Sometimes overlooked, but often one of the most crucial positions on the floor is the Center position. With the versatility we see in this state, sometimes you’ll see these players in more of a general post position for their high school team, but regardless, these players are typically difference makers. From getting rebounds and blocks to put-backs and layups, let’s take a look at some of the top centers in the latest 2024 rankings update.
White has had a huge off-season while preparing for her junior year of high school. However, her talent has been at a high level for a while now and D-I coaches have been taking notice of the value she brings to the floor for years. When you think of a true center, White fits the mold perfectly. She obviously has the height and size, but she is also really strong. White has great hands and excellent touch around the basket. She puts herself in good positions and she’s a strong rebounder around the rim. Defensively, White can alter so much using her length. With a healthyon the floor this year, don’t count Butler out of any game.
Pelayo is one of my favorite bigs to watch because she always plays so hard and she can impact the game in so many ways. She also has continuously improved her game and I believe she has solidified herself as one of the best players in the state, regardless of class. Pelayo can post up strong, has solid post moves, can finish on both sides of the rim, runs the floor, and has great hands. She can also really make things hard on an offense using her length and basketball IQ. I truly believe Pelayo should average a double-double for SHA this season which says a ton about her as a player with the amount of high level talent on the Valkyries roster.
I hadn’t gotten to see Sparks play live until the PGH Top 250 Expo, and while I was impressed watching her on film, I was even more impressed by the little things I caught in-person. She is a very versatile player with incredible length. Sparks can run the floor with guards, she can step out and shoot jump shots, and she has good ball handling skills. However, she is such a difference maker around the basket as well. She can finish well with both hands, she has good moves, she has great hands, and she can block shots defensively. Sparks is a huge addition to the very talented Pikeville squad.
Baker is always so solid. She has so many moves around the basket that she uses well in games. She can score after posting with her back to the basket or facing the rim. When she faces the rim, she does it with a purpose and sees what’s there before making her move. Baker finishes with both hands and she is so good at constantly moving to get herself in the best possible position. While she does a great job around the basket, she’s a tough defensive assignment with her ability to step out and knock down shots as well. I love the control that she plays with also. If help defense steps over, Baker recognizes that and can throw some great passes to her teammates. She is strong defensively as well. Baker is poised to have a really strong junior year with her Ryle squad.
Hunt is one of the best rebounders around. She locates where the ball is going to go off of the rim and then she goes after it strong. She also does it consistently on both ends of the floor. Hunt is a solid defender. She moves her feet and times her blocks so well. On the other end of the floor, she can put the ball in the basket at a high percentage. In fact, she shot 54.8% overall last season. Hunt led her team in scoring and rebounding at 16 ppg and 10.9 rpg as a sophomore and should lead them in both categories again this year. She has good touch around the basket and she stays with plays even when her or her team misses a shot. Hunt can also effectively step out to knock down shots as well.
Jordan is an intriguing player out of the 16th Region. She has all of the length you could want from your Center and she uses it to snag rebounds all game long. She is one of the best offensive rebounders because she simply watches where the ball comes off of the rim and then goes and grabs it before anyone else can. Jordan strives on offensive put-backs, but she can also post up to score around the basket. She finishes at the rim and can score on both sides of the basket. Jordan also showed her ability to knock down shots further out. It’ll be very interesting to see how Boyd County utilizes Jordan as the await the return of top 2024 player,, who tore her ACL this summer.
White has excellent size, but she also moves really well for a big. She consistently runs the floor and is a tough player. White has good touch around the basket and she is a solid rebounder. As she continues to develop and get more consistent, she can definitely make a big impact on the court this season. White averaged 5.7 ppg and 4.9 rpg as a sophomore and I would expect both of those numbers to rise this upcoming season.