NEWARK, Ohio -- This past weekend both Mark Francis and Chintoo Deora got a chance to watch a ton of prospects. The Under Armour Ohio Classic was hosted by Nova Village and took place at Newark High School. We watched a ton of games and scouted players from the 2026 class to the 2023 class. Below are some standouts players that caught our eyes during this tournament.
Chase Walker (17U NOVA - Schmitz / St. Charles / 2023):
He was by far the best big man at the event over the weekend, showcasing everything in his arsenal. Walker has the best footwork and is the best finisher in the paint in the area regardless of class, he’s quick and it seems like he’s floating when he’s on the block. Once the ball is in Walker’s hand he is so patient, takes his time and is an excellent decision maker. The lefty can also knock down shots on every level of the court with his absolutely gorgeous shooting form. Chase made some passes over the weekend that were nothing short of special, showing off his passing ability not only in the post but in transition and from the perimeter as well. With multiple Division 1 offers to his name, expect more to come for Walker during the summer.
Juwan Turner (16U NOVA - Turner / Pickerington Central / 2024):
Not only was he the best guard regardless of class at the entire event, he is also the best point guard prospect in Central Ohio coming into the season. There is no shortage of compliments that I could type about Turner, he is already a consummate leader with a professional demeanor. Nothing phases this young man, and if it does, you never see it on his face. He led his team to an overtime loss in the championship game but even in defeat Turner was in control of the game. Over the weekend, the state champ made plays for himself and his team with a dynamic balance of scoring himself and throwing assists. His jumper was working all weekend, draining three’s then hitting his patented elbow jumper which is basically automatic. On defense, Turner had opposing guards in maximum security on the court. Ball handlers simply cannot drive past him because of his quick feet and upper body strength. Juwan is the best point guard in the area and is already having an amazing start to the AAU season and showing why we rank him so highly.
Cole Rhett (17U NOVA - Taylor / Bishop Watterson / 2023):
Another tremendously skilled big man, Rhett was able to have his way in the paint, using his frame to fend off defenders and his soft touch around the basket to finish through contact. He showed off his good footwork down low combined with explosive power that helped his team over the weekend. Teams couldn’t help but foul him and he went to the free throw line and was money from the stripe all weekend long. Defensively, Rhett was a problem for players looking to drive past him because of the way he was able to slide his feet and force players into difficult shots over top of him. A physical player who will have an impactful summer.
Charles Wood (17U Great Lakes / Swanton / 2025):
Possibly the most intriguing prospect to evaluate over the weekend, Wood is a towering 6-foot-9 with some room to grow and was playing with/against juniors as a freshman while not looking overwhelmed against the competition. The big man can finish over both shoulders in the post very well already and understands where double teams are coming from. While his jump shot is still developing, Wood takes smart shots and shows that he can create enough space to get his shot off against defenders. If he continues to develop, Wood will be a kid all of Ohio will hear about for years to come.
Andrew Hedgepath (17U United / Pickerington Central / 2023):
A vital piece to a winning team, Hedgepath played with pace the entire weekend, constantly pushing the ball and getting out in transition where he was exhibiting his passing skill. He was able to get his teammates easy shots on the break which led to his team's route in the championship game. The rangy guard also displayed his defensive instincts, getting in the lane and using his long arms to create turnovers. Some guys just impact winning in a ton of ways and Hedgepath is one of them. When Hedgepath was guarding the ball, his lateral quickness and ability to stay in front of his man was incredible. His growth this summer will be fun to watch as he goes through the AAU summer.
Jared Hart (17U NOVA - Edwards / Westerville Central / 2023):
The 6-foot-5 wing is an excellent defender that can sit in the chair and disrupt things or get to the basket and finish at the rim. Hart was all over the floor defensively during this weekend, reeking havoc in the backcourt and forcing turnovers. Whenever coach Edwards wanted them to turn up the heat on the opposing team and deployed his full court press, Hart was one of the main defenders tasked with getting stops. He has a slight frame but carries his muscle very well, displaying strength that was shocking for a young man his size. Hart displayed his strength in the paint by finishing through contact and he also hit multiple mid-range jumpers over the weekend. If he continues to carry this type of play into the summer, he can be a real sleeper player in his class.
