I didn’t get to see the full gamut of teams from the 6th and 7th-grade divisions, but from the games I saw, here are some of the standout 2026/2027 performers at the Prep Hoops Next Heartland Kickoff.
Derrick Kilgore, G/F, Project Basketball (pictured above)
Arguably the best overall talent I saw in the division, wasn’t much he couldn’t do with ease, excellent ball-handling, a physical frame that creates space, soft shooting touch, speed off the bounce, relentless work on the glass, just too much size and skill for most he faced.
Jaylin Craine, G, Vette City Thoroughbreds
Smooth mover, fluid around the floor, great understanding at a young age, elite finisher both from the perimeter and attacking the basket, like all Vette city players can really guard you.
Trevy Barber, G, Vette City Thoroughbreds
Powerfully built and physical, tons of speed off the bounce, gets downhill but not out of control, nice combo of inside and out skills.
Dearron Watkins, F, Vette City Throughbreds
At 6-2 just too much to handle at this stage, but more than just height has soft hands and great feet, finishes either with touch or with a flourish around the basket, good rebounder and shot-blocker.
KJ Johnson, G, Vette City Thoroughbreds
Exciting PG with speed to burn, among best defenders in any age group, can play pass-first role or be a primary scorer getting to the hole.
Johnathan Moss, G, Vette City Thoroughbreds
Like his compadres a well-rounded player at young stage, really gets after it on the defensive end, can play out front as a PG or be really effective shooting and slashing from a wing spot.
Peyton Miamba, F, Indiana Elite
Powerful post man already has nice understanding what to do with it down low, goes after it on the boards and blocking shots.
Caleb Wells, F, Indiana Elite
Nice all-around game, good handle allows him to be an effective driver, strong effort in close makes him a lot to handle near the basket, impressed as well with the pure and natural-looking stroke from outside.
Guy Turner, G, Team Manimal
A great combo of fight and skill, super high IQ for the age group, sees openings for the attack or for setting up teammates, has a future as a lead guard but can easily slide to the 2 and be dangerous off the wing.
Sekou Kamara, F, Team Manimal
Among the weekend’s best effort and glue guys, doesn’t take a possession off, often forced to guard larger players but showed no letdown, loved his aggressiveness using the dribble to take advantage of his athletic advantage.
Tamarje English, G, Team Teague Evans
Polished and fluid guard already, head up and on a swivel at all times, among the best assist men of the weekend, can take over a game with the aggressive driving to the basket for his own O or drawing defenders for Teague’s plethora of other options, enormous upside.
Jehari Miller, F, Team Teague Evans
In most instances just out-physicaled the opposition, played with a quiet fury that was evident, an absolute beast on the boards and off the catch in close, a tremendous young athlete loved to get out on the break and beat folks to the basket.
Tim Winkler, F, NCBC
Certainly a candidate for player of the weekend, an impressive myriad of skills at 6-4 or so that are far beyond his years, can put it not the floor and drive or spin by you, soft touch in the mid-range, crashed the glass with ferocity, in the 13U final victory over The Family had a sweet fall-away and then later a one-man break that had both me and most of the crowd in awe.
Justin Curry, G/F, Grand Park Premier
Was all over the place at times scoring from multiple levels on one end then hustling back to block shots on the other, really sweet from 3-land and got it off with tons of confidence, really nice-looking young wing prospect who if he has a growth spurt and gets to 6-5 or 6-6 can be big-time.
Devin Craig, G, Grand Park Premier
Absolute deadeye bomber from 3, ready to catch and gets shot off fast, high IQ ball-player and solid defender.
Josh Ranes, F, Grand Park Premier
Definitely an All-Glue Guy first-teamer, does all the dirty work at both ends, a fighter on the glass, efficient finisher near the rim and seasoned defender.
Treigh Schelsky, G, Team Teague Jordan
If there was a top floor generals list Schelsky would be on it, great with the ball, controlled, tremendous vision, not just a distributor as he can knock it down from deep or cut into a defense off the bounce.
Fa’rel Carter, G, Team Teague Jordan
A+ athlete already who can gas it by you all the way to the tin or stop on a dime for a J or dump off, great rise for a 7th grader attacking the basket, pick your pocket with great hands, a tantalizing athletic talent whose basketball upside is just getting going.
Jaylan Mitchell (2027), F, Team Teague Jordan
Playing up the lengthy and rangy wing showed nice skills around the basket, getting up and down the floor off the break, and particularly off the bounce where he was creative and aggressive, has the body of an 8th-grader and that helped him play through contact and help on the glass.
Anthony Holmes, F, Indy Premier
Speaking of tantalizing athletes Holmes at times was head and shoulders the most gifted athletically on the floor, his game had wow moments either getting out in the open floor and finishing or crashing the O-boards and getting put-backs, as he reigns in the athletic gifts and hones his b-ball acumen he could develop into something scary.
Jason Singleton, Kenny Larue, Jaden Shoultz, All-Ohio
These 3 guards all showed similar abilities that impressed – great quickness and control with the ball, tremendous defensive instincts on and off the ball, explosiveness to the basket, clutch and confident perimeter shooting, a creative group of guards with an entertaining bit of moxie to go along with the obvious skills.
Cole Edelen, G, Team Manimal
A calm, coolness to how he went about things, never seemed in a rush but could blow-by you when needed, smooth stroke from the outside, excellent vision made one of the top lead guards in the division.