NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. — The last two summers, NBA scouts have been allowed to attend Nike’s Peach Jam and get an early eye on the top talent coming up, particularly the incoming high school senior class that could be draft eligible in two short years. In the case of Shaedon Sharpe, the most mysterious player taken in the 2022 NBA draft, Peach Jam was the only place NBA scouts got to see him play in a five-on-five competitive setting because he sat out the entire season at Kentucky.
Last week, multiple NBA teams were represented and stayed the entire event as the top players from Nike’s Elite Youth Basketball League were competing in the 15U, 16U and 17U divisions of Peach Jam.
When asking NBA talent evaluators who the best prospects were, it wasn’t anyone from the top 17U teams, it was a pair of 15-year-olds brand new to the scene: Cooper Flagg, 6-foot-9 forward out of Maine, and Cameron Boozer, 6-foot-8 forward out of Florida.
“This is the first time I’ve ever scouted a player with a mouth full of braces,” one NBA scout told Yahoo Sports. “They’re young and there’s a lot of time for both [Flagg and Boozer], but there’s a lot to like about their game.”
Flagg was fresh off a gold medal win representing Team USA in Spain for the FIBA U17 World Cup and has been the hottest name since hitting the AAU circuit in April.
“It was just a good experience to go out and represent our country,” Flagg told Yahoo Sports. “This spring and summer has gone by like a blur, pretty much. But I’m just trying to take it one day at a time and focus on staying in the gym and keep working.”
Adjustments to the one-and-done rule coming soon
NBA commissioner Adam Silver said he was hopeful for a change to the current 19-year-old age limit rule that requires players to be one year removed from high school when he addressed the media earlier this month. During his annual news conference at the conclusion of the league’s board of governors meetings, Silver said, “I think there’s an opportunity [to change it].”
“It’s [based on] larger conversations than just whether we go from 19 to 18, but I’m on record: When I balance all of these various considerations, I think that would be the right thing to do and I am hopeful that that’s a change we make in this next collective bargaining cycle, which will happen in the next couple years.”
With this information fresh in team’s minds, it was a priority to get eyes on the first wave of players that could effectively go straight from high school to the pros, something that hasn’t happened since 2005. The group in question is Flagg’s and Cooper’s 2025 high school class.
This is why, for the first time at Nike’s Peach Jam, there were several NBA scouts (some arriving 30 minutes before tipoff) lining the courtside seats for 15U games.
Yahoo Sports breaks down the top 2025 high school prospects that headlined Peach Jam and five other high-level prospects who performed well at the prestigious AAU tournament and are potential future NBA players to watch.
Columbus High School (Miami), Class of 2025
Boozer is the son of former NBA player Carlos Boozer and stormed on to the scene last fall alongside his twin brother, Cayden. Cameron is the early favorite to be the No. 1 player in his class and looked the part during Peach Jam.
His body is already starting to fill out and he moves well with his 6-foot-8 frame, without any stiff movement, and already has good footwork in the lane. When playing alongside other players in his class, he looks likes a man among boys and bullies his way to the rim with ease.
At just 15 years old, it’s too early to draw NBA comparisons, but if he continues to develop his perimeter game and tap into his natural feel in the paint, he’s going to be a player on a lot of teams’ radars if and when the one-and-done rule is eliminated in time for his draft eligibility.
Duke, Florida State, Miami and Michigan are all in early for Boozer, with Duke head coach Jon Scheyer and two assistants and head Michigan coach Juwan Howard watching him consistently last week.
Montverde Academy (Florida), Class of 2025
No player blew up on the scene quite like Flagg. Originally from Newport, Maine, the 6-foot-9 wing caught the eye of Power Five coaches during the first session of Nike’s EYBL in April. His first high-major offers came from Iowa and Duke. Michigan, UCLA and West Virginia quickly followed.
