Prep Hoops Next opened its 2021 schedule at LakePoint Sports in Cartersville, GA this past weekend with the Southeast Kickoff, and it was fitting that one of the nation’s premier basketball facilities would attract some of the southeast’s and beyond…
Prep Hoops Next opened its 2021 schedule at LakePoint Sports in Cartersville, GA this past weekend with the Southeast Kickoff, and it was fitting that one of the nation’s premier basketball facilities would attract some of the southeast’s and beyond best youth clubs. In the 7th and 8th grade divisions, teams came from as far as Iowa and Ohio to test their mettle against a slate of teams from the south whose names will be familiar to many.
Prep Hoops GA took a break from our high school coverage and was in the building both days, getting a chance to focus on some of the Peach State’s best 2025 and 2026 talent coming up, many of whom showed the kind of polish that will see them push for early playing time on their HS teams as early as next year.
It’s a guard’s world seemingly regardless of level in the modern game, so we open by looking at some of the best performances by a bevy of wicked 2025 backcourt fiends.
Timothy Prather, CG, Atlanta Xpress (pictured above)
Powerful frame made for tough match-ups all weekend long, equally comfortable at either guard spot, used that frame to back down smaller defenders or power through opposing frontcourts, showed a great work rate in finding his O off the bounce or slipping into gaps for his effective jump shot, good hands and instincts on D and was able to turn-over opposing guards and get finishes off the break, had a 13-point game to open festivities Saturday morning against TSF, then added 8 in a strong team win over GA Stars Styles later in the day.
Zaiden Greene, CG, Atlanta Xpress
Made for a difficult combo to handle alongside Prather when on the floor together, a little quicker with the ball was Greene although his true spot appears to be on the wing where he was terrific against GA Stars Styles Saturday with three 3s and 11 points, can step out and play the 1, but it was his hustle at both ends that was so notable as he made life difficult for whomever he was matching as well as showing good instincts on the double team and harassing opposing bigs.
Avery White, PG, TSF
Speed with the ball and is what excites in watching White run the offense, he explodes past defenders either out on the break or attacking the paint, he sees and understands the depth of options on his club and is that rare pass-first PG yet who also knows he has plenty of O in his own arsenal, showed a nice stroke from 3-land when defenders were forced to back off for fear of the blow-by, a superb, well-schooled on-ball defender, had 10 balanced points in the Saturday win over Xpress and 11 more Sunday against GA Stars Simmons.
Jayden Cole, SG, TSF
Smooth mover, long frame, was excellent getting to the line off the attack against Xpress, sweet-looking stroke from beyond the arc and confident and clever in spotting up playing off of White, like White was among the better on-ball defenders I saw all day Saturday as he harassed a skilled group of XPress guards and turned D into O on multiple occasions.
Michael Carpenter, PG, Norcross Heat
There were few if any better PG’s on hand representing GA than Carpenter, plenty of size and strength already he calmly goes about his business out there breaking down defenses, pushing the pace always with is head up and on a swivel and showing all the confidence in the world with the ball in his hands, his full arsenal on offense includes a sweet 3-point stroke, great controlled attacking ability and a willingness to draw and score through contact, terrific vision in the open court and off the attack, and a deft set of hands on defense picking the pocket of multiple ballhandlers on the day, in facing a E1T1 team from Florida with 4 players 6-5 or taller early on Saturday he still got 15 impressive points and showed no back-down against the overall size of the group from FL, catching them early Sunday morning as well he did a number again on a good Ohio Rebels team in cashing in another 15-point, all-around excellent performance in the exciting Heat win.
Jamari Mosley, SG, Norcross Heat
Teaming with Carpenter to comprise perhaps the best guard duo I saw all weekend was the long and rangy Mosley, versatile at both ends with good size he played the back line of the zone and showed nice grit mixing it up with the E1T1 bigs as well as Sunday against good size from the Rebels, a true wing attacking player in the cast-mold he was comfortable spotting up from 3 and had the stroke to do it, was particularly tough using the bounce to get at the rim with either hand, also an instinctive defender he showed plenty of ballhandling in often leading the break himself for pretty coast-to-coast finishes, had one of the weekend highlights against the Rebels in getting the late go ahead-layup which held up on a grown-man drive through the lane.
Christian Curl, PG, GA Stars Simmons
Much like the Heat’s Michael Carpenter, Curl was among the most impressive and polished guards from GA on hand, a controlled handle with the ball put him in position to hurt defenses from all over the floor, a high IQ, solidly built player at this early stage he was a 1/2 step ahead of most others he faced, adding to his acumen as a lead guard was a tremendous stroke from distance and a ton of confidence behind it, he had 4 treys against a really strong Kingdom Hoops club from Iowa on Saturday and finished with 15 in the 2-point win, had another 11 in Sunday’s terrific comeback win from double digits down to TSF.
Max McNeill, SG, GA Stars Simmons
We’ve noted several good-looking pairs of guards so far and McNeill combining with Curl was equally dynamic to the others, showed an ability to slide between guard spots he too found his way to the arc and showed off a confident stroke, loved the slick ball-handling used to attack the paint and blow-by defenders, used that aggressiveness with the bounce in the win over Kingdom to get the GW-layup with 10 seconds left, had all 7 of his points in the 2nd half surge against TSF Sunday which erased that big deficit on the way to the win.
Jaiden Haynes, SG, GA Stars Simmons
Long strider/glider who covers a lot of ground in getting up and down the floor on the break, driving it with authority he was one of the more impressive wing attackers of the weekend, very athletic but doesn’t look like he’s expending a ton (but is) as he skies or blows by you, got all 7 of his points in the 2nd as yet another key cog in that Stars comeback win over TSF.