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ENC Middle School Sleeper Report

Since the completion of the NC Class of 2024 watch-list, I’ve been doing some more digging. Make no mistake about it, North Carolina will be in for a treat for the foreseeable future. Several prospects listed in this article are still a year away from high school and have already shown me enough to believe that they will undoubtedly contribute in a great way one day at the varsity level and possibly beyond. Take notes.

Jermaine “Tez” Cunningham Jr. (Swansboro, NC)

6’1” PG – Swansboro Middle School – Class of 2025

This young prospect out of Swansboro shows flashes of a true big guard. Obviously, there is a ton of time between now and 2025 (5 years from now), but with his combination of basketball IQ, length and skill, the future is bright. He does a great job handling the ball, creating for others and takes high percentage shots. Defenses have a really hard time trying to speed him up. At the end of the day, this kid is a born winner. Keep an eye on this one. If his athleticism over the years catches up with his basketball IQ, he’ll become a highly coveted prospect sooner than later.

Jamias Ferere (Greensboro, NC)

6’5” G/F – Southern Guilford Middle School – Class of 2024

As a rising freshman later on this year (2020), one could expect Ferere to contribute sooner than later at the varsity level. At the middle school level, his size and skill allowed him to play virtually every position. Off the dribble, he gets to the rim and finishes solid with either hand. As a creator, his court vision is also very solid but his bread and butter will probably be scoring as a slashing wing. He also has the ability to make shots from the perimeter. Dial in on this young man from the Greensboro area.

Antron Gray (Gaston, NC)

5’5” PG – Gaston Middle School – Class of 2024

Yes. He’s small. However, the key to being successful despite being small is by being great at something. Gray is exceptional at handling the ball and controlling a game. He uses a great change of pace to blow past good defenders and his court vision is strong. In each game that I’ve seen him, he never got sped up and kept turnovers to a minimum. His size early on may delay him from playing varsity basketball initially, but I won’t be shocked to see his name among assists and steals leaders over the course of the next few years. He possesses a great feel for the game and despite being small, has long arms and looks primed to grow.

Ari Fulton (Hope Mills, NC)

6’5” G/F – Southview Middle School – Class of 2024

This young man has been on my radar for a couple of months now. Originally saw clips of him that his middle school coach posted to social media and had to see for myself what he could do. At 6’5”, Fulton will be able to step into virtually any varsity team and contribute all across the box score from day one. He can handle the ball, create for himself and others, rebounds the ball, comfortably defends four positions and he is a threat to bury jump-shots from the three-point line. If he stays on the right track and continues to develop his body, he’ll be a well known name on a large scale.

Zymir “Zeus” Batts (Wilmington, NC)

5’7” PG – Williston Middle School – Class of 2025

You will be hard pressed to find many better ball-handlers than Zeus Batts. When I say that, I’m speaking of the high school level on down. Batts has a natural and exceptional ability to handle the ball, whether it’s against pressure defense from strong and older guards or really quick long armed defenders. Simply put, he is already ahead of the curve as a true point guard. As a defender, he picks up ball-handlers full-court and harasses them with consistency. Will be a coaches dream at the high school level in the next year..

Javon Williams (Chocowinity, NC) 

6’2” G – Chocowinity Middle School – Class of 2025

East of the I-95, you will be hard pressed to find many better shot-makers in 7th grade than Williams. If he gets hot, he can knock down shot after shot without much resistance. He’s already got solid size around 6’1” – 6’2” and he looks as if he’s bound to grow several more inches. He’s versatile enough to go down into the post for big spurts of games and holds his own down low against players his size or bigger. As he continues to get older and stronger, he will have a chance to make quite a name for himself in eastern North Carolina and maybe on a larger scale depending on how he continues to develop.

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