Similar to Boozer, Flagg also plays alongside his twin brother, Ace, making it a unique dynamic whenever the pair is on the court. With his size, Cooper is able to maneuver in the lane easily around defenders. He loves facing up, drawing the defense close and stepping through to make the move in the paint. He has a smooth outside jumper that makes him a threat on the wing and pick-and-pop and can knock down 3-pointers with ease.
He’s most disruptive on the defensive end, where he recorded 11 blocks in a single game at Peach Jam. His timing in the post and the way he chases down players in transition makes him one of the best rim protectors in high school basketball, regardless of class.
“You can already tell at a young age, the game comes so easy for him,” one NBA scout told Yahoo Sports. “He’s already an elite rim protector, has good shooting mechanics and, again, it’s still early, but this is a solid benchmark for Flagg for all of us seeing him for the first time.”
St. Mary’s Prep (Michigan), Class of 2025
McKenney is the first high school freshman Juwan Howard has ever offered at Michigan and it comes with good reason. McKenney is a complete dog on the court and has a solid, strong frame at 6-foot-4. NBA scouts lined the small gym to see him play multiple times and were impressed with the way he creates separation off the dribble and his high basketball IQ for such a young guard.
“I just want to show all the coaches and scouts that I’m versatile and I can play any spot on the floor and impact the game on both sides,” McKenney told Yahoo Sports.
McKenney already has a handful of high-major offers, including Michigan, Michigan State, Illinois, Texas, Arizona State, Ohio State and Missouri. Projected top-three player in the 2023 NBA draft, Scoot Henderson, traveled to North Augusta to watch McKenney play and the two have plans to get in the gym and work out this summer.
Other notable prospects NBA scouts were watching
Justin Edwards, Class of 2023
A 6-foot-7 small forward, Edwards is one of the best transitional defenders, regardless of class, with his long wingspan and athleticism. The incoming senior recently committed to Kentucky and will be joining five-star guards Rob Dillingham and Reed Sheppard. Edwards averaged 16.3 points and seven rebounds during Peach Jam, including his best game where he scored at all three levels, finishing with 24 points (8-for-14 from the field).
D.J. Wagner, Class of 2023
Wagner is the son of former NBA player DaJuan Wagner and the grandson of Milt Wagner. D.J. has been a top player in his class since he hit the scene in eighth grade and remains on the top players heading into his senior year. The 6-foot-3 combo guard loves to get downhill and is crafty in the lane. His outside shot continues to be an area of development but he still finds creative ways to score with the ball in his hands. Wagner averaged 15.6 points and 4.5 assists per game last week and is still undecided, with his top schools being Kentucky, Memphis and Louisville.
Simeon Wilcher, Class of 2023
Wilcher is one of the best decision-makers on the court with the ball in his hands and is a strong guard whose first step has improved. The five-star point guard committed to North Carolina last October and is looking like the perfect player to step in and fill Caleb Love’s shoes once he makes the jump to the league. Wilcher is a 6-foot-4 guard out of New Jersey and completely dominated Peach Jam, averaging 19.2 points (53.8 percent from the field) and 5.2 assists per game.
Dylan Harper, Class of 2024
Harper is the son of five-time NBA champion Ron Harper and averaged 15.5 points, 4.7 assists at Peach Jam. He’s so strong with the ball in the lane and has great body control around the rim, absorbing contact from opposing forwards. For a player his age, he seamlessly finds the open man if he draws a second defender off a screen, and he throws accurate pocket passes to players collapsing when driving baseline. Scouts were encouraged by his reads off the wing and the way he let the game come to him, not forcing anything.
G.G. Jackson, Class of 2023
Jackson recently de-committed from North Carolina and chose to reclassify up a grade and is now headed to South Carolina in a year. Jackson was the No. 1 player in the 2024 high school class before making the jump this summer and looked confident playing alongside older, stronger players in 17U for CP3, Chris Paul’s AAU team. Jackson is still a raw 6-foot-9 forward who is a solid rim protector and one of the most exciting players in the open court with the way he runs the wing at his size. Jackson still has a ton of room for growth and was a prospect that intrigued a lot of NBA scouts who watched him play.