This past weekend, Phenom Hoops made the journey up to Virginia Beach to host our third annual 757 Showcase. The event featured a ton of new faces and noteworthy talent across all age groups. Several guys stood out across the two-day stretch, and this article will take a closer look at a few personal favorites…

5’10 ’25 Derek Ross Jr. (Wildcats Elite)

Between social media and dozens of articles, folks should be well-informed about Derek Ross and what he brings to the table as a dynamic floor general. That continued throughout the 757 Showcase, as he continues to highlight the perfect amount of balance as a floor general. Ross is incredibly smart, quick, and unselfish. He possesses amazing offensive polish and could legitimately look to score on every trip down the floor, yet stays true to his identity as a true point guard. Ross constantly surveys in transition and sees the entire floor as well as any player in the state. Few guys truly understand how to bend and manipulate defenses to actually create opportunities for others, but he’s one of the best. Everything is purposeful. Ross makes the right decision with unwavering consistency and picks his spots extremely well as an efficient three-level scorer. Add in his pace, ball security, and defense at the point of attack, and it’s easy to see what he brings to a team. Ross received an offer from Winston-Salem State nearly two years ago, and has gotten largely overlooked ever since. In a travel basketball scene where so many kids are constantly searching for greener pastures, it’s disappointing that someone who stays loyal and elevates his supporting cast doesn’t warrant more consideration.

6’4 ’30 Khyri Tomlinson (Team Takeover)

Anyone following our coverage of the event already knows about the dominance of Khyri Tomlinson and his Team Takeover squad. Although it’s so early in the development process and so many variables can come into play, it’s difficult to imagine many sixth-graders in the country with more ability or long-term appeal. Some people might look at the fact that he stands at 6-foot-3 in middle school and think this is an expected takeaway. Rest assured, this is highly unprecedented stuff. It goes so far beyond his strong frame with long arms and fluid athleticism. Tomlinson is an all-around monster. He legitimately dominates all facets of the game while being an unselfish teammate and playing with a nonstop motor. Tomlinson is already extremely smart, aggressive, and easily stands out as one of the best passing big men you’ll find at any level or age. Whether posting up, moving without the ball, attacking off the bounce, or hitting jumpers from the perimeter, he makes it all look effortless. Again, defenses are unable to double or shade because he possesses such sharp passing instincts and will make the right play without hesitation. Tomlinson’s length, physicality, and sheer effort on the glass makes him an elite rebounder among his peers. Having seen a healthy dose of eventual stars at this same stage, Tomlinson will be a high-level prospect as he continues to grow.

6’8 ’27 Keaton Gregory (RockIt Premier)

Whether mobility, timing, effort, or various other things, there are so many different, yet important traits when evaluating young big men—and Keaton Gregory possesses a lot of them. For starters, he offers each of the three mentioned above. Gregory is long, wiry, and understands how to anchor the paint on both ends of the floor. In a time where so many bigs want to be guards, he’s clearly in-tune with his identity. Gregory is a capable finisher who lurks well for lobs, putbacks, and dump-off passes. However, he already brings to much value to a team through his rebounding and ability to protect the rim. Gregory displays great timing as a rim-protector, showing the necessary instincts to block or alter shots on a consistent basis. He’s a reliable defender in screen actions, able to hedge, recover, and still contest at the rim. Gregory is stronger than he appears, but primarily utilizes his length and positioning to involve himself in the rebounding battle. He also runs the floor well in transition. Gregory will certainly be a prospect to monitor as he continues to physically develop.

6’2 ’25 Carson Barnett (NC Spartans)

Although the entire six-man crew of the NC Spartans deserves attention, Carson Barnett earns praise for consistently shining within his pivotal role for this group. First of all, it cannot be overstated how much he’s progressed over the last calendar year. Barnett is a pure gamer whose IQ, toughness, and well-rounded skillset makes him an unbelievably valuable asset. While most people will see the scoring totals (which are worth noting), he does so many things that don’t appear in a score sheet. Barnett is seemingly involved in every key rebound, extra pass, and hustle play. He’s a very scrappy defender who doesn’t shy away from physical play in any capacity. Barnett is capable of running the offense or playing without the ball, and is adaptable to various roles for the betterment of the team. His calm, steady demeanor pairs seamlessly with his unselfish, team-oriented approach to the game. Barnett has clearly put in the work to become a major factor, and should definitely be a useful piece at the next level.

6’2 ’25 Majesty Dawson (Team Push)

In an amazing battle to claim the championship, Majesty Dawson was the clear difference-maker for Team Push. He stood out as a focal point all weekend long, but proved to be the most impactful in the closing minutes of their most important contest. Dawson is a very strong, physically imposing wing prospect who rebounds, defends multiple positions, and applies constant downhill pressure. Although he’s more than comfortable attacking off the bounce, setting up others, and hitting jumpers as needed, he does a terrific job of playing to his strengths. Dawson is a lethal transition threat and excellent finisher who plays effectively through contact. His blend of strength, quickness, and toughness allows him to defend guards or bigs with quality results. Dawson is also a useful rebounder who can push the break when available. He certainly should appeal to scholarship-level programs.

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