Cypress, Tex. — It’s a year of firsts for the Prep Hoops Next Circuit, as the event series heads West this weekend to the greater Houston area for another dose of high-level youth hoops action. In short, the inaugural Southwest Kick-off tournament signals the start of another exciting line-up brimming with both talented teams and individuals from across the state and region.
Expect an abundance of content from the Lone Star State during the two-day clash as more than 30 teams and nearly 350 student-athletes are set to take to the court at the Louetta Automotive Sports Complex. Our team of scouts will be in the building from start to finish and here’s a sampling of the storylines set to unfold this weekend…
Which 6th grade teams will liftoff in Houston?
The Houston Hoops Blue Chips fifth-grade roster is among the nation’s best with names like Jacob Anene, Wayd Bailey, Bryson Campbell, Madden Hill, Tre Wright, and others already carving out reputations for themselves in the Class of 2028. When a sixth-grade spot opened up this group jumped at the opportunity to play quality competition in their hometown; no matter the age or grade. However, the Southwest Kick-off should present quite the challenge, featuring a competitive field in the Class of 2027 with names like Reese Alston (RA Elite), Isaiah Santos (NeNe Elite Gold), Brian Scott (JL3 Elite), and the list goes on.
Sounding the alarm on potential “Sleepers”
The Southwest Kick-off could offer up quite a few new faces in the eighth-grade division. Keep an eye on BBBS Grey (TX), a team that has one of the more underrated duos in Texas’ 2025 class with guard Chase Coleman and rangy forward Rayanne Lomboto. For CyFair Elite (TX), Scottie Guillory is one of the top backcourt scorers in the state and he’s expected to be paired up with a frontline featuring 6-foot-5 Erben Birkhoff and 6-foot-7 Cody Wilson. Kody Brown (ProSkills SA), Cameron Carroll (Razorbacks Elite – TX), and Shelton Henderson (JL3 Elite) are only a trio among many candidates primed for breakout performances.
Six squads on deck in the Class of 2026
The seventh-grade field will feature a half-dozen teams including CyFair Elite (TX), J.B. White Elite (NM), JL3 Elite (TX), Razorbacks Elite (TX), Team Ford (TX), and Torch Select (TX). Each of these groups has made a deep run or two at other tournaments to begin the year, but claiming their first Prep Hoops Next title with a Southwest Kick-off crown will add prestige to one deserving team’s résumé at the conclusion of the weekend, and provide some bragging rights as the travel season moves forward. It’s tough to forecast a champion for this division, and it will be more fun to let these clubs settle it on the hardwood, anyway.
J.B. White’s Hoops Legacy Lives On
This story is one of tragedy but also of many triumphs. In a perfect world, Fedonta “JB” White would likely be playing basketball himself this weekend, but instead, youth hoopers will don jerseys sporting White’s name in his honor. The New Mexico-based organization has a rare collection of talent on its eighth-grade roster compared to the state’s typical standard. Jalian Holland leads this group from the perimeter, but is surrounded by notable size including 6-foot-5 forwards Daniel Lovato and James Murray as well as 6-foot-7 post, Jayden Leverett. Class of 2026 guard Brandon Mason, Jr. is also a name to remember when this club takes the court.
National talent continues to flow from Texas
The pipeline of hoops talent in Texas is no secret and the well is clearly not drying up anytime soon if the upcoming Prep Hoops Next Southwest Kick-off is any indication. The tournament will feature quite a few headliners in the eighth-grade division while providing an opportunity for more to emerge. Although their names are not in recruiting circles just yet, names like(H.H.B.C.), (Southern Assault), (Team F.O.E.), (JL3 Elite), and several others will be vying for coveted spots in the upcoming release of our NEXT100 National Player Rankings for the Class of 2025.
Stay tuned for more from Prep Hoops Next!