2022 forward breakdown -April 13, 2020
Kok Yat is one of Georgia’s best in the 2022 class. Photo – Stan Johnson
Atlanta, Ga – Continuing on with the 2022 rankings breakdown, forwards are the next area of focus. It doesn’t take long to go through Georgia’s best 5 forwards in this class as all of them are within the Top 10 of the rankings. All 5 prospects bring versatility but also have unique qualities that distinguish them from the others.
By: Trent Markwith
Photo – @hoopsbystan
In the rankings, these guys all come between the #4 and #10 spots; there were some tough decisions in slotting each and there is sure to be fluctuation among them over the next 2 years. It’s worth noting that the 11th, 12th, and 14thranked prospects are forwards as well. There is no shortage of quality size in this class.
Taking the top forward spot currently is Chauncey Wiggins of Eastside. He suffered an injury that ended his season early, but still garnered 1stTeam All-Region honors. Wiggins boasts shot-making ability at 6’8” that is unrivaled by other forwards in the rankings. A high release, compact form, and soft touch make him a serious threat in the mid-range area and he can step out behind the 3-point line as well. He has also proven to have dexterity to finish with either hand in the paint. As with most young forwards, strength is an area of improvement for Wiggins, but he already gets off his feet well and looks to protect the rim.
On a Norcross team that featured multiple Division 1 seniors, Kok Yat had to wait his turn this year and didn’t always get tons of opportunities. However, his talent is unquestionable and he has been quite impressive when he is on the court. At 6’8”, Yat already has the skillset of a true SF. He is comfortable and fluid with the ball, showing both shot-making and slashing ability off the bounce. Yat has grown into his body early and his athleticism is there; he is a good leaper off 1 or 2 feet and has long arms to go with it. With the graduation of JT Thor and Josh Taylor, look for him to step into the spotlight next season and show his full repertoire.
After having to sit out the first half of the season, Malique Ewin was a big help in Berkmar’s frontcourt alongside Jalen Deloach as they captured the Region 7-7A Championship and reached the Elite 8. Ewin already has a pretty big body and moves well for a guy of his size. He has impressive ball-handling and passing ability that he’ll show both in transition and in the half-court. Although he likes to operate on the perimeter, Ewin gives production in the paint with good touch and rebounding ability. Playing hard consistently and with an increased sense of urgency will allow him to move up in future rankings.
Despite Meadowcreek struggling to find success as a team, Kendall Campbell received 2ndTeam All-Region honors in the ultra-talented R7-7A. Campbell is versatile on both sides of the ball; he can defend multiple positions and has inside-out capabilities on offense. He made impressive strides with his offensive game this winter which boosted his stock significantly. Campbell plays with a good motor, doesn’t shy away from physicality, and keeps things simple offensively. He checks a lot of boxes and will continue to gain attention the rest of his high school career.
Joyful Hawkins was out of action for a good chunk of the season as he transferred to Kell in the middle of the year. When he’s locked in and his motor is going, Hawkins is a handful for many high school forwards. Hawkins is already pretty strong and looks to initiate contact inside. He likes to operate and slash from 10-15 feet after facing up and is also a good roll target after setting screens. Hawkins will provide activity as a shot-blocker & rebounder as well, and shows flashes of perimeter skill with ball-handling and shooting too. Look for him to remind people of his ability whenever we return to the court.
The aforementioned 11th, 12th, and 14thranked prospects are RJ Godfrey, D’Ante Bass, and Jared Russo (in order). They could very well ascend into the Top 10 before long so be on the lookout for their names in the coming months too.