skip navigation

2024 Philly Live II: Recruiting Notebook (Pt. 3)

07/02/2024, 8:00am EDT
By Owen McCue

Owen McCue (@Owen_McCue)

The second session of Philly Live 2024 brought over 220 boys teams to the City of Brotherly Love from all over the region — Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware were well-represented, but teams from all over the Eastern seaboard came up to play in front of hundreds of college coaches.

CoBL’s writers spent the weekend at both Jefferson University and the Philadelphia Youth Basketball ‘6th Man’ Center catching up with local teams and prospects of note. Here’s a notebook featuring recruiting updates on several area prospects:

~~~

(Ed. Note: Links to all of our 2024 Philly Live I content can be found at the bottom of this article)

~~~

Aiden Derkack (2026 | Colonia, N.J.)

One of Villanova’s latest offerees was putting on a show at Jefferson on Friday evening.

Colonia (N.J.) 2026 Aiden Derkack is a 6-foot-5 guard ascending in stature and as a prospect.

Derkack went to the Villanova Team Camp two weeks ago and received an offer June 15. He has been on the Wildcats’ radar for about a year now, he said


Aiden Derkack, 2026 Colonia (N.J.)

He has a family friend who attended Villanova and has attended games on the Main Line, definitely making it more special.

“I’ve been talking with them for a while, probably a year or so, since the high school season,” Derkack said. “I couldn't actually talk to them, so it was through coaches. Now they can obviously call me any time they want, which is cool to talk to all their staff.”

Derkack has always been an intriguing talent. He comes from an athletic background as his father, Gene, played basketball at Florida International and his mother, Jenny, played soccer there. His older brother Jordan played at Merrimack the last two seasons, earning Northeast Conference Player of the Year and DPOY honors this past season before transferring to Rutgers. His sister Taylor will play at UMass next season as a freshman.

He’s sprouted four inches in the last two years — two or three coming in the last 12 months or so — and is now a name on most national prospect rankings.

Derkack’s list of offers included Merrimack, Radford, Bryant, Albany and Florida International before the live periods. Along with the offer from Villanova, he added an offer from TCU on Saturday.

“They liked how I was versatile in my game, and I just played very, very hard, which I take pride in,” Derkack said of Villanova.

Derkack is in his first season playing for Team Final on the Nike EYBL 16U circuit this summer, teaming up with some of the area’s top rising juniors. He led Colonia to a state title last season, and back with his teammates, the high school live periods were a chance to showcase even more of his game.

He’s really good with the ball in his hands as both a penetrator and a passer and has shooting and scoring ability, aided by above the rim finishing skills that were definitely helped by the growth spurt.

“I think it’s great,” Derkack said. “Staying home and playing for my town is great. I get to learn everything what I need to do to win. For Final, I don’t have to score for us to win. For here, I have to score for us to win. I have to do a bunch of different stuff and it teaches me how to play a massive role.”

His shot has been an area of focus this summer, though he said he’s working on “everything else” in his game as well. Another major effort has been to try and added weight to his wiry frame, something can be challenging for someone playing so much basketball.

Derkack has two pretty good workout partners in Jordan and Taylor for the summer before they head off to school. They’ll continue to be good resources as he navigates the recruiting process and anything else that comes his way.

“It’s great,” Derkack said. “They have been through it all, so whenever I need to talk to someone about basketball or just life, I talk to them, which is great.” — Owen McCue

~~~

Nick Parisi (2025 | La Salle College HS)

La Salle 2025 guard Nick Parisi was one of the breakout stars of the Catholic League a season ago when he averaged 20.2 ppg on 45.9 percent shooting (62-of-154, 40.3% from three), finishing third in the league in scoring and earning second team All-PCL honors.

The success came after a sophomore campaign when he averaged just 2.7 ppg in 15 games.

“Just a lot of hard work in the summer and my coach putting me in a position to score and my teammates getting me open all season,” said Parisi, who also noted the 30 pounds of muscle he put on helped.


Nick Parisi, 2025 La Salle College HS

Unsurprisingly, the standout junior campaign helped put Parisi on the radar of some colleges. D-III Catholic is a program that has reached out and had multiple coaches watching the Explorers’ win over . Dartmouth has checked in with La Salle coach Ryan Ansel.

“They like how I play hard and how I shoot and how I score at a high level,” Parisi said of what he’s heard from college programs.

Parisi s trying to be a better leader and teammate this season, helping lead the way along with classmate Hayes Altomare who has been his teammate even before they arrived at La Sale together. Parisi also noted the defense is an area of focus this summer.

He wants more for himself and his team this upcoming winter. Parisi hopes to earn a place on the All-PCL first team this year, a case that would certainly be helped by a postseason appearance. 

“There’s definitely gonna be more attention on us this year after some of the strong fights we put up against good teams last year,” Parisi said. “ I think teams are definitely gonna have more game plans to try and stop me, but I’ll be ready for it.” — Owen McCue

~~~

Derrick Morton-Rivera (2026 | Father Judge)

When putting together a list of the area’s top shooters, Morton-Rivera’s name is definitely up there — if not at the top by now.His sharpshooting the past two weekends was a great example why. Seven made triples in front of the CoBL staff against St. John’s College (D.C.) on Saturday was only one example.

