Under-The-Radar Thanksgiving Performances

By Benji Oxman

2022 6’6 F Grant Moore (West Forsyth)

Grant Moore is an extremely athletic forward who thrives in transition. Grant has wow moments when he throws down a dunk or flies across the lane for a block where he nearly has his head at the rim. Although against Blessed Trinity, Grant’s defense is what stood out to me. Grant had a tall task guarding Blessed Trinity’s Brigham Rogers and he held Rogers to 0 points the entire game. Grant is physical in the paint, does his work early boxing out, & athletic enough to guard on the perimeter. Grant holds one offer to LaGrange but any school looking for an athletic, versatile defender should take a hard look at Grant Moore.

2023 6’6 F Jalani Reynolds (Wheeler)

My first time seeing Jalani and I thought he had a few really impressive moments. Reynolds is a good athlete at 6’6 and brings energy to this Wheeler team. Whether he’s throwing down a dunk on the offensive end or making plays on the defensive end he seems to bring an extra gear to Wheeler. Jalani has a good enough jump shot to keep the defense honest as he knocked down a 3 against Grayson, but I think Jalani’s defensive potential is what colleges will love. He currently holds offers from Kennesaw State & Morehouse College, interested to see who else jumps in this summer. 

2022 6’7 F Daniel Pounds (Newton)

Daniel Pounds is an athletic 4 man who doesn’t have enough attention. Newton has a loaded backcourt that 100% deserves all the hype they are receiving but Pounds is an important piece to Newton. Against Wheeler Daniel’s stat line was 13 points & 7 rebounds. He finished around the basket well, played above the rim on both sides of the ball and controlled the glass.

2023 6’2 G Marcus Whitlock (Newton)

Whitlock is another guy who gets slightly overlooked due to the firepower of Newton but don’t sleep on Whitlock, he’s a high-level prospect who does whatever he needs to in order for his team to win. Whitlock is so intriguing to me as a college prospect because he’s never been the best player on his HS or AAU team. Playing on Newton & Atlanta Xpress he’s played around extremely high-level talent his whole high school career. That’s allowed him to learn how to be a role player which most talented high school players don’t learn until their freshman year of college. I think because of these experiences Whitlock will be an impact freshman wherever he goes. He’s athletic, high motor, plays bigger than his size & can make plays with or without the ball in his hands.

2023 6’4 G Michael Zhang (Norcross)

In a game full of high-level talent in Norcross vs. Newton, Michael Zhang quietly had a solid game posting 8 points while hitting 2 threes. This was my first-time seeing Zhang but he has picture perfect shooting form and doesn’t need a whole lot of space to get his shot off. I’m interested to watch his progression over the next year & playing with Norcross will give him tons of opportunities to perform against high level competition. High academic schools should start to track Zhang as he has a 4.8 GPA.

2023 5’9 PG Jesse Gaynes (Marist)

This weekend was my first-time seeing Jesse and I came away extremely impressed. The small point guard does a little bit of everything for Marist showed by his stat line of 6 points, 9 rebounds and 7 assists against Dunwoody. Jesse is scrappy with really good vision and a high basketball IQ. I’m intrigued to watch his progression throughout the next two years.

2022 6’0 PG Amaru Grosvenor (North Gwinnett)

Amaru quietly had a really impressive performance against Greenforest. Amaru finished with 14 points and 6 rebounds but I came away impressed with his “in-between” game showing off his floater over the 7-foot trees of Greenforest that he hit multiple times throughout the game. Amaru won’t blow you away with his athleticism or speed but he has an impressive ability to change speeds to go along with a high IQ. Local colleges looking for a point guard should take a look at Amaru.

2022 6’4 G Alahn Sumler (Buford)

Alahn is a guy who just has a great feel for the game. Alahn has smooth shooting mechanics that allow him to shoot off the catch or dribble but he’s more than a scorer. Alahn passes, rebounds, defends at a high level & has a nonstop motor. Buford’s head coach, Benjie Wood, speaks extremely highly of Alahn’s work ethic and character on & off the court. I think Sumler’s recruitment will pick up as the HS season continues on because at the moment he looks like a steal for whoever wants to give Alahn an opportunity.

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