Posted On: 10/5/21 6:29 PM

The Hopkins Royals.  A traditional top team in Class AAAA and that’s not changing any time soon. 

 

Key Wins in 20-21 (12-5): Wayzata, Edina, Chaska, Buffalo, Eden Prairie, Orono

Oops: Minnetonka, Wayzata, Minnehaha Academy, Minneapolis North

Moving On: Five of the top seven Hopkins players from last season have graduated.  Xavier White Xavier White 6'7" | SF Hopkins | 2021 State MN and Jaelen Treml Jaelen Treml 6'4" | SF Hopkins | 2021 State MN were the two key versatile pieces.  Tristan Lee Tristan Lee 6'2" | PG Hopkins | 2021 State MN had a great season at guard plus Jarrett Brenlynd came off the bench and was a key shooter.  Throw in Jack Hernandez Jack Hernandez 6'9" | C Hopkins | 2021 State MN up front and that’s five seniors plus Andrew Chisley Andrew Chisley 6'6" | PF Hopkins | 2021 State MN who wasn’t able to play much last year all moved on. 

Returning Starters (1):  The lone returning starter from last year is Elvis Nnaji Elvis Nnaji 6'8" | C Hopkins | 2022 State #217 Nation MN , the 6’8 center.  Elvis averaged 11 and 10 a season ago plus he was a top low post defender and one of the team’s most active players.  Nnaji rebounds, he finishes physically, and gives a team the needed energy on both ends.  D1 schools have offered Elvis a number of scholarships. 

Reserves Playing a Bigger Role:  Hopkins has two guards back from last year’s bench:  junior Max Wilson and senior Xavier White Xavier White 6'7" | SF Hopkins | 2021 State MN and Jaelen Treml Jaelen Treml 6'4" | SF Hopkins | 2021 State MN were the two key versatile pieces.  Tristan Lee Tristan Lee 6'2" | PG Hopkins | 2021 State MN had a great season at guard plus Jarrett Brenlynd came off the bench and was a key shooter.  Throw in Jack Hernandez Jack Hernandez 6'9" | C Hopkins | 2021 State MN up front and that’s five seniors plus Andrew Chisley Andrew Chisley 6'6" | PF Hopkins | 2021 State MN who wasn’t able to play much last year all moved on.  Returning Starters (1):  The lone returning starter from last year is Elvis Nnaji Elvis Nnaji 6'8" | C Hopkins | 2022 State #217 Nation MN , the 6’8 center.  Elvis averaged 11 and 10 a season ago plus he was a top low post defender and one of the team’s most active players.  Nnaji rebounds, he finishes physically, and gives a team the needed energy on both ends.  D1 schools have offered Elvis a number of scholarships.  Reserves Playing a Bigger Role:  Hopkins has two guards back from last year’s bench:  junior Max Wilson and senior Tyrell Sappington Tyrell Sappington 5'11" | PG Hopkins | 2022 MN . Max is a top 15/20 level prospect in the junior class.  He’s physically ahead of the curve and has solid potential after scoring eight a came last year.  Sappington could be the latest guard at Hopkins that impresses as a senior.  Potentials from the JV:  Hopkins has a number of key pieces coming up from their junior varsity.  Jacob Rothman is a 5’9 guard that had a great 17u season and is a potential legit playmaker and surprise senior standout.  Six-foot-4 junior Gavin Pierce Gavin Pierce 6'4" | SG Hopkins | 2023 State MN is a senior and smart player that could have a role on the wing.  Now 8th grader Jayden Moore is one of the top up and coming names in the state.  Moore is an explosive guard that played a bit at the end of games on varsity last year and played junior varsity.  Jayden is likely to step into a key role this year.  New to the Varsity program:    Hopkins has three seniors that should make an impact on varsity.  The first is one of the state’s elite seniors, CJ O’Hara CJ O’Hara 6'4" | SG Totino-Grace | 2023 State #171 Nation MN .  O’Hara transferred from Totino-Grace and is likely to lead Hopkins in scoring as well as be the top defender.  He’s an all state level player.  Josh Hoffman Josh Hoffman 6'4" | SF Hopkins | 2022 State MN is a 6’4 senior that had a great year with the Minnesota Heat and is now ready to offer a key role for the Royals (was with the North Metro Blazers last year, a home school team). Jaleel Donely is the last piece.  He played varsity last year at Bloomington Kennedy and is an excellent freshman guard.  Final Thoughts: This is a group of guys coming from all over.  A varsity starter, a couple varsity reserves, a couple junior varsity kids, a couple young players, and three transfers, it’s a totally new mix of 10-11 guys that have the talent to have a great year.  But the chemistry has to be there as this is a completely new group.  

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