skip navigation

PIAA Preview: Southeastern PA under-the-radar boys to know

03/09/2023, 11:45pm EST
By Chad Graham

CoBL Staff (@hooplove215)

With the state playoffs starting this weekend, we wanted to take a look at some of the area’s players who could be in for a couple big weeks ahead. 

Here are some under-the-radar local players in the boys’ brackets who folks around the state might be reading about en route to Hershey:

5A + 6A

Unionville freshman James Brenner has transitioned to a win throughout the season. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)

James Brenner (2026 | Unionville)
The youngest member of a mostly-junior Unionville roster, Brenner has started to emerge into his own, the 6-5 wing forward moving from a ‘4’ to a ‘3’ over the course of the season as he’s improved his 3-point shooting, though he’s still at his best around the rim on both ends; he’s Unionville’s best rounder and shot-blocker and has a nose for the offensive glass, and he moves and shares the ball well within Unionville’s five-out system.

EJ Campbell + Jacob Nguyen (2024 + 2025 | Spring-Ford)
Campbell ran point last season but was only responsible for setting the table for their seniors. Nguyen is in his second season as a starter, but was mostly relegated to a catch-and-shoot role as a freshman. Now, the former is their primary on-ball creator and the latter shoots the cover off the ball from deep and mid-range. The duo combined for approximately 40 ppg in both the Pioneer Athletic Conference and the District 1 playoffs in which they won and were runners-up, respectively. As the 2-seed coming out of District 1, the first-team all-conference members make SF a tough out in 6A.

Milan Dean Jr. (2025 | Archbishop Wood)
The 6-3 sophomore is the X-factor for the Vikings. Dean Jr. contributes 9.8 ppg and 5.1 rpg, but it’s the timeliness of the big plays he makes. Whenever they need a spark on defense or someone other than Bethea to get a bucket, “Mir” steps to the forefront. He leads the team with 1.5 bpg, but, in their intense PCL quarterfinals game against St. Joe’s Prep, Dean Jr. blocked 3 shots - accompanying his 13 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists to lift Archbishop Wood to the semifinals. 

Kareem Diaz (2023 | Dobbins)
Dobbins’s resurgence is fueled by the play of their senior leader, Diaz. Standing 6-4, he averaged 20.9 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 2.8 steals as Dobbins ran through the Public League’s national division and upset MCS to make it to the league’s semifinals. He can play off of others as a cutter and shift on-ball to get buckets for his team late in games. Diaz also has the length to be an impact defender at the point of attack and off-ball, getting his hands in passing windows and helping on drives. As the 4-seed coming out of District 12, his ability to speed up the game will bode well for Dobbins.

Connor Fleet + Nyle Ralph-Beyer (2024s | West Chester Henderson)
Henderson’s got a tough first-round matchup with Parkland, which features its own high-scoring junior in Nick Coval, who’s got a plethora of Division I offers. Fleet and Ralph-Beyer might not have any of those — though college coaches of different levels are definitely going to be into the pair this summer — but they can both get buckets. Fleet is a 6-0 lead guard with a terrific handle and mid-range pull-up, though he’s also a plus finisher and outside shooter; Ralph-Beyer has better size (6-4) and can finish above the rim, though it’s also his shooting ability that most stands out.

Donovan Fromhartz (2025 | Downingtown West)
Fromhartz almost certainly won’t be on this list this time next year, because the Whippets’ junior seems on the verge of a breakout, especially this summer once he gets back out in front of the college coaches with the Philly Pride 16U squad. The versatile 6-4 wing is a great shooter from beyond the arc and the mid-range but has really increased his ability to attack the rim off the bounce, not afraid to play tough through contact, and he’s a good finisher at the bucket who can throw down off two feet. 

Elijah Hester (2023 | West Philadelphia)
Hester is an all-around hooper. Only about 6-0, he defends whoever, makes hustle plays, and makes the extra pass. Hester likes to push the pace and get his team out in transition. He also happens to be the leading scorer for the Speedboys. He gives them 10 ppg and 3.7 rpg. After making it to the Public League semifinals a season ago, they made it to the championship game this season. The senior guard leads a deep group with a mix of experience and youth. If he has them locked in, they have the potential to make a run in 5A.

