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2024 Philly Live Recap: Underrecruited 2025s

07/08/2024, 1:15am EDT
By CoBL Staff

CoBL Staff (@hooplove215)

The 2024 Philly Live weekends have come and gone, giving the CoBL staff our first real look at the area’s high school scene as it begins to prepare for the 2024-25 season. 

Here’s a look at some 2025s who we think aren’t quite getting the recruiting buzz they deserve after their play the last two weekends of June:


Deacon Baratta (2025 | Phoenixville)
Asked to move up the lineup to the five, Baratta unselfishly anchored the Phantoms’ defense. He altered shots around the basket and, when pulled out to the perimeter, blocked jump shots. The 6-6 wing was duly rewarded on offense. His teammates found him relocating off-ball and/or drifting into open space for three. When Baratta caught the ball on the move, he surgically one-two stepped into his shot that he released too high for anyone to contest. He also cut to the basket and finished off of two feet. 

Devon Prep (Pa.) 2025 F Reece Craft. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)

Reece Craft (2025 | Devon Prep)
Indeed a powerful forward, Craft was dominant on the offensive boards and when he attacked going to his left. When he wasn't boxing out then tipping the ball back out to a teammate, he was grabbing it and putting it back himself. The 6-6 big man put opposing forwards and guards in the spin cycle with his quick footwork in the post. And when he caught the ball on  the perimeter, he showed the touch to knock down the corner three and, depending on the matchup, the agility to attack the basket off-the-bounce. Schools across multiple levels were there to witness Craft racking up double-doubles.  

Milan Dean (2025 | Archbishop Wood)
Dean pressing the “easy button” correlated to him tapping into his unreal athleticism to make an electrifying plays on the ball. Whether it was flying through the air for a putback dunk or rotating from the other side of the rim for a block, he played bigger than he is. A shade under 6-4, the rising senior led his team through some wars during the live periods with his intangibles. Dean is physical and fiery. But when the Vikings faced adversity or a call didn't go his way, he showed the mental toughness to force a turnover on defense or make a play in offense that flipped the momentum back in Wood's favor. 

Donovan Fromhartz (2025 | Downingtown West)
First team all-league as a sophomore and junior, Fromhartz bombarded opposing defenses in both sessions of the live period. The dynamic marksman left nothing in his quiver, shooting off of movement and spotting up for. And even when the shot wasn't falling, he still put up 30 in one game by cutting off-ball, getting to the rim off-the-catch and attacking the glass for putbacks. His nonstop motor and strong shoulders allowed him to finish through traffic. Fromhartz received an offer from Albany and is hearing from high academic schools across the Mid-Atlantic. A 6-4 wing, he'd mesh well in various systems because he can slide up/down the lineup offensively, pass, and move without the ball, in addition to spacing the floor at a high clip. 

Matt Gardler (2025 | Marple Newtown)
Marple’s lead guard was out the whole spring with a broken finger in his shooting hand, which certainly isn’t great timing, but he’s back on the courts just in time for the June/July live periods. Gardler’s been a player to watch since his freshman year with the Tigers, and he’s rounded out into one of the top lead guards in District 1, a high-level outside shooter whose abilities with the ball in his hand forces most of the Central League to face-guard and double-team him. 

Carson Kasmer (2025 | Lower Merion)
Lower Merion won last year’s District 1 6A title with a lineup of unheralded players, one of them being Kasmer. The 5-foot-10 guard is hoping to lead the Aces to another strong season and hopefully find a spot at the next level. Kashmir’s not going to force anything – if he’s not shooting well, he’ll find someone who is – but his offensive game is pretty balanced and he’s always under control. Some Division IIIs have been checking in and another season full of Lower Merion wins should bring more to the table.

