As we launch comprehensive Ballislife player profiles so our followers get to know their favorite players across the country even closer, it provides us the opportunity to dig a bit deeper into players that fall into certain categories everyone can understand. We mix original content with evaluations and your fav mixtapes all in one spot!
Today we take a look at five of the country’s top “Must See” Players!
Related: Straight Bucket-Getters | Best Shooters | Best Dunkers | Top Defenders |
6'3" - SG - 2023
Mikey Williams, San Ysidro (Calif.) 6-3 2023:
When it comes to making an impact socially, it’s hard to top this first-year player whose father (Mahlon Williams) was a college player at nearby U.S. International (now Alliant University). Williams turns heads everywhere he goes with his confident demeanor and penchant for spectacular plays. He can be soft-spoken at times, but he’s a natural in front of a camera and with 1.5 million Instagram followers, his peers and adults with cameras follow his every move. At first it seemed as if the hype surrounding him was just that, hype, but then he showed he could play and admirably compete with many of the nation’s best at the 2019 Pangos All-Amercan Camp last summer. For an encore, he averaged 30.2 ppg, 6.6 rpg, and 5.0 apg as a freshman for a team (known as the “Border Boyz” for the school’s proximity to the U.S.-Mexico border) that won a San Diego Section D3 title and had LeBron James and rapper Y.G. in attendance during a state playoff game.
6'5" - SG - 2020
Jalen Green, Prolific Prep (Napa, Calif.) 6-4 2020:
There is some debate as to whom is the top long-term prospect in the 2020 class with Cade Cunningham of FAB 50 No. 1 Montverde Academy (Fla.), center Evan Mobley of Rancho Christian (Temecula, Calif.) or is Green, but there is little doubt whom the fans are interested in following among that trio. It’s the kid from Fresno with a million dollar smile who throws down zero-gravity dunks. Green is what we call a one percent athlete, and with his explosive first step, moved and ability to hang a lean, it’s easy to see why fans flock to watch him play. It’s because he moves like a certain No. 23 that used to play in Chicago and although it’s impossible to compare anyone to M.J. it’s quite okay because Green has been forging his own path since he was a well-known middle school star. Green starred at San Joaquin Memorial (Fresno, Calif.) for three years and nearly willed Team Why Not to the Nike EYBL title last summer before putting on some show-stopping performances for Vegas Elite, another EYBL outfit, at the Big Time Tournament in Las Vegas. Wherever Green plays, fans anticipate his ever move, but rumors that he will skip college to play pro ball for a year before declaring for the NBA Draft are just rumor.
6'4" - SG - 2020
Josh Christopher Mayfair (Lakewood, Calif.) 6-4 2020:
With his game, infectious personality, and witty social media posts, Christopher is a natural to make this list. Most of all, it’s his game, as Christopher uses a strong frame to punish defenders and get to the line and has a underrated skill set. His high school games always drew curious onlookers and he produced on the court after entering high school with plenty of fanfare as his oldest brother played in the NBA (Pat Christopher). After scoring a school record 2,755 points (to break the mark of 2001 McDonald’s All-American and future NBA player Josh Childress) and being named Suburban League Player of the Year four times, Christopher joined Childress as Mayfair’s second McDonald’s All-American. With 637,000 Instagram followers, Christopher is a fun follow and is coined in SoCal basketball circles by his handle “jaygup”.
6'0" - PG - 2020
Sharife Cooper McEachern (Powder Springs, Ga.) 5-11 2020: This two-time All-American has two main ingredients that fans and social media followers flock to: he’s under six-foot and and is exciting with the ball in his hands. Two things stand out right away about Cooper: One, plays the game the right way and two, he makes it look SO EASY. Cooper controls the outcome of the game as much as any player in the country, and in 2018-19 led the Indians to a GHSA Class 7A state title with a 32-0 mark and a No. 2 final FAB 50 ranking. Cooper had another monster season as a senior (although McEachern didn’t repeat at state), but the fans still love to flock to his games or watch his highlights. There is just something about the player who looks ordinary (like the mailman or better yet Steph Curry) and not like some genetic freak that the fans can relate to and fall in love with and Cooper is one of the best examples of that in recent memory.
6'4" - CG - 2023
LeBron James Jr., Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.) 6-2 2023: He could go down as one of the most popular high school athletes ever and realistically, he’s already reached the highest plateau. It’s just a matter of how active he’s going to be, and keep in mind, he’s has three years of high school remaining. Even when he joined social media, it was news, while most high school athletes will never see what they post go viral. Bronny, the son of NBA superstar LeBron James, has 4.7 million Instagram followers despite only having 19 posts to his account. He plays on the best team in California that is gunning for a third consecutive CIF Open Division state crown and Bronny has a solid role off the bench. His athleticism has grown by leaps and bounds over the last year and a half and he projects to be a big guard with excellent instincts and vision. The freshman hit a big 3-pointer in a playoff win over fellow FAB 50 ranked club Etiwanda (Calif.) and showed great poise, skill and potential during the summer of 2019 playing both 14U and 15U ball. As the son of a NBA legend, he was ordained to be a “Must See” player and what knowledgable fans like most so far is two of the most important things in basketball: One, his teammates genuinely like playing with him (not just the status that comes with it) and he seems to genuinely love the game.
Ronnie Flores is the National Grassroots Editor of Ballislife.com. He can be reached at [email protected]. Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter: @RonMFlores