Antioch, Tenn. — If you ask for “Coach K” in youth basketball circles around the southeastern United States, the person you are most likely to be connected with is David Keary. The founder and program director of N.Y.B.A. Elite, Keary and his staff held the 2020 Coach K Combine over the weekend in greater Nashville, as more than 100 players traveled to the Knowledge Academies campus.
While the event hosted fifth through eleventh-grade boys, Prep Hoops Next focused on identifying players in the current middle school classes of 2025, 2026, and 2027. There were several talented 8th graders (Class of 2025) worthy of recognition and here’s a rundown of the ones that impressed us the most…
Kenneth Bailey, Jr. | Atlanta, GA | Class of 2025
Bailey has built his reputation on the hardwood by playing across the country with the infamous Freebandz Elite program and came to the Coach K Combine ready to compete. A confident player with a bevy of leadership traits, his usual quickness and ball-handling ability once again allowed Bailey to stand out against his peers. The Georgia native’s willingness to pass was refreshing considering that camp environments can often inspire selfish play. A 5-foot-7 lead guard, Bailey thrives as a playmaker and demonstrated his flair for beating opponents off the bounce, while using his vision and creative passing to generate scoring opportunities in the lane.
Lyndell Buckingham | West Memphis, AR | Class of 2025
Buckingham’s frame immediately caught our attention. Standing 6-foot-3 with an even longer wingspan, the Arkansas product is a fluid athlete and showed off his versatility throughout the Coach K Combine by defending multiple positions, while also blending shotmaking and rim-level finishes. The wiry forward rebounded at a fairly consistent rate, looked capable of pushing the ball in transition, and was most comfortable with the ball when he attacked the basket. Buckingham’s all-around production earned him a spot on this list and he’ll have an even greater impact as his perimeter skills continue to improve.
Anthony “Ty” Glasper | Knoxville, TN | Class of 2025
Glasper created some buzz at the Coach K Combine with his gritty play on both ends of the court. A 5-foot-10 combo guard with a strong build, he absorbed contact and fought his way into the lane throughout the event. He’s a good athlete and is expected to be an important contributor for the upcoming B. Maze Elite eighth-grade team that will play a national schedule in the Class of 2025. Perhaps most impressive was the Tennessean’s knack for converting tough shots in the lane and finishes around the rim. Glasper’s toughness and aggressive approach were noteworthy, and his motor simply ran harder, and longer than his peers on this weekend.
George MacIntyre | Brentwood, TN | Class of 2025
More than a dozen states were represented at the Coach K Combine, but one of the top performers in attendance was a local player, George MacIntyre. A 6-foot-3 perimeter prospect, MacIntyre displayed excellent instincts, and also proved to be a catch-and-shoot threat. There’s a lot of optimism for his future among high school sports fans in the Nashville area, and not all of it is on the hardwood. The namesake and grandson of the late Vanderbilt head coach, MacIntyre is rapidly emerging as a football recruit at Brentwood Academy, and the young quarterback could likely follow in the footsteps of his father and uncle who both played Division I football.
Peyton Wiggins | Birmingham, AL | Class of 2025
Wiggins has been spotted at several individual showcases and is steadily improving his game. At the Coach K Combine, the 6-foot-1 guard once again showed his aptitude for the long ball, taking the crown in the event’s three-point shooting contest. His blend of size, skill, and athleticism allow him to play any position in the backcourt, and Wiggins displayed the acumen necessary to recognize matchups and exploit them to his advantage. Playing in attack mode seems to help the Alabama native get into his rhythm and his combination of playmaking and scoring tools are ahead of the curve.
Stay tuned for more from Prep Hoops Next!