AAU Workout Visits – BCB, HYPE, Georgia Legacy
ATLANTA METRO – A new format for my weekly AAU Workout Visits, as we dig deep on some of these rosters before, during, and after tournaments throughout the next 5 months.
By: Keith Agran
BCB 15U, 16U, 17U
INTRO: Sam Allen and BCB are a North Fulton and Forsyth staple travel organization, with a year-round approach to camps, clinics and tournaments, teaching a lot more than just basketball skills. Dropping by their workout is always fascinating with the multiple age groups on hand, as you can see both the present and future in many cases, and watching 16U coach Rudy Bentley work the troops is always worth it, as he’s one of the top instructors in the ATL-Metro.
15U IMPRESSION-MAKERS: Looking forward to seeing this group more in action down the line, but they have a future star for sure in Lumpkin County guard Cal Faulkner. Already a varsity contributor, the full-court game is there within the modern-day combo guard mold, with the ballhandling and leadership of a point man and the scoring chops of an accomplished 2. Habersham Central forward JoJo McCurry and Cambridge guard Declan Miller also made impressions, McCurry finding his way into a growing frontcourt frame and Miller one of those scrappy and sneaky Bears players you’d be remiss to take lightly.
16U IMPRESSION-MAKERS: Really liked the potential of several of these guys as 15s last year, and many are back. North Forsyth’s Braden Mullis and South Forsyth’s Caleb Underwood are the backcourt rocks of this squad, Mullis a year stronger and wiser in his highly creative game, and Underwood taking after older brother 2022 star Ethan as the cerebral scoring-type. Luke Jensen is making his push to take over Denmark’s PG-role next fall, and the sharpshooter looked steady and controlled in his decision-making. Brayden Turner showed me a lot with NoFo this past season, he’s got good size for the wing and can stroke it from deep range when left unmarked. A pair of fundamental yet sneaky athletic newcomers to keep eyes on included Cherokee Bluff’s Logan Holmes and Jackson County’s Brice Rogers.
17U IMPRESSION-MAKERS: Seemingly destined for stardom for years now, White County PG Jadon Yeh continues to stand out in a crowd when he takes the floor. So advanced in how he accomplishes what he wants to on the floor, such vision and clever scoring ability, it’s a next-level coach’s dream, and after playing up last year he’s settled in now with the 17s as their floor general. I like the opportunity Blake Seitz of North Gwinnett has this summer to segway himself into a big ’22-23 campaign, at 6-6 with pretty good burst off the bounce and a sweet stroke from distance, he can be one of the guys that keep things rolling over in Suwanee for Coach Matt Garner. Fireplug guards Bryce Bracco and Matthew Rouse of East Forsyth, Keenan Gagen of Lambert, and Jackson Sousa of Dacula fit the BCB mold to a ‘T’, and always seem to fire out production no matter who the opponent is. The club has active size in another North Gwinnett player with high upside, Julian Walker, he with so much still untapped within him at both ends, and Wesleyan forward Thomas Chipman, who had a strong workout with a noticeable effort-level and skill package that has him positioned well to play at the next level at around 6-5.
HYPE Hawks 16U & 17U
INTRO: HYPE year in and year out is always among the top independent programs in the ATL-Metro, and their results generally back that up. Coach AD from the Alpharetta program runs the 17U group, and after a good weekend at OTR’s The Opening, I look for yet another HYPE team to make waves with their often underrated talent.
IMPRESSION-MAKERS: This year’s 17U team may not have some of the marquee names of years past, but what they do have is grit and a lot of backcourt skill that can hurt people. Unsigned 2022 Jonathan Awoyele of Walton is the size, along with 6-9 Mo Diao (not present) of Mt Bethel, and the two are very active, with Awoyele a really good mover at 6-7 who can clear space when needed or use nimble feet to get up to the cup. Playing up, and perhaps set to make as big an impression as any player I’ve seen in the early going, is Alpharetta 2024 point guard Jacob Bryant. He was eye-catching at The Opening, and in a closer workout setting his deep skillset and ability to simply take over with the ball in his hands was apparent. Deep shooting, slick handle, heady defense, he’s got high D1 ability written all over his game and is a star to watch this summer and beyond. Mt Bethel’s James White was also not present at the workout, but showed a lot over The Opening and bears watching as a deep shooter and slashing wing. Another Alpharetta product, Solomon Jones, a 6-5 wing still finding his overall game but very athletic and intriguing, and Mehki Craft of 2A power Columbia, both have the look of guys that can vault off of this summer into prominent roles next winter. The 16s are finding their way, but Brookwood guard Xavier Singleton and two more young bigs from Alpharetta, Julius Hollingworth and Josh Hill, bear watching.
Georgia Legacy 16U
INTRO: Legacy always finds itself in the discussion among top independent programs, particularly after the last 2 years where their 2022’s made continuous splash after splash at tournament after tournament beating shoe teams and others alike. Coach Dyron Gates did a solid job with the 15Us last year, and continues with a mix of returnees and newcomers who should keep the Legacy train rolling.
IMPRESSION-MAKERS: Four core returnees from last year are the catalysts for Legacy, led by the backcourt of Hooch PG Yuta Yamamoto and River Ridge SG Gabe Bolden. Yamamoto made his presence felt for the Cougars varsity this past season as a sophomore, and will likely have the reins all too himself next winter. He has terrific lead guard instincts and defies his size with deadeye shooting and fearless play at both ends. Bolden is set for a breakout summer, as he can really stroke it and with a bigger frame this spring gets to the basket with some ferocity. Fellow River Ridge product Ian Helms returns as well, and offers sound frontcourt defensive play and the hustle and scrap every team needs, both Knights products will have big roles next winter as the RRHS roster turns over significantly outside of guards David Hansraj and Jay McCord. The ace in the hole for this year’s Legacy iteration is Hooch guard Cameron James, set as well for not just a star breakout this summer but a star turn in general across the entire ATL-Metro into next season. There isn’t a ton the 6-4 wing can’t do entering his junior summer, as the A+ athlete is fluid, dynamic and explosive. Another good-looking Hooch athlete, 6-3 Guillermo Esparza, joins Legacy and gives them some positional versatility and physical play at either guard or forward. Marist’s Davis Ledford, Habersham Central’s Jayden Arria and Hooch’s Jalen Hernandez round out the roster, and each can be the kind of guy from the backcourt who can have a big day shooting it when others are off.
Keith Agran has lived in Georgia since 2011 and joined OTR as a National Evaluator in 2021. He previously scouted for Prep Hoops dating back to 2019 and has both a championship-coaching background on the HS-level and daily newspaper writing experience, both from New Jersey. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @BracketSage.