Roman Catholic big man Shareef Jackson is having a terrific sophomore season. (Photo: Mark Jordan/CoBL)

Shareef Jackson (2025 | Roman Catholic)
Jackson played a building block on the Cahillites squad that won the 6A chip in 2022. 26 games and a PCL title later, he’s a cornerstone. The bruising 6-7 big man averaged 10.7 ppg and 8.1 rpg. Using his solid build and low center of gravity to clear space, Jackson is able to create angles to finish and/or for teammates to drive. And even though he’s not the most vertical athlete and Roman doesn’t play through him, he’s cerebral enough to time up blocks (1.9/g) and make smart decisions with the ball (2.7 apg).

Nadir Myers + Niymire Brown (2023s | Upper Darby)
The Royals are powered by a quartet of seniors, including wings Khysir Slaughter and Yassir Joyner, but Myers and Brown are the two that have really been driving the train. Myers is the team’s captain and its leader, a 5-10 lefty point guard and sharpshooter with some tricky finishes around the bucket; Brown is a 6-4 combo forward who can hit shots on the move, and also has 3-point abilities, plus above-the-rim ones too. Bethlehem Liberty will need to score in the 60s at least to keep up.

Michael Zaire Paris (2023 | Archbishop Ryan)
After coming alive during the 2022 PCL semifinals, Paris doesn’t just elevate the play of Ryan’s star players, he’s one of them. With 10.9 ppg, 5.6 rpg, and 3.9 apg, he plays gritty defense and heady plays on the other end. He popped off for a 14-point, 12-assist double-double when the Raiders beat Cardinal O’Hara. If Ryan wants to payback versus Radnor and Imhotep in 5A, they’ll need “Baby Harden” to be at his best. 

Julian Sadler (2024 | Perkiomen Valley)
The Vikings’ left-handed junior is one of the best scorers in all of District 1, a true three-level bucket-getter who can get his in all sorts of ways. Sadler’s a strong 3-point shooter off the catch or in pull-up situations but also knows how to get into the lane or drive baseline to get near the rim, and he’s got a few mid-range moves as well, like a reliable floater and turnaround jumper. He’s going to be on the scholarship radar by his senior year, especially if he can help PV pull an upset over Roman Catholic in the first round.

Yahmir Satterfield (2023 | Imhotep Charter)
If you need a corner three, there’s nobody better to call than Satterfield. The unsigned senior is never afraid to knock one down when a teammate swings the ball his way. He kicked off the season with 4 threes versus South Shore and hit a couple more in their last game against Archbishop Ryan in the District 12 championship. Satterfield is bound to make many more over the next couple weeks. And when defenders closeout too hard, he’ll attack it and make the next best play.

Mazen Sayed, Akhir Keys + Zaiyin Keys (2023s | Chichester)
The Eagles are having their best season in at least 30 years, capturing the Del Val League for the first time since 1993, and now they have a chance to win their first state tournament game in program history. They’re led by this trio of senior guards: Sayed is a 6-1 point guard and dribble-drive specialist, able to get by his defender and into the lane where he can find teammates or finish at the rim. Both Keys brothers, who each stand around 6-3, are good outside shooters who can use their length defensively and in transition.

Jake Sniras (2025 | Garnet Valley)
Sniras has set and broken his own high-scoring mark a few times this season, now standing at 39 points, as the 6-3 sophomore guard has gone for 30-or-more multiple times this year. An athletically gifted wing guard, Sniras can hit all sorts of tough shots, with a great rise on his pull-up jumper helping him get his looks against most defenders, and he’s become much more effective on the defensive end this season as well. 

Sam Wright (2023 | Lower Merion)
When non-local opponents think of Lower Merion, the first name that comes to mind is Sam Brown, the Penn-bound star guard who’s certainly going to be tops on teams’ scouting sheets. But Wright, a 6-2 guard who’s deciding between baseball and basketball opportunities in college, is a talented scorer in his own right, a knockdown 3-point shooter who doesn’t take risks with the ball but will attack the hoop when the defense is moving and sees the floor well on the attack, while always making the extra pass.


1A - 4A

Stephon “Munchie” Ashley-Wright (2026 | Neumann-Goretti)
Averaging 18 minutes off the bench, Ashley-Wright is the Saints’ sixth man. And, playing behind and/or with his older brother Robert Wright III and Khaafiq Myers, he’s not asked to do much, offensively. But they do count on him for his defense. He relishes the opportunity to lock up the opposing team’s best guard, occasionally turning those moments into steals (1.2/g) or deflections (2.4/g). As the Saints move up the 4A bracket, he’ll have no shortage of chances to introduce the rest of the state to “Munchie” with his quick hands at the point of attack.

