Indy NIKE EYBL: Making Strides!

We had an opportunity to catch the Nike EYBL Session III in Indianapolis over the weekend and want to highlight some players that stepped up their game from our previous viewing or that caught our eye among the vast amount of games and teams we were able to get a look at over the weekend.

In Atlanta for session II, we focused much of our time on the younger age groups (16U and 15U), but since the younger groups were playing at a different location in Indy, we focused on the 17U division. We take a look at 10 players (primarily 17U) who are making strides on the court, which should pay off on the recruiting front in the weeks and months to come.

Heading into session IV next weekend (May 24-27) in Kansas City, Florida-based Nightrydas Elite is first place in the Merritt Conference while DMV-based Team Takeover and NorCal-based Oakland Soldiers are tied for first place in the Raveling Conference. All three teams sport 9-1 records.

Let's take a look at 10 players making strides in their game and helping their recruitment based on their play at Nike EYBL Session III in Indianapolis:


Silas Barksdale, Boo Williams 17U/Woodside (Newport News, Va.) 6-9 PF
This no non-sense performer does his job and doesn't worry a lot about the fanfare of the cameras and it's paying great dividends. Barksdale moves well without the ball in pick and roll situations and has a solid face up game.

C.J. Ingram II, Florida Rebels 17U/Hawthorne (Fla.) 6-5 SF
Grid-Hoop stud was his usual active self and played with an extra pop for the Steve Reece-coached team that is currently tied for second place behind the Nightrydas in the Merritt Division. Ingram attacks the rim with a vengeance and his skill is underrated considering the fact he quarterbacks Hawthorne's football team and spends time away from the game. He led both programs to FHSAA Class 1A state titles and is a key cog for a top-flight travel club program.

Jasper Johnson, Team Thad 17U/Link Academy (Branson, Mo.) 6-4 SG
He's a top 10 national recruit, but Johnson just adds something to his game each time we evaluate him. The smooth lefty was attacking the paint and finishing with soft touch around the basket. There is just plenty to like about his overall ability. 

Brandon Lee, NY Rens 17U/The Patrick School (Elizabeth, N.J.) 6-5 SG
He was terrific in Indianapolis and draws high praise from his travel ball coaches for his character and approach to the game. Lee has a nice pull up mid-range shot, drives hard to the rack and makes energy plays that helps his team win, as well. Lee is also a quality free throw shooter and defender. His offer count will go way up as the EYBL rolls along. 

Nyk Lewis, Team Takeover 17U/Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.) 6-1 PG
He was recently named an Underclass All-American, so it's not like Lewis isn't productive. He's physically prepared for the rigors of high level ball, steady and unflappable and one of the main reasons why Team Takeover is in position to challenge for its fourth Peach Jam title since the EYBL was formed in 2010. Lewis gets into the lane and makes the correct reads and is the type of guard colleges utilizes to make a deep NCAA Tourney run.

Ahziel "JoJo" McIver, Drive Nation 17U/Ellison (Killeen, Texas) 6-2 PG
Terrific mid-major prospect who could push to the next level if he keeps showing like he did in Indy. McIver has a nice perimeter game and does well beating defenders to the inside from either wing. McIver also has quick hands on defense and gets out in front of plays. Simply put, he's a winner.

Antonio Munoz, Meanstreets 17U/Whitney Young (Chicago) 6-6 SF
This athletic small forward can change the dynamics of a game with a spectacular finish around the rim. He cuts well and is a line-drive attacker who is a load to stop once he gets downhill. Munoz plays hard on both ends and is tracking to improve the level of his scholarship offers based on what we saw in Indianapolis. 

Tae Simmons, Why Not 17U/Heritage Christian (Northridge, Calif.) 6-6 PF
This rugged forward may be a bit undersized for the high major level, but boy does he do things that help college coaches win and keep their job. He's relentless attacking the glass or going after an offensive rebound put back and doesn't need the ball of offense to make an impact. Many D1 colleges in Simmons' SoCal backyard should be all over him with an offer.  

Dallas Washington, AZ Unity 17U/Santa Margarita (Calif.) 6-9 PF
He's found a nice niche on a team loaded with individual talent and is tracking upward. Washington also played on a talented high school team that was up and down in 2023-24, and his level of consistency wasn't where it needed to be. This spring, however, he's starting to put together a string of performances that have turned the heads of colleges coaches at the mid-major and high-major level. Washington is rebounding hard and finding his comfort zone on offense.    


Imahri Wooten, City Rocks NY 17U/Putnam Science Academy (Putnam, Ct.) 6-5 SG
His explosiveness jumps out right away and Wooten has a versatile offensive package. Wooten's game is maturing and he can keep defenders honest with his outside shooting. In fact, he reportedly went 6-of-7 from 3-point range in one contest and in another game we evaluated, he dominated with an array of offensive moves. The way he's tracking, Wooten should be a serious McDonald's All-American candidate in 18 months.

Ronnie Flores is the national Grassroots editor of He can be reached at [email protected]. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter: @RonMFlores


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