Across the 8th grade division at the Southeast Kickoff quite a few 2025’s distinguished themselves not just for their skill level but for their obvious savvy and polish, traits that may very well translate into these players seeing varsity time for their respective high school’s down the line sooner rather than later. Here’s a 6-pack who I think are closest to making that jump, in order of overall assessment of performance:
Michael Carpenter, 2025, PG, Norcross Heat
There were few if any better PG’s on hand representing GA than Carpenter, plenty of size and strength already he calmly goes about his business out there breaking down defenses, pushing the pace always with is head up and on a swivel and showing all the confidence in the world with the ball in his hands, his full arsenal on offense includes a sweet 3-point stroke, great controlled attacking ability and a willingness to draw and score through contact, terrific vision in the open court and off the attack, and a deft set of hands on defense picking the pocket of multiple ballhandlers on the day, in facing a E1T1 team from Florida with 4 players 6-5 or taller early on Saturday he still got 15 impressive points and showed no back-down against the overall size of the group from FL, catching them early Sunday morning as well he did a number again on a good Ohio Rebels team in cashing in another 15-point, all-around excellent performance in the exciting Heat win.
Carby Martin, 2025, F, TSF
Among the most polished and impressive forwards on hand at any level, Martin had all the game and moxie of a much older player and a body to go with it, great poise and control with the ball in his hands, at 6-4 had the size to go right at opposing bigs but more than enough quickness and craft to slip by them as well, adept at establishing solid scoring position, he had sticky hands and was quick off the floor, athleticism to burn and clearly well-drilled on both ends, had 16 dominant points in an early Saturday win over Atlanta Xpress and 15 more Sunday in a close setback to GA Stars Simmons, monster upside.
Christian Curl, 2025, PG, GA Stars Simmons
Much like the Heat’s Carpenter, Curl was among the most impressive and polished guards from GA on hand, a controlled handle with the ball put him in position to hurt defenses from all over the floor, a high IQ, solidly built player at this early stage he was a 1/2 step ahead of most others he faced, adding to his acumen as a lead guard was a tremendous stroke from distance and a ton of confidence behind it, he had 4 treys against a really strong Kingdom Hoops club from Iowa on Saturday and finished with 15 in the 2-point win, had another 11 in Sunday’s terrific comeback win from double digits down to TSF.
Ethan Carter, 2025, F, GA Stars Simmons
Agile, rangy, skilled forward who wasn’t available Saturday but immediately raised eyebrows Sunday as I watched the Stars put together a big 2nd half surge to run past TSF, along with TSF’s Martin perhaps the most skilled “right-now” forward prospect on hand repping Georgia, explosive off the deck at 6-5 the leaping ability was simply more than anyone could oppose, great-looking soft jump shot that he took out beyond the arc as well in dropping 12 of his 14 during that terrific team-2nd half by the Stars, like everyone on this list has real “wow” possibilities moving forward with the skillset already in his possession.
Timothy Prather, 2025, CG, Atlanta Xpress
Powerful frame made for tough match-ups all weekend long, equally comfortable at either guard spot, used that frame to back down smaller defenders or power through opposing frontcourts, showed a great work rate in finding his O off the bounce or slipping into gaps for his effective jump shot, good hands and instincts on D and was able to turn-over opposing guards and get finishes off the break, had a 13-point game to open festivities Saturday morning against TSF, then added 8 in a strong team win over GA Stars Styles later in the day.
Jamari Mosley, 2025, SG, Norcross Heat
Teaming with Carpenter to comprise perhaps the best guard duo I saw all weekend was the long and rangy Mosley, versatile at both ends with good size he played the back line of the zone and showed nice grit mixing it up with the E1T1 bigs as well as Sunday against good size from the Rebels, a true wing attacking player in the cast-mold he was comfortable spotting up from 3 and had the stroke to do it, was particularly tough using the bounce to get at the rim with either hand, also an instinctive defender he showed plenty of ballhandling in often leading the break himself for pretty coast-to-coast finishes, had one of the weekend highlights against the Rebels in getting the late go ahead-layup which held up on a grown-man drive through the lane.