EYA Hoops Report Showcase – Eye-Catching 2023’s

JONESBORO, GA – With a heaping helping of Showcases going on around town, seeking to locate talent around the ATL-Metro and beyond is just a car ride away.

The highly successful EYA Sports organization has been doing great work on the south side of ATL for many years, and Sunday held their EYA Hoops Report Showcase at Jonesboro HS. Some intriguing talents were there, some names we knew, others who appeared set to emerge.

By: Keith Agran

Avante Nichols | 6-3 | G | McDonough

Avante Nichols

The EYA and WarHawk stalwart was once again up above the rim loosening the screws with some thunderous throwdowns, but below the rim he was a physical handful for most in attendance as he has built off a spring and summer where he expanded his game to a more well-rounded series of hard drives and confidence with the mid-range jumper, while guarding the entire floor we continue to see that there’s much more of a “basketball player” beneath the remarkable athletic ability and the evident work he’s put in makes him even more attractive as he rises up the 2023 class into must-see territory.

Justine De La Cruz | 6-5 | G | Trinity Christian (pictured at top)

Much like his TCS teammate Ernsato Almonte it’s the versatility that De La Cruz offers that immediately intrigues, he’s grown since last season and at a long 6-5 now offers even more from a combo guard standpoint as we’ve seen him handle PG duties with his clear as day “son of a coach” approach but now bigger can offer more off the wing, his stat lines in the past fill up the sheet and we saw some of that at EYA as in addition to true multi-level scoring he rebounds, spreads the ball around and defends the backcourt and frontcourt, a trip to Sharpsburg to see De La Cruz as well as several others on this roster shouldn’t disappoint.

Khalif Walston | 6-2 | G | Morrow

Khalif Walston

There was a smoothness and awareness to Walston’s game that popped during drill work and then translated well to live play, he’s athletic but didn’t seem to over-rely on it instead utilizing his good instincts to go on the attack offensively with a quick burst or a nice-looking J, on defense he was really sharp seeing the action and had good foot speed to cut of advances.

Sincere Love | 6-1 | G | Morrow

Sincere Love

Much like teammate Walston with even a little more explosion off the deck as he was throwing ’em down early and late into the day, played a little of both guard spots showing off good range past the arc and a really strong burst by people when bodied up too closely, again like Walston appeared well-schooled on defense both on the ball and seeing the action away from it.

Kenan Orlovic | 6-8 | G | Paideia

Kenan Orlovic

Some classic stretch-4 characteristics from Orlovic as he was someone you needed to track out past the arc particularly on the trail as he was a pull-up beast, saw him go inside and both attack the O-boards as well as utilizing some crafty jump hook activity, has the look of a guy who could seamlessly integrate into any type of system at the next level and is a better athlete than it might appear the first few trips up and down the floor.

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 keithagran1@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @BracketSage.