Bradenton, FL – The 7th annual Best of the Best Elite Florida Showcase at IMG Academy provided an opportunity for middle school players to display their skills and growth in front of National and State Scouts plus Media outlets. Coach Marcus McGee, packed IMG Academy with over 250+ kids with the anticipation to start a exposer trail for themselves.
It’s exciting to watch the skill in young talent continue to develop and grow. There were some familiar and unfamiliar faces who showed us something that commanded our attention. We must remember watching growth of youth talent at this stage it’s hard to judge, so you really have to look at their growth in size, development and skill sets. Here are a few we noticed.
2025 6’4” F Jamier Joners of Lincoln MS – There’s so much to like with Joners, who is becoming an very productive player that continues to get better. He’s long, strong, and an intriguing athlete for his size. Improvement in his ball handling and shooting should be noted however, his aggression in transition makes him a threat in the open floor. He has so much room to grow in his versatility and Joner certainly possesses the tools to be successful at the high school level and beyond. Start looking at him now people, he could be exceptional going forward.
2026 6’1” Herly Brutus of Tarvares MS – In terms of a long term prospect in my eyes, Brutus has the highest growth ceilings of all players! No other player was more intriguing than Brutus to me. He’s physically gifted with length which allows him to do a variety of different things on the floor. He’s a reliable shot blocker, provides a presence on the offensive and defensive boards plus runs in transition. Brutus shoots with a touch, gets to the rim with contact and can defend the basket. He’s still growing and is a PLAYER OF INTEREST!
2024 PG Elijah Reynolds of Central MS – He’s constantly looking for the next pass for a basket with minimal turnovers. One of the true point guards on my list that made an impact whenever he was on the floor. Reynolds knows how to be efficient, plays with a great IQ especially when looking to set up others. He didn’t take many shots he looks to be a capable shooter.
2024 6’1” G Gerard O’Keefe of IMG – He doesn’t blink at the opportunity to shoot the 3 ball. He’s shows a ton of confidence with his jumper which he can get too at any given time. O’keefe possesses a nice quality feel for the game and it helps him make an abundance of plays from the perimeter. However, he needs to make his offense come to him a bit easier with screens and movement without the ball. Keep an eye on him.
2024 PG Reece Randolph of Mater Lakes Academy – He’s everything you expected in a quality PG. Speed, shooting and competitiveness is definitely visible in his game, but his main focus was to disrupt the core of opponents defenses. His ability to break down opponents was fascinating to watch, he made options for his teammates once he penetrated and got in the paint. Size is a factor but should be minimized because of his other attributes.
2024 PG Erik Taylor of Aubudon Park – This PG you will remember. Taylor was the most polished all-around player in the Select Division. His ability to see the floor, dribble with a purpose and create scoring for others makes him standout. He possesses good size for a PG and will be a great contributor at his next level. If he continues to add core strength and polish up his shooting, this true general will be scary.
2024 6’4” SF Jaylen Robinson of Green Cove MS – Jaylen has the power and skill that showed he was arguably the top overall performer in his division. Robinson plays with an exceptional motor, rebounds well on both ends which resulted in an abundance of putbacks and second-chance opportunities for his team. What impressed me the most, was his abilities to start transition of his offensive rebounding. He’ll be one to watch!
Other attention grabbers:
- 2025 6’0” G Alexander Lloyd of Nativity Catholic – showed court awareness, created in the perimeter off the dribble and will grow into a good 2 guard.
- 2024 5’10” G Chris Moliere of Academy Prep – takes what’s giving to him, plays with a swag that’s unmissable and continues to get better.
- 2025 Jalen Reece, Lockhart MS – is slimming out and his game is speaking in volumes now. Handles are on point and IQ is showing, keep an eye on him!
- 2025 Javaris Pope, Slam Academy – really shows a fundamental base. He displayed a balanced scoring pack and defends the ball well.
- 2026 Antwain Tennell Jr., South Sumter MS – very elusive guard that gives 110% at all times. He showed a competitive nature, ball handles and quickness.
- 2027 Evan Roberts, Lincoln Memorial Academy – has the IQ, skill and drive to become great! I really like what he brings to the court
- 2026 Louis O’Keefe, IMG Academy – attacked defenders, played with a good pace and showed confidence in his game. He’s going to be good!
- 2026 Zain Majeed, IMG Academy – stands at 6’1” and shows he’s growing into a legit stretch 4 position.
- 2024 Dylan Higgins, Nolan MS – may not pass the eye test but a really good player. He finds ways to score and hustles on both ends. displayed the desire to play on both ends.
2024 Select Division Standouts:
- Julian Clark, Orlando Christian Prep
- Edward Wiggins, Bartow MS
- Willie Sheppard, Oldsmar Christian
- Jordan Bell, Slam Academy
- Khyre Ellis, Port Charlotte
- Jamal Ware, Miami Middle Lakes
- Ian Smikle, Western Pines MS
- Michael Drayton III, St. Martha Catholic
- TaVeon Jones, Home Schooled
- Julian Granville, Montverde Academy
BOTBFL Showcase Standouts:
- 2024 Caleb Williams, Kirby Smith MS
- 2024 Nathan Cadet, Walter C. Young
- 2024 Colton Heinrich, Ramblewood MS
- 2024 Angelo Miranda, Florida Virtual
- 2024 Xavier Porter
- 2024 Armani Gacanica, Weightman MS
- 2024 Brennen Ingle, Port Charlotte MS
- 2024 Noah Youngblood, Mater Academy
- 2024 Gavin Dunn, Wolf Lake MS
- 2024 Treyon Murray, Southern Oaks
- 2024 Jacob Henson, James Weldon Johnson
- 2024 Jeremiah Police, Crestwood MS
- 2024 Preston Saia, Coral Springs
- 2024 Emmanuel Augustin, LC Swain MS
- 2024 Dylan Burrowes, Nolan MS
- 2024 Diego Elias, Champion Prep Academy
- 2025 Joshua Xiang, Home Schooled
- 2025 Calvin Russell, Mater Academy
- 2025 Jordan Attis, Punta Gorda MS
- 2025 MJ Ward, Coleman MS
- 2025 Justin Snell, Florida Virtual
- 2025 JoJo Philon, Slam Apollo Beach
- 2025 Yangel Malpica, Narcoossee MS
- 2025 Rashif Sinkfield, Orange Grove MS
- 2025 Alexander Springs, Narcoossee MS
- 2026 Jamareis Conyers, Home Schooled
- 2026 Jeremiah Cooper, Safety Harbor MS
- 2026 Jayden Stevenson, Seven Springs MS
- 2026 Tommy Thompson, IMG Academy
- 2026 Jacob Trenchfield, Pines Charter
- 2026 Malakai Cuffy Lincoln MS Academy
- 2026 Joshua Washington, Faith Christian Academy
- 2026 RoThonio Wilson, Stuart MS
- 2026 Ari Smith, Hidden Oaks MS
- 2026 Brandon Brazell, South Port MS
- 2027 Cayden Daughtry, Hidden Oaks Elementary