Phenom Hoops traveled to Durham, NC to cover the Durham Hurricanes as part of our Grassroots “travel ball” tour. The Durham Hurricanes are a local basketball club that does things the right way. They get local players and develop them. They get them at a young age when they have little to no skill set. Programs like the Durham Hurricanes are truly the epitome of grassroots basketball. More than anything, it’s the local programs that give so many young players their platform and opportunity.

We had the honor to speak to the organization Sunday and watch open gym. There was a lot of young talent and we want to take the time to share our notes and thoughts

The 2017 Class

6’1 ’17 Carter Collins (East Chapel Hill HS)

Carter is a slender, bouncy and athletic PG. The southpaw can light it up from the 3-point line. He has excellent lift and elevation on his jump shot.

While his shot doesn’t have “perfect form,” he has improved his mechanics. Carter can score from all three levels and he has the athleticism to throw one down in transition and in traffic.

He’s a high academic player and already sports an offer from Columbia University of the Ivy League.

In addition, Carter is a high character young man and should see his recruitment grow immensely over the course of the high school season.

6’5 ’17 Isaiah Reddish (Riverside HS)

This was our first viewing of Reddish and we were totally impressed with his athleticism and explosiveness. Coach Sinclair stated, “this would be his first year playing travel ball since the eight grade.”

Reddish is exceptional in transition and has a smooth/fluid and yet powerful game. We anticipate Reddish will have a breakout season for Durham Riverside. A relative unknown in the recruiting circles, Reddish has the physical attributes to make his presence known sooner rather than later.

6’3 ’17 Andrew Freeman (Riverside HS)

We have watched Freeman several times over the past two years. One thing is for certain; Freeman can flat shoot the cover off the ball. He is wired to score and can score from all three levels. Freedom has the unique ability to score off the catch or off the bounce. He bodes self-confidence and plays extraordinary hard.

6’0 ’17 AJ Davis (Riverside HS)

Davis moved to the Durham area a year ago from New Jersey. He’s a scoring guard that shoots it very well. He’s active on both ends of the court and moves well without the ball. He’s an all out competitor and plays well within the team structure. He were impressed with his “team first” approach.

6’8 ’17 Clay Watkins (East Chapel Hill HS)

While Watkins is still learning the game, he continues to make huge strides in his development. He has passer friendly hands and is a willing passer from the post area. He works hard in the paint for low post position.

More importantly, Watkins is a battler and puts forth maximum effort. While Watkins is not the most athletic big, he does get the job done on the interior. Watkins has good hands and is an excellent passer out of the post.


The 2018 Class

6’1 ’18 Elbert Ellis (Kestrel Heights)

Ellis is an electric guard that can hurt you in so many ways. He has the ability to score points in bunches. Ellis can hurt you from all levels and also sports an impressive offensive repertoire.

Ellis has an ultra quick first step and can shoot it extremely well off the bounce. In addition, we were impressed with his quickness and overall court vision.

Ellis sees the floor well and while a scoring guard, doesn’t mind getting his teammates involved.

6’2 ’18 Jordan Love (Voyager Academy)

Shooters translate at every level and Jordan Love has a knack for the ball tickling the twine. He exhibits an outstanding attitude on the court and plays with a winning mentality. Love plays both ends of the court and competes on all possessions. There’s a lot of like and will be a great glue guy on any team.

6’6 ’18 Darius Robinson (Northern HS)

Rebounds, rebounds and rebounds! Some players can score, but Robinson simply has a nose for the ball. He anticipates loose balls and missed shots for rebounding opportunities. Robinson runs the floor extremely well and scores many of his points in transition.


The 2019 Class

6’2 ’19 Josh Hall (Southern HS)

Hall is all legs and arms and the slender wing guard has potential written all over him. His father is 7’0 tall and in a few years we may be talking about a 6’8 Josh Hall. Hall has good perimeter skills and a quick shooting release. He is just now scratching the surface. Definitely, one to watch!

6’5 ’19 Derrick Gregory (Southern HS)

Right now, Gregory has a big strong body. His physical attributes are a little ahead of his current skill set. He has the ability to use his strength to overpower taller and slender players. He’s a blue-collar worker and flat out gets the job done.

6’4 ’19 Marcotis Hall (Kestrel Heights)

Like many young players with his size, he is delegated to playing on the interior. However, as he gets older Hall will need move more out to the perimeter. According to Coach Sinclair, Hall’s perimeter game has really improved. Upside and potential are words used to describe Hall.

5’11 ’19 Vincent Brown (Ravenscroft)

Brown is a late bloomer and it looks like he has a lot of growing yet to do. His father is 6’5 and his mother is 6’2. If mother mature holds to form, Brown’s future looks promising. He has good perimeter skills and has the ability to knock down shots. He’s a relentless worker on the court.

5’6 ’19 Jaylen Person (Southern HS)

What Person lacks in size, he more than makes up with desire and determination. He plays with tremendous heart and uses his size to his advantage. He is a pesky defender and the consummate pass first PG.


The 2020 Class

5’11 ’20 Michal Jones (Rogers Herr MS)

Talk about being blessed with athleticism, Jones is the real deal. He is blessed with all the physical attributes and an advanced skill set. He already is playing above the rim and can score from all levels on the court.

5’10 Joshua Alston (Neal MS)

Alston has a physically mature frame and strength is his calling card. He’s a tough-minded guard that attacks the rim at every opportunity. He’s tenacious on both ends of the court and his name to keep in the memory bank once he gets to high school.


5’10 ’20 Cole Sinclair (Shepard MS)

Sinclair is a strong and heady floor general. We particularly like his size and command of the ball. He can overpower the majority of guards with his strength. He has the ability to control the tempo and run the offense efficiently in the half court.

6’2 ’20 Drake Holloway (Brogden MS)

This is Holloway’s second year of playing organized basketball. Coach Sinclair calls him the “sleeper” and makes comparisons to former Hurricane Jalen Johnson who recently committed to Tennessee. Long and athletic, Holloway has raw potential. Once his skill set catches up to his athleticism, watch out!

6’5 ’20 Deontrae Brown (Hillside HS)

Although a freshman, he is very young for his age and could possibility reclass to his proper grade. Brown has a bright future and can play multiple positions. Brown is active on the board and gets out and runs smoothly in transition.

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