Prep Hoops Next National Championship: Friday Night GameChangers
This content series is sponsored by GameChanger – The Official Scorekeeping, Stats, Team Management & Technology Partner of Prep Hoops Next.
Kansas City, MO. — The inaugural Prep Hoops Next National Championship kicked off Friday night at Hy-Vee Arena and the arena was filled with championship buzz. Below are five players that took over and changed the game for their respective teams on the opening night…
2026 Isaiah Darfus | ItsNthn Elite
Darfus was one of the more polished prospects I was able to see yesterday. Standing at 6’1, Darfus got going from opening tip and played a pivotal role for ItsNthn Elite as they edged out Buchanan’s Performance in the opening round Friday night. Darfus has one of the more textbook jumper’s that I have seen so far on the PHN Circuit this year as he has tremendous lift on his shot. There is good confidence in his shot and once he gets going, he is tough to stop.
2026 Logan Hillman | 573 Elite
Hillmann has been known as a versatile scorer on the PHN Circuit this year and he continued that on opening night of the National Championship. Whether it was outworking guys in the post or stretching himself to the perimeter, Hillman was super productive from start to finish for 573 Elite and looked like a potential team that could make some serious noise this weekend in Kansas City.
2026 Ayden Lester | Arkansas Athletes Outreach
Playing on a talented AAO team, Lester was the difference maker for his team last night in a win over Northstar Titans. AAO controlled the entire game pretty much but there were some times where Northstar would make a run and it was Lester’s ability to shoot the basketball, especially from deep that led them to victory. If Lester continues to shoot the ball this weekend the way he did last night, AAO can make a serious run deep into this tournament.
2026 Owen Wilczek | Northstar Titans
Despite a losing effort to AAO, Wilczek must be noticed for his play. Standing at 6’4, Wilczek is skilled and can score the ball well from the mid range and efficiently in the low post. If Northstar needed points, Wilczek would answer most of the time for them. He does a good job of finishing over defenders and runs the floor well putting himself in good opportunities to score the ball. Wilczek definitely caught some eyes last night.
2026 JJ Zavatchin | CBA – North Gold
The big man for CBA-North Gold was exciting to watch last night as his bunch opened the national championship in a convincing win against Kings Basketball 323. Zavatchin established himself early on in the game and made it known he was going to be tough to guard all game long. He got the game going with a steal that led to a transition dunk that I don’t think a lot of people saw coming but it certainly got the gym buzzin. From there he was dominant in the paint and made himself the go to guy for his team all night.
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