AAU Workout Visits – Tribe ATL & North Metro Elite
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
TRIBE ATL 16U
INTRO: Caught Tribe a lot last year as they played on the Prep Hoops circuit, and several of their guys parlayed good summers into significant roles with their varsity teams as sophomores this winter.
IMPRESSION-MAKERS: There’s been some notable roster turnover, but there are also some of their impressive pieces back from last year and a whole slew of intriguing new faces. Duluth’s David Culbreath-Martin, Holy Spirit’s Joel Iberosi and JJ Smith are 3 names who return, and each will see increased roles and likely increased productivity. Culbreath-Martin is a 2025 playing up again, and he’s one of the real sleepers in the class as a scoring point man. Iberosi is pure energy and hustle, and has always been a bit of an underrated offensive player mostly because his work on the defensive end and in the hustle category is so noticeable. Among the new names to keep an eye on are a pair of North Gwinnett players sure to make a play for varsity minutes under Matt Garner next year. Forwards Jaden Brock and Alex Richardson will give Tribe more size than last year and their activity around the basket was notable the other night. A fascinating wild card addition to this year’s team is Mountain View’s Carter Watkins, part of that exciting young core out in Lawrenceville, and like the other Bear pieces he can really shoot it and has some physical aspects to his wing game packing a burly frame.
NORTH METRO ELITE 17U
INTRO: NME will feature two 17u teams this year, the National team discussed here and a Select team which will return players such as Sam Erritt and Gavin McLain (North Paulding), Carter Pengelly (East Paulding) and Dylan Nobis (Woodstock).
IMPRESSION-MAKERS: There’s a ton of excitement around this group Coach/Director Steve Rodriguez has compiled, as he’s added some serious athleticism and skill to a team that already took a lot of folks by surprise last year with a crew of gamers and hard-workers. The McEachern trio of Earnest Ofremu, Zavier Askew and Aaron Wesley are back, with Ofremu and Askew coming off an Indians campaign where they were notable contributors. Wesley is a bull and his work-rate was definitely missed last summer due to injuries. Another trio, this from North Paulding, all look bigger, stronger and certainly more mature in their games. Post-man Nathan Rodriguez and guards Carter Connelly and Jonathan Rodriguez give them consistent steady play and hustle, with N. Rodriguez a fun one to watch as an undersized but very effective old-school post threat. Three new faces add excitement and a level of skill that vaults this team into a different category, and all will come at you from the backcourt. Perhaps the most impressive on the evening I was there was Mt. Bethel guard Jackson Bell, a combo type who was up and down the floor with a fluidity and glide that immediately caught my eye as I hadn’t see him before. Later, I was able run a few close-quarters drills with them to help my assessments, all trying to place them in situations perhaps uncomfortable or unfamiliar, and Bell was even more impressive adapting to circumstances in 2-on-2 and 3-on-3 drilling. Sekai Lockhart from a really good Hiram team has speed and yet composure as a lead guard, and he can score and defend with the best of them. KIPP’s Malachi Harris comes over from the GA Stars and, built like a college running back, was physical and tough to handle both off the bounce and in close drilling against bigs or smaller guards.
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 email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @BracketSage.