Written by SHN Special Contributor: Jerome Reed (RAWE Recruits)
In Gainesville, Florida, Session One of the Source Hoops “Sunshine Circuit” saw the next generation of young talent showcase their skills all weekend. The current eighth graders made sure that they made their presence felt on the hardwood. Check out my standouts from this event who are in the class of 2027.
Terrance Walker (pictured) – Swift Sports Only: With a frame which makes you think of a young Dejounte Murray, Walker was easily the most polished hooper on the floor the entire event. There’s a smoothness to his game which allows him to get to the rack with ease, but he can legitimately score from all three levels. On Day One, he posted a 33-point game, then followed it up with 28 in the first game of Day Two. He competes for rebounds on both ends, he’s a great passer in-transition, he’ll chase down players for blocks near the rim, and has solid anticipation when looking to collect a steal. Walker will definitely be a name to look out for over the next five years.
Willie Brooks – Prime Ballers: One word to describe Willie: “DOG”. He’s a kid with a wiry frame, but he doesn’t shy away from the moment—or from anyone trying to guard him. I’d put him at 6’1” at the moment, but Willie plays much bigger. During a Saturday game vs. Junior Pro, Brooks absolutely asserted himself on the floor & couldn’t be stopped on the way to a 26-point game and a win. From deep threes, to floaters in the lane, to euro-step-throughs & finishes at the rim, Brooks put the event on notice that he was one of the offensive talents on-site. Love his rebounding effort on both ends, too. He will absolutely fight on the glass.
Nolan Nelson – Junior Pro Ballers: Nelson is every bit of 6’5”, and he’s only 14 years old. Loved the way he operated within the paint, he was quick to make decisions as to what moves to make or where to position himself best near the rim. Nelson did a great job finishing with contact. He also knows how to dish it to cutters and open shooters when he commits to the drive. His court-vision is solid for a player of his age and height. Nelson showed his shot-blocking ability & knack for rebounding all weekend. Definitely a guy to keep an eye on as he grows.
Gasley Etienne – Sunshine Elite: I was talking to one of the stat-keepers at the scorers table, and he called Etienne “the X-Factor”—and it’s definitely fitting. Etienne, an average-height guard for this stage of life, will absolutely out-hustle you. He doesn’t mind diving on the floor for loose balls, crashing the boards, drawing charges, or just all-out SCRAPPING to finish a play. Offensively, he had a nice showing on Day Two vs. PrimeBallers, scoring the team’s final nine points between regulation and two overtimes. This included a game-tying three in regulation with three seconds left, and two ice-cold free-throws to go up three with six seconds left in double OT. He finished with 13 points in the win. His energy, his effort, was 100% infectious.
Ian Beaufort – Swift Sports Only: This guy is a tough one, right here. Beaufort has good size and plays big beneath the three-point line. He played well all-event, but the swing-forward solidified himself a slot on this list by-way of his game vs. Sunshine Elite on Day Two. Beaufort was everywhere on the floor, staying active, snagging tough rebounds over two or three players, and ate contact while earning and-one buckets. He even stepped out and hit a couple threes en-route to a 28-point showing. From the charity stripe, he was dependable in the clutch. Beaufort sank his final seven free-throws en-route to a four-point overtime win.