Rutherfordton, N.C. — The game has morphed into what many call an era of positionless basketball. The days of a player being labeled as a “one”, or a point guard, or a “five”, referring to a traditional back-to-the-basket center, are practically obsolete. The youth hoops landscape has a tendency to emulate the pro game and this modern shift is no different.
For example, if you attend grassroots basketball events, then you’ve probably noticed that versatility is now en vogue. The best youth prospects understand how to exploit mismatches on both sides of the floor, and the size and athleticism of the most elite players prior to the high school level can be startling. The positional stereotypes of traditional basketball are almost extinct, thanks largely in part to players in the mold of remarkable youth talents like Zymicah Wilkins.
The Class of 2025 prospect is similar to any other kid away from the court. He enjoys playing video games, hanging out with friends, or playing sports at the park across the street from his home in rural North Carolina. However, on the court, the 6-foot-5 eighth-grader is an absolute force.
A true stat-stuffer, Wilkins is capable of blocking shots, grabbing rebounds, starting the break, and finishing with a powerful finish or a precise pass the other end. He has displayed agile footwork as well as an improved shooting touch and appears to have the necessary tools to become a touted recruit at the high school level.
In a recent conversation with Wilkins’ travel team assistant coach, Mark Brannan of Team Heat Elite, it became clear that those around the youngster feel strongly that he is a unique talent.
“He has been doing this since 2nd grade,” said Brannan. “Zymicah has been playing up a grade and still dominating opponents all [these years]. We have known that he is special. I think people from [beyond our] program, the world, found out he was different during his sixth-grade year. He dominated every tournament. They noticed. He was averaging almost 20 points, but with 6 blocks, too.”
Despite how amazing it is to see a young player who does these things so effortlessly and selflessly, Wilkins appears to be well-grounded, taking all of his successes on the court in stride. An obviously humble young man, Wilkins offered the following when PrepHoopsNext.com asked for his perspective and critique of his own game.
“I’m glad to see that all [my] hard work is paying off,” Wilkins replied. “But I know that I must continue working and continue to improve. I’m working to be able to play the one through the five. I want to have a complete game, an all-around game. Right now, I think that I’m [most] dominant inside the paint area.”
Nearly a year away from beginning his high school career, Wilkins is likely still growing, and his strength and athleticism should be expected to continue trending upward. He’s tracking as one of the top youth talents in the Carolinas and is certainly a player worthy of being monitored for consistent development.
Stay tuned for more from Prep Hoops Next!