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The Opening

By: Barry Browner

MARIETTA, GeorgiaKell High School was the site for the kickoff start of travel ball for several middle school AAU teams, and it started with a bang. The On the Radar’s The Opening Showcase presented by Shun Williams featured some of the country's top middle school AAU programs. With several high-level 8th-grade programs playing, here are a few players that caught my attention this weekend……

Zion Greene, Atlanta Xpress (Preach), Union Grove Middle School, 2025

For Greene to be a middle school player, he shows the poise of an

old-school veteran player, and he has shown he can score on all three levels. He uses his size to get to any spot he wants on the floor, and tough to stop wants; he gets going downhill. He can shoot the ball from behind the arc and does a good job of handling the ball.

Zacch Wiggins, CP3 Academy Elite, Greensboro, NC, 2025 (pictured #2)

Cam’ron Jones, Turrentine Middle School, 2025 (pictured #10)

Wiggins and Jones formed a dynamite duo this weekend, scoring from all over the floor. Wiggins showed he could score off the bounce and shooting the ball; his ability to play passing lanes caused havoc on the defensive end. Jones plays bigger than his 6’2 size, looking like a grown man, down low. His ability to score on the block and control the glass was major for CP3.

JR Leonard, Team Huncho, Home School, 2025

JR Leonard showed the ability to use his length on both ends of the floor; on the defensive end, his ability to change shots and rebound the ball makes him valuable. On the offensive end, Leonard rebounded the ball well, stretched out to get to the basket. He also has a nice feathery touch on his jumper.

Joseph King, Team Huncho, Birmingham, Alabama, 2025

King’s long frame makes him very dangerous around the rim; he does a great job scoring on the block. King has good footwork finishes plays effectively. He plays post guys well on the defensive end, and his rebounding limits the opposing team to one position with his patrol in the paint.

Justin Nunn, Team Huncho, Trickum Middle School, 2025

I love the way Nunn uses his body to get to the basket, an excellent downhill finisher who was too big for most guards to handle. Justin will be headed to Parkview High School next year and may have a chance to see varsity time after losing Miles College player Jason Edwards.

Max McNeil, Team Huncho, South Cobb, 2025

McNeil showed his ability to run a team, setting the table for guys to score and getting them into the right spots. He is a tough on-ball defender who often made opposing point guards pick up their dribble or turn it over. On the offensive end, he attacked the basket and caused the defense to retreat with his ability to get downhill—key an eye on him during the travel ball season.

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