Cannon entered this event with the legitimate expectation of a program from two back-to-back state championships, with a roster of key players who have played roles in those championship teams. Interestingly enough, even though they fell in the Championship game against Charlotte Christian, their roster has talent that left their roster a bit longer. I want to assure you that the reason behind this is simply due to Cannon’s unusual array of college-level talent.
2022 Karon Boyd (Cannon / Charlotte Hoyas)
In my opinion, Karon Boyd is one of the most overlooked prospects in the state of North Carolina and this week has made it even harder for me to understand why. Boyd is around 6’5, with an imposing frame and guarding skills. His competitive nature carries over to his defense, where he makes a point of defending the opposing team’s most threatening players, even those confined inside. When meeting 6’6 Daniel Sanford of Chambers High School, I said it was a battle between “two divisional 1-caliber wing talents”. I stick to that.
2022 Christian Reeves (Cannon / CP3 Team)
The 7 footer is one of the most recognized and beloved athletes in sports, especially in basketball. It’s rare for a single state to have multiple talented players reaching a true 7-footer in high school, let alone surpassing it. Christian Reeves told me he now stands at 7’1, and frankly I have absolutely no doubts as to the validity of that. The center prospect has one of the state’s best assets and has displayed some of his improvements in limited action this week. Reeves’ first jump got faster, giving him more and more opportunities to finish at the edge. As well as becoming a reliable indoor target, Reeves uses his size to annoy opposing players at the edge. One of the tournament’s clearest Division One-caliber frames.
2022 DJ Nix (Cannon / Team Charlotte)
Watching this 2022 All-State Swingman’s development has been truly captivating. Nix has one of the most unique playstyles I’ve ever seen, as he excels in unsuspecting areas given his muscular frame and perceived ‘slower’ style of play. Looking at Nix, as well as his movements on the pitch, many can first assume that he is a very useful player on the inside. This is far from the truth, as Nix’s abilities span a wide variety of skills. For starters, Nix is widely recognized as one of the state’s most menacing capture and shooting hopefuls, given his steadfast mechanics and readiness to shoot Capture. This week he used his strength and landed the ball well, reaching the edge at will. Nix knocked out the match winner to knock out the previously undefeated Chambers High School in the semifinals.
2024 Austin Swartz (Cannon / CB Hoops)
If this tournament had a “Rising Star” award, the winner should be 6’3 2024 Austin Swartz. The Combined Guard took on the responsibilities of the Main Guard all week and served well. His scoring prowess exceeds the high school guard average as he’s already comfortable getting to his spots with limited dribbling. The mechanics of his pull are pure and he has shown an ability to get into the lane and hit floats on occasion. I think the next step in developing Swartz to really help his recruiting is to show college coaches his ability to both go into the paint and locate the open man. Adding this dimension to its game would make Swartz an even more marketable 2024 prospect.
2025 Isaiah Henry (Cannon / EAT Team)
Although this was the very first high school action of his young career, I entered this week anticipating my first look at Isaiah Henry in a college setting. This spring, the 6’3 off-guard made a name for himself as a 2025 prospect capable of putting up multiple 30-point games in a single weekend. His jump shot during the AAU period made me believe that at the very least Henry would be instantly useful as a perimeter spot-up option. This week, Isaiah embraces his role as a shooter and has knocked down some important open shots in support play. He has an amazing group of teammates to learn from, as in a few years Henry will likely be seen as an important part of scoring this program.