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Hoop Group Southern Jam Fest Standouts (May 17-19)

05/19/2024, 9:15pm EDT
By CoBL Staff

By CoBL Staff (@hooplove215)

HAMPTON, Va. — The Hoop Group’s Southern Jam Fest was held during a live recruiting period for the first time this past weekend, with Division I coaches able to come watch a collection of HGSL-affiliated programs and some other independent squads hit the courts at the Boo Williams Sportsplex — and a few other area facilities — during the course of the three-day event.

Here’s who stood out to the CoBL staff in games held at Boo Williams throughout the weekend:

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Su'Meer Alleyne (above) impressed for Penn Warriors 17Us on Saturday night. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)

Su’meer Alleyne (2025 | Penn Warriors 17U HGSL)
Alleyne had his shot falling in a Saturday evening loss to Wildcats Select. The 6-4 wing from Friends’ Central finished with 19 points on 7-of-11 shooting (3-5 3PT, 2-3 FT), keeping his team in it for a good stretch of the game. Alleyne has a high release point on his jumper and good lift, so he doesn’t need much room to get it off; he also attacked close-outs well, getting to the foul line on an and-one, and hit a couple mid-range jumpers as well as grabbing five rebounds and dishing out a couple assists. Alleyne also used his length well on the defensive end, and wasn’t afraid to stick his nose in for rebounds.

Nico Antoniacci (2028 | NEPA Elite 16U) Nico Antoniacci, a rising 9th grader standing at 6-foot-tall, showcased his impressive shooting skills in a 20-plus-point victory for the NEPA Elite 16U team against the NY Lightning. Antoniacci, who will be attending Riverside High School (Pa.), made his impact felt early in the game by hitting back-to-back 3-pointers from beyond college range in an early 13-2 run for NEPA Elite. He further demonstrated his ability to handle defensive pressure by sinking another three-pointer over a double team from even farther out to force a timeout. Antoniacci's knack for getting open and his sharpshooting prowess were on full display as he finished the game with 36 points, including seven made 3-pointers, leading his team to a 75-54 victory. The word “sniper” is used often but it definitely fits in the case of Antoniacci.

Jaren Barneti (2026 | NJ Beasts 16U HGSL)
A 5-10 powerhouse point guard from Immaculate Conception (Montclair, N.J.). Barnett noticeably excels in transition, combining speed with strength and a notable control of the pace of the game. Barneti demonstrated his skill and composure by handling pressure from a very athletic BW Elite backcourt as he led his team to a convincing 63-43 win. Barneti attacked the basket at will Saturday, either slashing his way to lay ups or a lethal floater over the opposing bigs; he also finished at the rim with both hands. BW Elite learned you have to respect his outside range as well, as Barnett consistently knocked down open 3-point shots. He orchestrated his team's offense consistently, setting up teammates in transition and repeatedly beating his initial defender to put pressure on the help defense, finishing with six assists. 

Deacon Baratta (2025 | East Coast Power 17U HGSL)
One of the best pure shooters in the Philadelphia area, Baratta has a picture-perfect stroke with a quick trigger on the catch; more than that, he knows what’s a good shot and what isn’t, and doesn’t force the issue, yet still finds plenty of ways to get his shots in the flow of the game. Baratta scored 17 points in a Sunday morning win over Connecticut Elite HGSL, knocking down four triples along with a post-up bucket and a smooth up-and-under layup, while also grabbing four rebounds, four steals and dishing out two assists. He might not be the type to make many ‘wow’ plays but his basketball IQ and decision-making stand out upon multiple viewings as he’s constantly making good passes if he doesn’t have an open shot and he’s getting better at attacking closeouts and finishing at the hoop.


