OTR Hoops: Thanksgiving Showcase – Standout Forwards – November 27, 2023

On The Radar Hoops hit Central Gwinnett this past Wednesday for the annual Thanksgiving Showcase. Basketball fans gathered from all over to see the state’s best talent on display and I can assure you nobody left disappointed. The day was full of surprises and final minute finishes. Here are some of the best forwards we saw on Wednesday.

By: Cam Rickers

Caleb Kawela – 6’5 – PF – Greenforest – 2024

Greenforest pulled off the 4th quarter comeback to take down Pebblebrook and Caleb Kawela was the driving force. 9 of Kawela’s 21 points came in the 4th including a huge three-pointer late in the game and the go-ahead bucket with a minute left. Kawela brings a lot of skill to the forward position, both inside and out. He combines pure strength, a soft touch, and excellent footwork in the post. Plenty of D2s and D3s would benefit from adding Kawela to their rosters.

Manny Green – 6’7 – SF – Cedar Grove – 2026

While Cedar Grove fell just short against a loaded Osborne squad, Manny Green was up to the challenge and did everything he could to keep Cedar Grove in the game. Green finished with an eye-popping stat line of 24 points and 17 rebounds. His scoring arsenal is growing and he looks more confident than ever from behind the three-point line. He’s an excellent rebounder for the position and Cedar Grove will need double-double production from him night in and night out. If Cedar Grove can keep their talented core of sophomores intact, they’ll be dangerous for years to come.

Cannon Richards – 6’7 – PF – Kell – 2024

It was a bit of a quiet night for CJ Brown but Cannon Richards stepped forward and proved he can be a reliable scoring option in the halfcourt. For a while, we’ve known Richards for his motor and athleticism but the skillset is advancing at a rapid rate. He was excellent working out of the high post on Wednesday, incorporating the handle and nifty footwork. With the electric CJ Brown directing traffic and a number of knockdown shooters on the perimeter, Richards will be the anchor inside as Kell looks to repeat.

Amir Taylor – 6’8 – F/C – Grayson – 2025

Peachtree Ridge gave Grayson everything they had but Grayson’s talent proved too much in the end. Amir Taylor went for 21 points and carried the scoring load at times for Grayson. He had 12 points in the 2nd quarter alone and then 8 of Grayson’s 21 in the 4th. Taylor’s a skilled low-post scorer with great feet and some soft touch. His ability to pass out of the post is where I’ve seen the most growth in his game and it comes at the right time as Jacob Wilkins joins him in the frontcourt. It’s scary to think that this duo will have 2 years together.

Cam Rickers has lived in Georgia his whole life and joined OTR as scout/evaluator this spring. He spent the year prior scouting for PrepHoops, working hard to make a name for himself within the grassroots scene. In addition to his work for OTR and PrepHoops, he is also the Recruiting & Scouting Director for Wood Elite. You can reach him at camrickers12@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @CamRickersHoops