College coaches are taking notice of the 6-foot-3 guard’s game, with a pair of programs joining his list of offers during the Philly Live periods. Morton-Rivera received an offer from Bryant last summer and had Albany extend an offer last weekend. Temple joined the list after a Morton-Rivera’s big outing against Sanford (Del.) on Friday.


Derrick Morton-Rivera, 2026 Father Judge

“It’s a good feeling, boosting my confidence knowing that people see me playing well, coming around and finally getting to see me play this year,” Morton-Rivera said. “I’m just looking forward to keep winning, building my status and have more coaches call.”

Princeton, La Salle, Penn State and Stonehill are a few of the other programs who reached out to Morton-Rivera recently.Morton-Rivera took a visit to Temple back in the fall, but Friday was the first time Owls’ head coach Adam Fisher came to see him play and was impressed enough to extend the offer.

“I took a visit before back in December, kept in contact with them, got a good relationship,” Morton-Rivera said.

After a PCL semifinal trip last season, Judge’s profile definitely got a boost this summer with bigtime matchups and D1 coaches huddling around their games. Morton-Rivera will look to continue the recruiting momentum into this summer with the Shoreshots Rio 16U team on the UAA circuit.

Morton-Rivera’s shooting ability is his greatest strength, the aspect of his game he said has college coaches attracted. His shot selection, handle and defense are areas of his game he’s seen take strides and he hopes can continue to improve. 

~~~

Kevair Kennedy (2025 | Father Judge)

Morton-Rivera’s high school teammate Kevair Kennedy had quite the weekend himself. The 6-foot-2 floor general has been a known commodity in the area for a while now. The three-year starters was a first team All-PCL selection as a junior, averaging 17.3 ppg, 6.0 apg and 6.5 rpg, but things remained relatively quiet on the recruiting front.


Kevair Kennedy, 2025 Father Judge

That changed over the past two weekends with coaches reaching out to both Kennedy and coach Chris Roantree. On Saturday, Merrimack became the first Division I school to offer him  a scholarship.

“I was just thinking that when it comes it’s the perfect time,” Kennedy said. “It’s gonna come at the right time, and it came at the right time.”

Along with Merrimack, San Diego, Wagner, Fairleigh Dickinson, Colgate, St. Peter’s and Albany are among the programs who have all been in touch with Kennedy in the last two weeks.

West Catholic product Adam ‘Budd’ Clark was a standout at Merrimack as a freshman, earning Northeast Conference Rookie of the Year honors.

Kennedy went against Clark in the Catholic League, so his name came up when he talked to the Merrimack staff.

“They said they were looking for guards who play tough,” Clark said. “They have Budd, so they know that Philly guards play with that energy.”

Kennedy will finish up his summer with Philly Pride 17U on the UAA circuit. Then it will be back to Judge as he looks to complete the rise up the PCL the Crusaders have taken under Roantree over the last three seasons.

He fits really well with his teammates as a point guard who attacks surrounded by sharpshooters like Morton-Rivera and Nazir Tyler.

“Shooting the ball and controlling the game more,” Kennedy said of his goals for his game.  “I want to be the sharpest player on the court at all times. That’s my goal over the summer. It’s fun. It makes my job easy too. Since I like to get downhill and they like to shoot it, it opens it right up for me.”

~~~

Quick Hits

— Wayne Fletcher II (2025 | Central Dauphin) is a scholarship-level player who could be trending toward a Division I talent. The 6-foot-4 guard (he said maybe 6-3 after a haircut) is an eyecatcher for his size and strength at the guard position along with his shooting and scoring ability.

He averaged 18.7 ppg and 5.8 rpg last high school season and continued the produce over the last two weekends. Fletcher II earned offers from Kutztown, Clarion and Pitt-Johnstown over the course of the last season. He said he’s also heard from a good chunk of the Partrio League: Loyola (Md.), Bucknell, Lehigh, Lafayette, Navy and Holy Cross as of late.

Loyola (Md.) and Mount St. Mary’s both watched Central Dauphin take on Cherry Hill East on Friday, whenFletcher II scored 18, including a buzzer beater three to force overtime. He said Stonehill, NJIT, Quinnipiac, Albany and Maine also had plans to watch him over the weekend.

“I’ve been talking to my AAU coach and he just told me the biggest thing I need to do to get their attention is rebounding, because guards who can rebound they like that, and just take care of the basketball,” Fletcher II said. “Those are the two things I’m looking to focus on every time I play because I think everybody knows I can score. It’s just the little things.” 

— An intriguing small college prospect is Lansdale Catholic 2025 Rowan Romero. The 6-foot-5 wing averaged 9.7 ppg and 3.7 rpg for the Crusaders a season ago. He said college interest has picked up since the end of the high school season — first during AAU wit the Bux-Mont Blue Devils and more recently during the Crusaders’ showings at Philly Live.

He has some nice athleticism and a talented freshmen backcourt seems to already have a good feel for him cutting down the lane. At the moment, Penn State-Abington, Muhlenberg, Marywood and Salisbury are programs who have reached out to Romero.


D-I Coverage:

HS Coverage:

Recruiting News:

Tag(s): Home  Recruiting  Contributors  Owen McCue  High School  2025 Profiles  2026 Profiles  Boys HS  Catholic League (B)  Father Judge  La Salle College HS  Lansdale Catholic  Kevair Kennedy  Derrick Morton-Rivera