James Brenner (above) had 14 points and nine rebounds in a strong effort Sunday morning. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)

James Brenner (2026 | East Coast Power 16U HGSL)
Brenner and the Power 16s were playing the weekend with just six players after a Friday night injury, so they were pretty tired when it came down to a Sunday morning matchup against a deep, physical Team Richmond squad in the 16U semifinals. But Brenner’s effort was a major reason they were able to stay in it right until the final seconds of a one-point defeat; the 6-5 wing from Unionville chipped in 14 points and nine rebounds, often having to win second or third-chance tipped balls on the glass to secure a board. To go along with that physical presence under the bucket, he also welcomed contact on drives, going 6-of-6 from the foul line, while also knocking down a pair of 3-pointers. 

Shelton Cowell (2025 | NJ Panthers 17U HGSL)
Cowell opened eyes at the beginning of the NJ Panthers’ 60-55 win over All Carolina on Saturday afternoon, the 6-5 wing from Arts (N.J.) throwing down a rim-rattling slam attacking the bucket in the half-court, kicking off an 11-point, seven-rebound, three-assist outing. Cowell’s athleticism was on display throughout as he helped the Panthers start numerous fast breaks, and he got himself to the line on multiple occasions by being aggressive as well. Though he didn’t hit either of his 3-pointers in this game, he showed good rise and form on his pull-up jumper with good pace

AB Coulibaly (2025 | BW Elite 17U HGSL)
The West Philly senior and Avon Old Farms post-grad-to-be led a balanced effort in a 64-62 win over Caveman on Saturday with a 14-point, eight-rebound, two-steal effort. Coulibaly, a 6-4 wing with long arms, used that length to his advantage around the rim to grab four offensive rebounds, sticking a couple of them back up for layups; he also had a couple buckets in transition and knocked down a smooth corner catch-and-shoot 3-pointer, a key part of his development. Coulibaly has a D-I frame and athleticism, and if he can prove to be an efficient scorer this summer, could put himself in scholarship position sooner rather than later.

Theo Edema (2025 | Team New England 16U HGSL)
A 7-0 prospect from Cushing Academy High School, showcased his full skill set in a recent game, showing exactly why he currently holds an offer from NC A&T University. Edema opened the game with a powerful two-handed dunk that nearly altered the rim and continued to dominate offensively; the notable part was his ability to grab rebounds and initiate fast breaks, demonstrating impressive ball-handling and playmaking skills for a player of his size. Edema repeatedly found teammates, particularly slashing wing players, with precise passes, highlighting his vision and versatility on the court. Defensively, Edema made an impact as well. Although he was called for goaltending on one play, his ability to chase down a PA Hoops guard in transition and pin their shot to the glass—meeting the rim at eye level—was a snapshot of his athleticism and defensive potential. 

Latham Fields (2025 | Virginia Premier 17U Select)
Fields impressed in a Saturday afternoon win over Philly Pride Select, the Harrison High (Va.) wing going for 26 points to lead his team, and doing it on 12-of-17 from the floor (1-2 3PT, 1-2 FT). A strong, athletic 6-3 guard, Fields has great ball skills and showed the ability to put it on the floor with either hand when attacking a defender, with a number of finishing abilities, including a floater and great body control in the air to get a good look at the rim. He complimented his strong scoring outing by adding six rebounds (three offensive), two steals, an assist and a block. 


Langston Foster (above) slashed his way to 24 points Saturday afternoon. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)

Langston Foster (2025 | Philly Pride Select 17U)
Philly Pride Select only had a five-man roster this weekend, but they stayed competitive with a few players having standout weekends. Foster was strong on Saturday afternoon as Pride Select lost at the buzzer to VA Premier Black in an 83-81 thriller. The 6-3 guard from Episcopal Academy shot his way to a 24-point outing, knocking four 3-pointers on five attempts, mostly on catch-and-shoot knockdowns from the wing, but he also finished strong at the rim and wasn’t afraid to invite contact, especially as defenders started closing out harder. As VA Premier turned up its pressure, Foster did a great job attacking in advantage situations and got the ball upcourt in a hurry.

