It is always a challenge to pick THE player for this category. Every spring and summer, we come across players that either we had not seen play before or their performance was under-whelming when viewed in action with their respective high school team, but then “ball out” in a different setting. These guys definitely fit the bill.
2022 Breakout Player: Kolby King, Team Breakdown/Pembroke Pines Charter
Pines Charter won the Class 5A state title this past season in large part to King’s efforts. His performance in Lakeland should have pointed to a breakout spring and summer, but his play far surpassed those expectations. King showed that he can be a difference maker on the court. Offensively he can quickly get by defenders and craftily finish in a crowd around the basket as well as having consistent range well past the three-point line. King makes good shot vs. pass decisions and gets and keeps his teammates involved in the contest. A stalwart defensively, he can take a player out of the game when defending him on or away from the basketball. His play significantly raised his recruiting profile and recently King committed to St. John’s out of NYC and The Big East conference. That is a massive step up from where his recruitment started at the beginning of the spring.
2023 Breakout Player: Eddrin Bronson, Judah Nation/Tampa Catholic
The 6’3 guard played up on the 17U level with Judah Nation and developed quite a following with his offensive repertoire. A stellar three-point shooter off the catch as well as the bounce, Bronson also has the speed, quickness, and finishing ability to get by defenders and score in traffic thru contact. While he can play either guard spot, he currently is most effective when he can focus on doing what he does best: put the ball in the basket. Bronson is a good enough athlete that he can help out in the rebounding department. He is solid defensively, doing a good job of reading the passing lanes, attacking the ball, and helping and recovering on drivers and shooters.
2024 Breakout Player: Malik Abdul, Team Hardaway Jr./Miami Columbus
The 6’6 sophomore was quite impressive in his play at our Miami Summer Hoops Festival. The long athlete is quick off the floor, swiftly runs the court in transition and challenges any shot around the basket. With his long arms and quick leap, he pursues any missed shot at either end of the court. Abdul’s lateral quickness is such that he can switch out on ball screens and contain the dribbler. He gets most of his points on opportunity baskets such as tip-ins and at the end of the break, but he plays with great energy and looks like a guy that will work hard to elevate his skills.