April showers, bring May flowers. And this high school basketball season, we saw our fair share of freshman athletes, “making it rain,” and look forward to it continuing heading into AAU season. Tournaments have already began in full swing, and with many teams hitting their first tournament this weekend coming up, we take a look here and some freshman you may want to be on the lookout for.
- Quadir Pettaway | 5’10 | Guard | Hampton Roads Academy/BWSL
Quadir Pettaway, maybe the top prospect in his class so far. Playing up in age groups basically his entire career, it is not surprising the mark he has already put on high school basketball, at such a young age. With excellent ball handling ability, shooting, and ability to get to the basket with ease, Pettaway can score the ball at will, but also set teammates up, making him a true point guard. Despite having the ability to score from basically anywhere, Pettaway is almost automatic from the midrange, or catch and shoot jumper. On the defensive end of the ball, Pettaway is a bully, not allowing the dribble penetration, or much to go down past half court. Currently holding three offers; Hampton, James Madison, and Old Dominion, Pettaway, is an exciting player to look forward to continuing develop in the 2021 Class.
- Roosevelt Wheeler | 6’10 | Center | John Marshall/Team Loaded VA 15U
Roosevelt the lone freshman starter, on a John Marshall team that won the 3A State Championship, is a player that if you don’t know yet, you should. To be a freshman, Wheeler has impressive size, but also, an elite skill set, for a player so young. Whether it is finishing around the rim, shooting the short corner jumper, or blocking opponents shots down low, Wheeler has a significant upside, with very few things that he needs to tweak. Wheeler, who formally ran with Boo Williams – Chamblee, is now running on the Adidas Uprising circuit, with Team Loaded VA 15U, alongside many other freshman that will be listed. With his skill, athleticism, and dominance, Wheeler, who currently holds an offer from Hampton University, should see his stock rise significantly after this spring/summer.
- Elvin Edmonds IV | 6’2 | Guard | Hopewell/Team Loaded VA 16U
Elvin Edmonds IV, has already began to make a name for himself in Hopewell, and beyond, and he is only a freshman. The current record holder for Most Three Pointers in a Game at Hopewell, a record he broke in the first month of his varsity career, Edmonds IV, is on track to be one of the top guards the state has to offer. Edmonds brings to his Hopewell squad, who made a state tournament berth this past season, a high basketball IQ, as the floor general, Edmonds takes on the responsibility of not only leading, but often is the #1 scoring option for his Blue Devils. His shooting ability coupled with his ability to drive to the basket, and finish through contact, is a key reason to why he will be one of the top prospects in the nation, in the 2021 class. Running with a Loaded VA 16U squad, (a year up for him), that is packed with talent, Edmonds should be a lock to boost his stock this summer. Currently holding offers from Hampton, Winthrop, and Old Dominion, Edmonds IV is a high major caliber athlete that should soon see his stock go through the roof.
- Jaylani Darden | 6’3 | Guard | Norview/BWSL
Jaylani Darden can dominant any aspect of the game for his position, which is shocking to most, despite his size to only be in the ninth grade. Being on the longer side, Darden has no probably attacking at the rim, and drawing the foul, but can also shoot the jumper, and penetrate for the dish out to one his teammates. On the opposite end of the ball, Darden is a scrappy defender, doesn’t mind doing the dirty work, and can fight through contact for the rebound. Already proving himself in some big game situations, and formally leading his middle school squad to a Norfolk City Middle School Championship, Darden has a winning gene, and should be fun to watch on the EYBL circuit this summer.
- Anthony “AJ” Williams | 6’0 | Guard | Varina/Team Loaded VA 15U
Having a freshman in the backcourt is tough, Varina has two. Varina also took home the 5A State Championship this season. One of these freshman, is guard Anthony “AJ” Williams. Williams has a knack for the game that many at his age just do not possess. In a big game situation, Williams, is who’s hands you definitely wouldn’t mind the ball being in. From his slashing quickness, and ability to get to the cup, and also draw the foul, or his pull up ability, and willingness to shoot the long ball when needed, or his transition defense, often leading to big baskets on the other end for his squad, Williams is a player who once you see play, you’re going to want to know more, and be shocked that he is only a freshman too.