OTR Carolina Mania Standouts – April 4, 2023

BOILING SPRINGS, South Carolina, – On the Radar Hoops took to the road last weekend to bring exposure and competition to the Palmetto State with the Carolina Mania. The main site of the event took place at Boiling Springs High School, which is located just outside of Spartanburg. Teams from South Carolina, Georgia, and North Carolina received top competition and attention at the event. Here is a look back at a few of the notable names from the event.

By: Jonathan Hemingway

The event ended in the most exciting fashion possible. The final game of the day between the Upward Stars and Garner Road went to overtime. In the final seconds, the Stars trailed with possession of the ball. After an inbound they found guard DJ Shine on the wing for an open 3-pointer. The ball went through the net as the buzzer sounded and the Upward Stars found the win. It also put an exclamation point to an already terrific day for Shine who finished with 34 points on the afternoon. The last shot was also his eighth triple of the game. The class of 2024 prospect is poised for a big spring in the open period at the end of this month.

We all pay attention when you find that player that has both the athletic tools and the mental aptitude to play the game at a high level. That is exactly what Sir Mohammed of Team Curry has. He is a physically gifted guard that stands 6-foot-6 tall but has the skills and poise to be a lead playmaker. He uses his stature and strength to create angles to score, but more often to set up his teammates when the help rotates. He is the type of player that plays the game at his own speed and forces defenders to react to him rather than vice versa. Expect the class of 2024 Mohammed to be a major name in national recruiting circuits this year.

In one of the final games on Sunday afternoon with multiple national media members courtside, class of 2024 guard Sebastian Akins with 1 of 1 Elite earned attention with his game. The high energy point guard plays the game with an edge. His shot making ability is what stood out in this game. His footwork in the midrange is pristine and his touch on jumpers is soft. Teams looking for a steady hand at the point who can also get buckets late in the shot clock should pay attention to Akins this spring and summer.

Per usual, there was no shortage of talented lead guards at the event. One player who took advantage of the stage was class of 2024 DJ Harvey with the Upward Stars Harvey. Listed at 5-10, Harvey has a game that is anything but small. He is a terrific athlete with a quick first step and terrific body control. His high energy attitude appears to be infectious to all the teammates as well. Harvey will shoot the ‘3’ as well, giving him a game that is well rounded.

After leading the Lanier Longhorns to a Class AAAAAA Final Four appearance last month, Jayce Nathaniel does not appear to be satisfied nor content. He is playing with a hunger as if he still has something to prove with Team Curry. These are good signs for the class of 2024 forward who is still growing his game. Nathaniel continues to be a board eater and a paint scorer. Yet it is his mobility and agility that caught our attention coming out of this event. He is showing that he can be one of those switchable defenders who is able to seamlessly defend 3-point shooting wings or give the muscle to battle with hard nosed forwards. That defensive versatility along with his emerging 3-point shooting will make him a hot target on the recruiting trail.

Class of 2024 guard Paul McNeil had the purest jumper that we saw at the event. Playing with Garner Road, he is a game changer with his shot making ability. He is more than just a spot-up jump shooter as well. He moves effortlessly off of screens and creates the window needed to get his shot off from range. We saw him hit three 3s in a row right in front of us in the final game of the day. He is a North Carolina State commit and is firmly one of the top guards nationally.

McNeil’s Garner Road teammate, RaKease Passmore, earned an equal amount of attention and praise coming out of the event. The class of 2024 wing is an ELITE athlete. He elevates and can finish over the top of anyone who is in the gym on that day. With the ball in his hands, he can be a physical, rugged handler who sends defenders in the opposite direction when he gets going downhill. Passmore also showed range on his 3-point jumper, which is going to be a problem for future defenders as they try to figure out how to corral this 6-5 play-maker.

Jonathan Hemingway has been a National Evaluator for On the Radar Hoops since 2013. He has been involved in the basketball community since 1995 as a coach, camp director and evaluator. You can reach him at JLHemingway@gmail.com and follow him on twitter @JL_Hemingway.