Josh Coulanges (2023 | Cardinal O’Hara)
A traditional set-up man at point guard, Coulanges uses his burst to get the Lions into their actions or pressure the rim before dumping it off in the post or kicking out to a shooter. He puts up 11.9 ppg and 3.1 apg alongside two other ball-handlers. Where he’s improved is as an off-ball shooter. Coulanges makes 43.7% of his threes on 4.0 attempts, allowing him to add value on offense even when things aren’t running through him. 

Aasim Hardy + Nasir Williams  (2025s | Sankofa Freedom)
The Warriors’ sophomore tandem will be a problem in 2A. On 3.8 ppg, 4.6 apg, and 2.5 spg, Hardy has the all-around playmaking chops while running the show. Williams has the finishing craft and developing shot, averaging 14.5 ppg, 33% from three, and 2.1 spg. Together, they fly around on defense, causing havoc. If things click for them, they can help SFA reach the quarterfinals for a rematch with Constitution and maybe push them a bit further.

Kamaal Johnson (2023 | Universal Audenried)
With an exciting style of play, Johnson drives the boat for UA. The senior guard typically gets wherever he wants on the court using simple hesitations and snatches. He has the shake to get a step on his man going side-to-side, but he’s either forward into the paint or backward for a stepback jumper. That’s exactly how Johnson dropped 24 points plus several assists against Lincoln (NY). If he gets loose versus Bishop Shanahan in round 1, watch out.

Nayeem Johnson (2023 | Math, Civics & Sciences)
A 6-3 guard who has some length and strength as well, Johnson is averaging a modest 9.0 ppg on a Mighty Elephants squad stocked at the guard position but he can really go. He has a lot of craftiness near the basket, getting the ball through the hoop inside from a variety of angles and also able to hit threes when called upon. Even with his height, he can speed by you in transition as well. Definitely keep your eyes on Johnson as MCS tries to make another deep state run in the Class 3A bracket.

Ty Mishock (2024 | Devon Prep)
Starting from his freshman year, Mishock is used to running the Tide’s system and distributing to everyone else. He still does that as a junior (4.3 apg), only now he’s calling his own number as well. Averaging 13.7 ppg, Coach Fisher can rely on Mishock to get them something when things break down and it’s his jumper that the young lead guard goes to. Getting up 5.9 attempts per contest, Mishock shoots 39.7% from three, many of which are pull ups.

Ben Rodner-Tims (2023 | Bishop Shanahan)
Despite its 9-15 overall record, Shanahan advanced through the District 1-4A bracket to book its spot in states. The explosive 6-foot senior guard Rodner-Tims is a big reason why. He’s strong and has a good handle, able to attack the hoop or pull-up from deep. A 39-point outing earlier this season highlights his ability to put the ball through the hoop. He can also make plays as a distributor after attacking the paint.

Amyr Walker (2023 | West Catholic)
This is Walker’s first season on varsity and he plays every minute like it’s his last. Walker gives them a modest 6.3 ppg and 3.4 rpg. But he also gives them everything that doesn’t end up in the stat-sheet. Whenever the Burrs need it, Walker is diving on the floor, saving the ball from going out-of-bounds, or making some other hustle play to swing the momentum in their favor. Expect him to have a few as West chases the 3A title.

D-I Coverage:

HS Coverage:

Small-College News:

Recruiting News:

Tag(s): Home  Contributors  High School  Boys HS  Catholic League (B)  Archbishop Ryan  Archbishop Wood   Cardinal O'Hara  Devon Prep  Neumann-Goretti  Roman Catholic  West Catholic  Central League (B)  Garnet Valley  Lower Merion  Ches-Mont (B)  Ches-Mont American (B)  Unionville  Ches-Mont National (B)  Bishop Shanahan  Downingtown West  West Chester East  West Chester Henderson  Delaware Valley (B)  Chichester  Pac-10 (B)  PAC-10 Liberty (B)  Perkiomen Valley  Spring-Ford  Public League (B)  Public League A (B)  Audenried  Bartram  Math, Civics & Sci.  Sankofa  Del-Val (G)  Chichester  Chad Graham