Notorious Grooms (2025 | Wildcat Select 17U)
In addition to having one of the best names in the entire event, the Uniontown (Pa.) guard had an impressive game in leading Wildcat Select to a win over the Penn Warriors on Saturday evening. The 6-0 lead guard was excellent with the ball in his hands, whether that was hitting pull-up 3-pointers (he hit four of them), serving as a one-man press break or finding open teammates (four assists); he also had three steals and three rebounds. Grooms is a strong athlete who used his feet well defensively to keep his man in front of him and had quick hands with good instincts to stay in position.

Kodi Johnson (2025 | East Coast Power 17U HGSL)
Johnson was solid in a Saturday viewing, the wing from the Phelps School scoring 14 points against the NJ Beasts, but really impressed on Sunday with a 14-point, nine-rebound outing against Connecticut Elite. Standing a true 6-5 with long arms, Johnson has a great body for a combo ‘2’ and ‘3’, and he’s developing a skillset to go along with it after previously being more of just a slasher. Johnson knocked down a couple 3-pointers with good form between the two games, though he still got a lot by going downhill, knocking down a couple of mid-range jumpers and crashing the glass well for a few second-chance points or to get to the foul line. 

Jahmare Memphis (2025 | PA Hoops Academy 17U HGSL)
Memphis, Westtown School’s 6-0 lead guard, was a standout player that demonstrated exceptional pace and elite athleticism against the NY Lightning. As a ball handler, Memphis excels at maintaining control and composure, effectively navigating through defensive pressure without being sped up. His strength and athleticism enable him to penetrate the lane and finish against taller defenders, making him a versatile scoring threat. On the defensive end, Memphis is a tough and aggressive player. His speed allows him to make impactful plays in the passing lanes, while his physical strength gives him the versatility to switch between guarding both guards and wings. One of his most impressive plays was blocking a two-hand dunk attempt by the center of the NY Lightning from the weak side help position. Memphis scored 16 points in the game, with 11 of those coming in the second half, demonstrating his ability to perform under pressure.

Zion Moore (2025 | Wildcat Select 17U)
Playing as part of a five-man Wildcat Select crew that raced away to a win over the Penn Warriors on Saturday night, Moore led the way with a 23-point, four-rebound, four-assist outing. The 6-3 guard from Belle Vernon was a force going to the hoop, at one point late in the first half coming up with and-one layups on three consecutive possessions as he showed some tough finishing ability through contact; he was an efficient 10-of-16 from the floor (2-6 3PT, 1-4 FT) and was making plays with the ball in his hands all night as part of a versatile and talented Wildcat backcourt. 


Khamai Orange (above) had a 16-point, nine-rebound outing on Saturday. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)

Khamai Orange (2025 | PA Hoops Academy 17U Platinum)
Orange and the rest of a guard-heavy PA Hoops Platinum squad were outmatched physically against a long and muscular Red Rush 17U squad, with everybody on the floor giving up at least a couple inches to their individual matchups. But the 6-2 guard from Delco Christian worked hard to get to a 16-point outing, complementing that with nine rebounds, four steals and two assists as Red Rush won by just six points. Orange grabbed three offensive boards, following up on several of his misses, and knocked down a couple pull-up 3-pointers when he found a sliver of air in the Red Rush press. 

Raj Shah (2024 | Virginia Premier 17U Select)
Shah showed off one of the best outside shots in the gym all weekend in a Saturday afternoon thriller, going for 21 points, including the game-winner against Philly Pride Select. A 6-2 guard, Shah had a lightning-quick release with a consistent launch point, and he was 5-of-10 from downtown to help power his strong game, but the 3-pointer isn’t his only weapon. Shah got a few buckets off the bounce, including a 14-foot leaner at the buzzer for the game-winner, and he also added three assists and two rebounds. He’s doing a prep year at Prestige Worldwide (Fla.) this winter. 