Elias Lewis (17U NOVA - Schmitz / Olentangy Orange / 2023):
Lewis was a bucket getter all weekend, scoring from all over the place and exhibiting many different offensive talents. He scored on every level, getting to the basket and finishing, drilling mid-range jumpers and going deep to knock down shots. Lewis was aggressive in his shot taking, while still not taking bad shots. Saturday afternoon, he was on fire and helped his team go unbeaten on that day. He seems to have a knack for hitting tough shot after tough shot. Lewis drained multiple triples and opened things up for his other teammates. A go-to scorer for the Orange, Lewis showed that he is a reliable scorer and is a part of a dangerous win duo with Mikey McCollum at Olentangy Orange that can light up a scoreboard.
Jalen Wheeler (17U NOVA - Edwards / Westerville South / 2023):
A quick handed point guard that can do a little bit of everything on the court while being a really good leader that provides a calming presence for his team. Wheeler is a ball hawking guard that consistently showed his ball hawking skill, tracking down the basketball in the air multiple times to force turnovers and get his team easy scores. Wheeler is a good athlete with nice size who can rebound the ball at a high level and start transition offense for his team. The multisport athlete is in line for a breakout summer with his NOVA team which should propel him into a big time high school season.
Mathios Abenet (17U NOVA - Edwards / Olentangy Berlin / 2023):
His effort on the court was undeniable and the pace he plays with is impressive. The 6-foot-3 shifty combo guard ran the point and got his team into their action seamlessly, he was also put at the shooting guard position and used his shiftiness along with his lower body strength to get in the paint and finish. Abenet has a smooth handle and showed the ability to get past defenders without elite speed, just savvy and intelligence. This junior can get buckets when called on, but for the sake of his team he plays within the system and can get victories instead of individual accomplishments.
Evan Adair (17U NOVA - Edwards / Liberty Christian / 2023):
In his team’s first game against FORCE, Evan knocked down the two biggest three’s of the game; first to give his team the lead and then to separate themselves and stretch out the lead towards the end. He has a nice release on his shot and consistently rebounded the ball in traffic, showing strong hands and good timing on his jumps. The junior is always locked and loaded on the wing ready to shoot the ball, and with his quick release he was able to get his shot off over anybody. The combo guard plays with energy on both ends, never standing still on offense and using his power to be a pest on defense. Adair should have a big impact for his Liberty Christian team next season.
Braylin Wells (16U NOVA - Turner / Akron Butchel / 2024):
He’ll be back in Central Ohio for the regular high school season, but the transfer from Akron Butchel was one of the best big men in the entire tournament. Wells was a beast on the block, unguardable when he got the ball in his hands in the post. He does tremendous work early to get his spot and was never overpowered off of it. If you are not a physical defender then do not go to the block trying to guard this young man, he’ll overpower you and finish at the rim with a nice touch around the basket. Wells was explosive and athletic, dunking the ball as if he’s trying to rip the rim from the frame. He is honestly a guard stuck in a post players body. This unique combo of size and guard skills makes Wells one of the best prospects in the 2024 class. Coming back to Central Ohio for the High School season, expect Wells to continue his dominance past this summer’s AAU games.
Peyton Frey (17U NOVA Schmitz / Hilliard Davidson / 2023):
The 6-foot-6 wing man can simply score the basketball in a myriad of ways. Frey swished numerous three’s, put the ball on the floor and got to his spots and finished at the rim with a soft touch around the basket. He has great footwork around the basket and showed off a ton of different moves. Frey was also money from the free throw line, stepping up and sinking them rather effortlessly. He also showed that he can stay in front of his man while on defense, being a gritty defender that contested every shot taken around him. Frey is a sleeper player that has Division 1 potential, his run during this AAU spring/summer could be really important for him.
