NEXT National Championship: Post Prospect Standouts
The Prep Hoops Next National Championship featured teams from across the country gathering to compete in Kansas City. I was in the gym all weekend and these are some of the forwards and centers who impressed in the games I…
The Prep Hoops Next National Championship featured teams from across the country gathering to compete in Kansas City. I was in the gym all weekend and these are some of the forwards and centers who impressed in the games I saw!
Hudson Samuels (6’4 2026 PF/C, BBD)- Hudson played a key role in helping lead BBD to the 14u championship in KC. He’s a long post prospect who moves pretty well at his height allowing him to contribute in a variety of ways offensively. Hudson sets a good screen and is very active off the ball cutting and probing into space to put himself into situations to catch and finish. Uses his height to his advantage against smaller players, not bringing the ball down to where they can get it and finishing at a high percentage even in traffic. Defensively he’s tough to score over in the paint but he also has the mobility to hedge on screens and quickly recover back to his man.
Aderyan Contreras-Ward (6’2 2026 C, Wisconsin Elite National)- Playing alongside some talented guards, Aderyan is able to feast around the rim. He’s so good at making quick cuts before catching and powering up towards the basket. He has good hands as well, able to handle some difficult passes that I’ve seen high school bigs have a hard time with. Even when going up against taller players, Aderyan does a good job of using his frame to clear out space and gain deep position, but he also excels at getting guys in the air with a quick shot fake before going up to score. Had some big games helping lead Wisconsin Elite to the 14u title game.
Soane Hola (6′ 2028 PF, Team Ferrari)- Soane played a key role in leading Team Ferrari to the 12 title. At 6′ not only is he one of the taller players at that level, but he’s a powerful athlete who can dominate games inside with his strength. When he caught the ball on the block teams were forced to double because he could just work his way into deep position and power his way to the basket. Showed some solid mobility at his size as well, able to attack off the dribble, run the floor in transition, and guard a variety of spots on the floor. He’s not just a post threat either as Hola showed a nice looking shot from beyond the arc, as well as solid passing vision throughout the weekend.
Dominic Webster (6’2 2026 C, Team Tyus Blue)- Dominic is listed at 6’2 on the Team Tyus roster, but he looks to be a couple inches taller than that as he was one of the taller players I watched all weekend. He’s a strong player down low who can compete for position on the block and clear out space for rebounds. Webster excels at catching in the high post and facing up as he’s dangerous hitting short jumpers, is a good passer, and also has the skill to put the ball on the floor and attack off one or two dribbles. Defensively he’s tough to move off the block and does a nice job of walling up to avoid fouling when contesting shots.
Jack Thelen (6’8 2027 C, D1 Minnesota)- Not sure there was a taller player at the event than Jack, and he still has another year of middle school left. At 6’8 he towers over the competition, and he uses that height on the defensive end to alter countless shots. Even when he’s not able to get a hand on the ball, offensive players are trying to alter their release angle to go around him resulting in low percentage numbers in the paint. On the other end he does a good job of keeping the ball high when he catches in the paint, and showed some touch around the basket. Made some nice high-low passes as well with his ability to see and pass over the top of defenders. Helped lead D1 Minnesota to a 3-1 record.
Ja’Carion Green (2026 F, Team FSA)- Not sure if Ja’Carion ends up as a wing or forward down the road, but he did a lot of damage in the paint so I’m including him on this list. Team FSA had some well rounded size, but Ja’Carion stood out with his strong play around the basket. He’s a strong player who showed no problem taking bumps on his way to the rim and finishing through that contact. Green had a handful of and-one finishes that not only put points on the board, but got his team fired up to help push them to wins. He was a tough assignment for opposing forwards because he’s relentless on the glass, which helped end opposing possessions after one shot while also leading to second chance opportunities for his team with his ability to pull in offensive boards.
Cameron Pugh (6’3 2026 F, YMOM Diamonds In The Rough)- Cameron was one of the better interior defenders of the weekend. He’s long, agile, and explosive which makes him a talented rim protector. Able to move his feet to get into position to make plays on the ball, and on multiple occasions he was able to swat them right into the ground. Uses his athleticism to run the floor hard and pick up some transition looks. Will be an intriguing prospect to keep an eye on out of Milwaukee.