Spring-Ford (Pa.) 2025 F Tommy Kelly. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)

Tommy Kelly (2025 | Spring-Ford)
While much of the attention around the Rams the last few years has been focused on EJ Campbell, Jacob Nguyen, Matt Zollers and others, Kelly’s been quietly grinding away as the junkman for the Rams — hitting 3s, grabbing rebounds, playing defense, etc. So he’s definitely gone a little unsung, but he’s really been asserting himself this month, playing his most aggressive we’ve seen yet with the ball in his hands while continuing to hit open shots and crash the glass. 

Carnell Henderson (2025 | Imhotep)
Henderson should be able to contribute from day one at the next level because he's a savvy team defender and he can do (at least) a little of everything else. During both sessions of the live period, Henderson caused havoc on and off-ball by making the great rotations and by getting his hands into passing lanes. Offensively, he didn't waste any dribbles. When he wasn't hitting spot-up jumpers, he was playing off of closeouts and finishing above the rim with authority. 

Kevair Kennedy (2025 | Father Judge)
The Crusaders’ point guard has been a known commodity locally for quite some time now, seeing varsity action since his freshman year and becoming the first Judge players since 2017 to earn first team All-PCL honors a season ago. It seems like he’s finally starting to get some deserved college attention — picking up his first offer from Merrimack this past weekend. He averaged 17 ppg, 7 apg and 7 rpg and shot 65% from the floor in five Judge games during the last two weekends. He did that while leading the attack of a potent Judge offense, posting a 3:1 assist to turnover ratio. There were plenty of eyes on the Crusaders during Philly Live and they should have all walked away impressed by what Kennedy brought to the table.

Saaid Lee (2025 | West Catholic)
“On-ball defense and paint touches” was the name of the game for Lee. With active hands and quick feet, he disrupted whoever tried to drive on him, often creating turnovers. And, when he had the ball on offense, the 6-0 point guard burst into the lane to collapse the defense and drop the ball off to his big man. Lee balanced the facilitating with making the right read at the rim, understanding when to finish with craft and/or power. He also shot the three at a high rate off-the-catch and made a high percentage of them. 

Ryan Mulroy (2025 | Upper Dublin)
Mulroy’s seemingly turned it to 11 this offseason. After a strong junior year, the 6-3 wing guard has learned how to play as hard as possible every minute he’s on the court, thanks to terrific conditioning and a work ethic that had him diving on the floor with his team up 30 in the second half of a running-clock blowout. He’s got some Division II schools interested so far, but he’s a clear scholarship-level wing. He should be in for a huge senior year in the SOL. 

Bonner-Prendergast (Pa.) 2025 G Devon Nelson. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)

Devon Nelson (2025 | Bonner-Prendie)
After being forced to sit out his junior season due to transferring, Nelson impressed at Philly Live with his constant playmaking and selfless play, determined to make up for the lost year. As one of the stronger and taller players on an undersized team, he often sacrificed his numbers on offense to focus on guarding the other team's biggest player. Then, in other matchups, the Friars ran their offense through him. Nelson created for himself and others with his ability to stop on a dime and pull up or drive and score with either hand.

Jake Sniras (2025 | Garnet Valley)
Sniras has been a productive wing for the Jaguars since his freshman year, the 6-3 combo guard a high-volume scorer who can get microwave hot. He’s hit regular-season and postseason game-winning buzzer-beaters, scored over 1,000 points, and turned himself into a well-rounded guard who makes plays for his teammates with the ball in his hands; he’s also a quality athlete with bounce who can create his own shot. 

Adrian ‘Ace’ Varella (2025 | Holy Ghost Prep)
Holy Ghost has long had a quality program in Northeast Philly, but the Firebirds have been league-less since leaving the BAL a few years back, and as such they’ve tended to fly a little under the radar, a quality squad losing in the opening round of the district playoffs last year. Varella, a 6-3 wing guard, is a versatile, college-level talent, strong-bodied and a quality outside shooter who can get to the bucket and finish through contact, as well as defend multiple positions, but his recruitment thus far has been quiet. 

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