There’s no arguing the impact that the Class of 2025 had on the Prep Hoops Next circuit this year as many of the nation’s most talented players and teams collided to deliver a number of memorable moments. In previous features for this series, I’ve highlighted my selections for the year’s top backcourt and wing standouts through the lens of the PHN circuit, but several of my favorite memories during the event series’ inaugural season revolved around the emergence of the following frontcourt prospects who are sure to see their talents further recognized at the high school level…
Ja’mariion ‘JD’ Palm | Dothan, AL | Class of 2025
Palm made his Prep Hoops Next circuit debut in February at the Rumble Under The Palms tournament. He led Tri-City Elite (GA) to the 14U championship and was named the weekend’s Most Outstanding Player. Nearing 6-foot-10, and possessing tremendous run-and-jump ability, Palm was the most physically impressive prospect to compete on the PHN circuit in its opening year. The bouncy forward flashed an emerging face-up game on offense, and also shined as a shot-blocker, demonstrating timing and a quick bounce off the floor. Palm is slated to return to the varsity lineup for Dothan (AL) High School, where he played as an 8th grader last year.
Koa Peat | Chandler, AZ | Class of 2025
Peat may be the nation’s most productive player in the Class of 2025 entering the high school ranks. His Prep Hoops Next circuit appearance came with A.E.B.C. (AZ) in February at the West Coast Kickoff. The Arizona group was nothing short of dominant that weekend, with Peat’s performance leading the way, and earning him Most Outstanding Player honors. The bruising, 6-foot-8 forward has remarkable pedigree, as the youngest of seven children of former NFL lineman Todd Peat, Sr., all of whom have Division I talent whether on the hardwood or the gridiron. He’ll continue to sharpen his skills at Gilbert Perry (AZ) High School as a freshman.
| Oklahoma City, OK | Class of 2025
A versatile and lean, 6-foot-7 forward, Rayfield suited up with Team Griffin (OK) in the Sooner State Showdown and provided his squad a boost in nearly every statistical category. Although he currently lacks the top-tier explosiveness and physicality of the aforementioned Palm and Peat, his performance at the Prep Hoops Next circuit was ample evidence that his ceiling as a prospect is significant in its own right. Rayfield’s length and energetic style of play should allow him to have an impact on the defensive side of the court for Putnam City North (OK) High School this season and his glimpses of offensive production shown to date are promising.
| Rio Rancho, NM | Class of 2025
A 6-foot-9 frontcourt prospect, Walls played a starring role for J.B. White Elite (NM), excelling at several tournaments in the Southwest and West Coast regions, but was at his best during the Prep Hoops Next West Coast Kickoff in early February. There, Walls flaunted his complete arsenal, and his confidence and aggressiveness reached a pinnacle. He sprinted the floor with purpose, attempted to swat everything in the lane, and provided consistent scoring from the block while also displaying his shooting touch and range. It’s worth noting that Walls has since relocated to Houston and enrolled at St. Francis Episcopal (TX) School for his freshman year.
Zymicah Wilkins | Rutherfordton, NC | Class of 2025
A rural North Carolina product, Wilkins was one of the most naturally gifted prospects to appear on the Prep Hoops Next circuit in its debut season. The mobile, 6-foot-8 forward helped lead Boo Williams Dreamchasers (VA) to the championship game at the Southeast Kickoff and earned All-Tournament honors in the process. He exhibited the ability to control a game from within the paint, fighting through contact for tough finishes in the lane, and wrestling rebounds away from opponents on both ends of the court. Wilkins’ inside-out game is unique and expectations are high for the Rutherfordton-Spindale Central (NC) High School freshman.
Stay tuned for more from Prep Hoops Next!