bowman (St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes), Ke’Juan Richburg (Fairfax Christian), Fred Johnson (Fairfax Christian), Doyle Brown (Flint Hill/Fairfax Christian)