OTR’s The Opening: New Names Emerging – March 23, 2023

OTR’s spring and summer circuit kicked off this weekend with The Opening, bringing together several of the top programs in the southeast. We got a little taste of everything including breakout performances, down to the wire finishes, and independent programs making waves. Here are some new names that emerged this weekend at The Opening.

By: Cam Rickers (@CamRickersHoops)

2024 W Andrija Vujacic – Atlanta Stars (Tallulah Falls)

Saturday was my first look at the Atlanta Stars and the pair of Andrija Vujacic and Rob Hunter were equally impressive. Vujacic is a European import, currently at Tallulah Falls with an intriguing combination of feel, physicality, and playmaking ability. Throughout the weekend, he was constantly moving defenders with his eyes to create open looks for his teammates and had a number of assists in transition. He’s a physical finisher at the cup too, drawing a ton of fouls and typically making the most of his opportunities at the line. Vujacic is a name that could certainly resurface often this spring and summer.

2023 W Angel Canuelas – FTL Elite (Discovery)

I’m not sure I saw a more textbook jumper than that of Angel Canuelas this weekend. He hails from Discovery High School in central Florida and played as an unsigned senior this weekend with FTL Elite. Canuelas was lethal from behind the arc, shooting it with confidence. He used his wide 6’4 frame well when finishing at the basket but will likely need to slim down a bit to play at the college level. Nonetheless, Canuelas scored in bunches all weekend and played his way into some worthy attention.

2024 G Stacky Jackson – Norcross Heat (Mill Creek)

Stacky Jackson is a name that could very well circulate the scene this spring as he plays with the Norcross Heat. The son of retired NBA forward Stephen Jackson, Stacky is a big, athletic guard with a ton of upside and an already attractive package of skills. Jackson shot the three-ball well this weekend, hitting often from deep. He was good defensively, contesting shots at the rim and troubling ball-handlers with his length but he’s got all the tools to be an elite defender somewhere down the road. After being ruled ineligible this year, Jackson will be back at Mill Creek for his senior season and should make a major impact.

2024 W Joey Lilley – Atlanta Timberwolves Green (Eastside)

Joey Lilley was a certified sniper on Sunday, scoring 15 of his 22 from behind the three-point line in a tight win over Promise Elite. Lilley was nearly automatic in spot-up scenarios, especially from the corners. He also displayed a good sense for how to find open looks and moved well off the ball. The 6’4 lefty resides in Greenville, SC but is rolling with the Atlanta Timberwolves, a program known for their perimeter shooting. He may be a guy that smaller, high-academic schools will want to check in on during the coming live periods.