Caleb Straughter (2026 | Team Richmond 16U HGSL)
Straughter was an eye-opener on Sunday morning for Team Richmond. The 6-4 (and change) wing from Varina (Va.) High came off the bench but immediately made a big impact, with 18 points and 11 rebounds in a hard-working effort. Straughter dominated the offensive glass, grabbing nine of his boards on that end of the floor, and quite a few of his buckets were of the put-back variety, usually over or around (or through) a couple ECP defenders. He got to the line six different times, going 7-of-11 from the charity stripe, and also knocked down one of his two 3-point attempts. 

Troy Strelec (2026 | NJ Beasts 16U HGSL)
Strelec, a 6-5 stretch forward from Hackettstown High (N.J.) showcased his impressive shooting ability and court awareness in a weekend game against BW Elite. In this matchup, Strelec demonstrated his proficiency from beyond the arc, sinking three 3-pointers within the set offense, particularly excelling in drive-and-kick situations. In addition to his perimeter shooting, Strelec is also an active cutter, frequently making intuitive moves to the basket and finishing effectively in the lane when his teammates drive. His versatility and scoring threat make him a player that defenses cannot afford to ignore, as he consistently capitalizes on opportunities when left unattended on the floor.

Donte Tisinger (2025 | Caveman 17U HGSL)
Tisinger certainly contributed to the number of ‘wow’ performances on Saturday, as the rising senior guard from Greater Johnstown (Pa.) was stellar in a close loss to BW Elite’s 17s. A 6-3 left-hander, Tisinger is a strong scorer, which he showed with a 23-point outing that included a number of tough buckets and deeper jumpers. But that was almost secondary to his play-making: with the ball in his hands, Tisinger racked up six assists and probably had equally as many great passes not ending up in a bucket. He was throwing pin-point cross-court passes on the move, using a power dribble with his off hand to get defenders focused on his scoring and then suddenly whipping a pass to an open teammate. He also grabbed five rebounds and three steals.


Nasir Williams (above) had the standout performance of the weekend on Saturday. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)

Nasir Williams (2025 | Philly Pride Select 17U)
If anybody had a better game than the one Williams put together against VA Premier Select in a Saturday afternoon showdown, we’d like to see it. The 6-1 guard from Sankofa Charter was outstanding from the get-go, pouring in 41 points, more than half of his team’s total in an 83-81 loss. Williams was efficient in doing so, shooting 17-of-23 from the floor (2-4 3PT, 5-6 FT), getting absolutely anything he wanted with the ball in his hands. Williams was taking his man off the bounce to get the rim, knocking down step-back pull-ups in the mid-range, finishing around the hoop with both hands, and knocking down triples with range and rhythm; he had 22 at halftime and didn’t stop the entire way through.

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Honorable Mention
Correll Akings (2026 | East Coast Power 16U HGSL), Joseph Badejo (2024 | PA Hoops Academy 17U HGSL), Jaden Banner (2025 | Philly Pride Select 17U), Keron Booth (2026 | East Coast Power 16U HGSL), Olin Chamberlain Jr. (2025 | NJ Beasts 17U HGSL), Jaen Chatman (2026 | NJ Panthers 17U HGSL), Zane Conlon (2025 | PA Hoops Academy 17U HGSL), Jacob Dunkle (2025 | Caveman 17U HGSL), Aidan Gregory (2026 | Team Richmond 16U HGSL), Luke Kennevan (2025 | East Coast Power 17U HGSL), Robby Lucas (2025 | NEPA Elite 17U HGSL), Beau Lyren (2025 | East Coast Power 17U HGSL )  Jon Mwanda (2025 | All Carolina 17U), Myles Parker (2025 | NJ Panthers 17U HGSL), Zamir Parker-Barnes (2025 | PA Hoops Academy 17U HGSL), Ben Robinson (2025 | PA Hoops 17U Platinum), Brandon Russell (2025 | NJ Beasts 17U HGSL), Thomas Semiraglio (2025 | Penn Warriors 17U HGSL), Mohamed Traore (2024 | Red Rush 17U HGSL), Kam Waters (2025 | BW Elite 17U HGSL)


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