Deerfield Beach, Fla. — Our focus from the 2021 Balling On The Beach tournament now shifts back to the frontcourt players in attendance as we examine the event’s top breakout candidates from the Class of 2025. This group of eighth-grade prospects made their presence felt during the weekend in South Florida, showing extensive promise with their play, and setting a baseline for which their future performances will be measured…
Aleksander Alston | Chicago, IL | Class of 2025
Few words have been said or written of Alston to date, but it’s my opinion that the 6-foot-6 forward is among the top tier of rising high school freshmen prospects in the state of Illinois when considering his long-term potential. Playing for Mac Irvin Fire (IL) at the 2021 Balling On The Beach tournament, Alston showed an array of skills spanning from the low block to the high post, and beyond. It’s clear he still has a lot of growing to do, but his face-up abilities as a passer and shooter are intriguing, and Alston also impressed with his reliable hands and nimble footwork. His continued development is certainly worth tracking moving forward.
Anthony ‘LJ’ Andrews | Houston, TX | Class of 2025
Andrews has bounced around to a few different teams this season but it appears the 6-foot-6 frontcourt prospect may have found a home with the Southern Assault (TX) program. A smooth forward that plays at his own pace, Andrews brings ample skill and confidence to the court when allowed to face the rim, and utilizes his sturdy frame to inflict punishment in the paint when his shot isn’t falling. It’s not likely that Andrews will ever be the most explosive player on the floor in elite settings, but he understands how to position himself in order to outmaneuver opposing athletes, and demonstrated as much at the 2021 Balling On The Beach event.
Evan Cochran | Katy, TX | Class of 2025
A slender, 6-foot-7 post prospect with more growth likely on the way, Cochran’s game and frame appear to be trending in the direction of a modern stretch-four or stretch-five role. Similar to most young big men, his physical development will take longer than his backcourt counterparts, but that fact should not negate Cochran’s immense potential. The towering Texan was efficient in his minutes for JL3 SP (TX) during the 2021 Balling On The Beach tournament, altering shots in the lane, and showing his ability to space the floor with his shooting touch. He’ll team with brother and Class of 2023 recruit, Braeden Cochran, in the frontcourt this fall at Village (TX) High School.
Adlan Elamin | Severn, MD | Class of 2025
His club was a bit shorthanded, but Elamin took advantage of the additional minutes available, proving to be a fluid and versatile prospect with a game that is only beginning to blossom. The thought process here is that the 6-foot-5 forward should continue to sprout upward, ultimately becoming a stretch-four with wing-type potential on offense, but also possessing the length to disrupt the action inside the lane while making plays above the rim. That would be quite an ideal package for Elamin, who suited up for Team Durant (MD) at the 2021 Balling On The Beach tournament, and showed flashes of what the future may hold with sustained dedication.
Winters Grady | Portland, OR | Class of 2025
The owner of a 6-foot-5 frame that looks best-suited for the football field, Grady surprised with his all-around agility, and overall basketball abilities during the 2021 Balling On The Beach event. A key contributor throughout what was a 5-1 weekend for the Rose City Rebels (OR), Grady anchored the paint for the eighth-grade runner-ups, displaying nimble footwork below the rim and a knack for securing offensive rebounds. His pursuit of the ball inside the lane was second to none and his tough, no-nonsense approach resulted in him being among the most productive post players in attendance from the Class of 2025.
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