Spring Showdown: 2028s who impressed, part 1
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While our primary task in the early weeks of the AAU season is to get a handle on the incoming freshmen – this year that is the Class of 2027 – there are also many opportunities to get an early…
While our primary task in the early weeks of the AAU season is to get a handle on the incoming freshmen – this year that is the Class of 2027 – there are also many opportunities to get an early look at the soon-to-be 8th graders, as well. That was the case this past weekend at the Spring Showdown where some of the best 2028s were on display. We ended up seeing a lot of them, and there were plenty who made it obvious that they are going to be a factor when we get down to determining the best prospects in the grade. We’ve split our evaluations in half to bring you some 2028s who impressed in two parts. Here’s part 1 of that compilation.
– North Tartan 2028 Nike
The family resemblance is pretty obvious. If you’ve seen North Tartan and Lakeville North postplay – she’s a Top 10 prospect in the Class of 2024 – then one glance at the above photo makes it clear that Sahara is her not-so-little sister. They look a lot alike and there is a distinct similarity in their games, too. Both have size, quality footwork, good hands and a nice feel for the game. Like Trinity does, Sahara squelches all of the stereotypical things people think about younger bigs because she can move, she can catch, she can shoot, she can score, she can run and she can handle the basketball.
It’s a pretty small sample size but from what we’ve seen so far it would appear that the younger Wilson plays a little more like a guard and a little less like a post. We saw her go end to end with the basketball to score and look very much at home doing it. At this age, Sahara’s advantages over her opponents are simply unfair. She is bigger, stronger and in many cases even quicker. She’s not super smooth but she is super effective and she is only going to get better.
Sahara isn’t the only little sister on North Tartan’s top 2028 squad. Point guardof Orono is the younger sibling of point guard , a Top 10 prospect in the Class of 2026. Just like the Wilson siblings, it doesn’t take more than a minute or two of watching Ally play to see how similar her game is to Mya’s. Both have outstanding handles, see the floor, control the tempo and can shoot the heck out of it. Ally is crafty, quick and super intelligent. At this moment, she’s also really small but so was Mya in 7th grade so time should take care of the issue.
We watched North Tartan 2028 Nike twice at the Spring Showdown and were very impressed with Jake Kuppe’s group. In addition to Wilson and Moore, you’ll probably be hearing a lot over the next few years about guard Lauren Robison of Lakeville North who also had a sister of some renown. She is highly skilled and can score the basketball. Lauren has a smooth release and a super high arc that produced 12 points per game at the Showdown. She defended with passion and aggressiveness and is just oozing with confidence.
is a talented prospect from Rochester. Ditto for Ellie Panner of Minnetonka, Sarah Poepard of White Bear Lake, Amelia Ecker of East Ridge, Mallory McBeth of Wayzata and Tatum Morrison of Deer River. Oh did we mention that of Providence Academy, a proven varsity performer and top-end D1 prospect, is also on the squad?
, & – Fury 2028 Blue
Speaking of little sisters, Fury 2028 Blue also features a couple and they aren’t exactly little, either. The two 6-foot plus forwards are a couple of really loooonnnnngggg 7th graders. Natalie of Chaska is the younger sister of University of Minnesota forward Mallory Heyer and Bemidji State commit. Logan is the younger sister of 2024 Top 20 prospect of Andover. Come to think of it, there’s a third little sister on this team as of Lakeville South is the younger sibling of Kansas State commit . (My bad for not getting her in on the group photo but there will be many more opportunities ahead.) While great bloodlines are a thing when it comes to scouting talented basketball players, these three can definitely stand on their own two feet.
Natalie is super long and very mobile. She moves really well for an early teen who is still growing at a rapid rate. She is smooth, coordinated and comfortable. Heyer has a nose for the basketball, understands the game well, and has a knack for getting in the right place to grab rebounds and score put-backs. Logan is very similar, perhaps not quite as long but just as adept in every other way. Piper has a strong build, looking like a power forward but possessing guard-type skills. She also shoots it beautifully with a smooth delivery, a quick release and a nice high arc. That’s not surprising given that dad Mitch is a highly regarded shooting instructor, mom Angie is the head coach at Lakeville South, and both parents played college ball at Minnesota.
We look forward to seeing all three put their own stamp on the game. There’s no shortage of talent on this Fury team that has four players from Wisconsin along with Ashna Ramlall of Rosemount, Jenna Nelson of Chaska, and Ailee Peper of Stillwater.
– guard, OU Elite 2028
Only Us Athletics is a new team this spring that has quickly established itself as a talented group of prospects who can give any unit in their grade a battle. At the Spring Showdown, OU went 3-1 including a win over the Fury’s best 2028s by a bucket and a narrow loss to North Tartan’s top 7th graders. Amari was one of several players who stood out. At 5’9, the Spring Lake Park guard has plenty of length. She can run like the wind and has superior elevation to most of her opponents. Her skills are already developed to the point where Johnson made a few cameo appearances on the Panthers’ varsity as a 7th grader and she is improving rapidly. This weekend we also saw some toughness from Johnson as she took a whack in the nose that yielded a fair amount of blood. She made only a brief visit to the trainer, quickly returned to the bench, and was right back in the action with zero drama. That kind of competitiveness is exactly what we are looking for. A number of OU athletes are likely to become household names including Amari.