Na’Varion Adams (16U NOVA - Turner / Walnut Ridge / 2024):
Despite him not believing he played well enough on Sunday, the effect he had on the defensive end of the court on both days earned him a spot. Vari is an athletic freak, with crazy jumping ability and his second jump is so quick and explosive it doesn’t seem like his feet hit the ground. He was engaged on the defensive end all weekend, blocking shots and altering many more. Adams played through some dirty play early and threw down a crazy windmill dunk on a fast break then seemingly dunked on the entire opposing team at one point. The sophomore has a high ceiling and hasn’t even scratched the surface of how good he will be.
Jeff Amapps (17U NOVA - Schmitz / Pickerington North / 2023):
The star of the weekend defensively, Amapps stayed in the side pocket of ball handlers and came away with multiple steals, blocks and frustrated opposing players. He did not do much scoring, but the way his defense affected the games were noticeable. Amapps also runs the break like a cheetah and can run past people in transition. While he did not showcase much offense, he did show that he can finish at the rim and handle the ball in transition and to set up offense for his team. If this defensive tenacity sticks around, Amapps will be one of the better players in Central Ohio that will go overlooked because he does not fill the stat sheets with points like others.
Jahki Calloway (14U NOVA - Lemon / Berwick MS / 2026):
So much poise for a young man, he understands time, score and situation better than most at his age. Calloway is a true floor general, getting his team in their correct places on offense and being the head of the snake on defense while slowly down the other team’s opposing lead guard. This young man has a solid build that allows him to absorb contact and makes it really difficult for other players to drive around him. He has a reliable jump shot that will only get better with time and plays with a pace where nobody can speed him up if he does not want to be sped up. Helping his team bring home the gold medal from their bracket, Calloway used his brain and defensive abilities to help turn a five-point deficit at halftime to a 17-point win.
King Kendrick (14U NOVA - Lemon / Dominion MS / 2026):
The fastest player end-to-end in the building over the weekend, Kendrick was menacing with his on-ball pressure and impossible to stop in the open court. Kendrick applies so much pressure on a defense with his quick first step that lets him get into the lane whenever he sees fit. In the championship game, King showed a competitive edge after halftime that his coaches loved to see (even if the referee didn’t). Kendrick is one-half of the best 2026 backcourt we’ve observed during the AAU season and the way that this NOVA 2026 team is constructed, they will be a tough cover for any other 2026 team.
Noah Kershaw(16U Ohio United/Westland/2025)
Kershaw has one of the better offensive games of any freshman prospect in central Ohio. He has a smooth jumper and plays with a great tempo. Even though he played a year up, Kershaw was able to drop in 12 points on efficient shooting performance. He showed the ability to hit contested shots off the catch and from the bounce. He also has the natural length and size to compete with anyone. Kershaw has ultimate upside and could develop into one of the better scorers in the area as he continues his career.
Aidan Gallogly (16 U-Mid Ohio Pumas Quinn/Worthington Kilbourne/2024)
Gallogly was by far the best shooter that I saw at this tournament. He nailed six triples en route to a twenty-point performance. His off-ball movement is elite and it was a big reason he was open for most of his shots. He runs hard off screens and is great at being set when he catches the ball. He has great length that he uses to shoot over taller defenders. Gallogly also has a quick trigger release that makes it hard to contest unless you are very close to him. He can be a key piece for Kilbourne this upcoming season.
Maxim Butler (2024 Dayton Elite/Springboro/2024)
Butler was a standout for this Dayton Elite squad for his ability to run an offense. He has a great knack for passing and finding open teammates. He also dropped in 13 points and converted a couple and one chances. He is a bigger guard that can finish strong in the paint around bigger defenders. He is great at reading a pick and roll which helped his team stay efficient on the offensive end of the ball. I hope that I can check out Butler again this AAU season.