New Haven, Connecticut – Every year the National Prep Showcase kickstarts the basketball season, for me at least. There are events that take place beforehand, but this long-standing staple of the Northeast is the one that really gets things rolling.
This year the field ran three days, from November 17-19. Massanutten Military (VA), Putnam Science Academy (CT), and St. Thomas More (CT) were among the 14 teams that played at Albertus Magnus College on Friday.
With NBA teams and college coaches sitting courtside, here are the top performers from Day 1 of the National Prep Showcase.
On3 MVP: Four-Star SF Damarius Owens (Marquette)
Damarius Owens is a player whose ascent over the past eight to twelve months has been noticeable. Each time you watch him play, it seems he is becoming more and more comfortable on the ball.
With this Hudson (OH) Western Reserve Academy team, Owens had a good amount of initiation duties. He attacked one-on-one matchups with confidence and was able to deliver passes on target in traffic. Owens has a sturdy frame with ample explosion. He absorbs contact when attacking the rim, and gets to the free throw line a good amount. He will need to continue tightening the handle, and developing counters as his path to the rim gets cut off. The jump shot can also get a bit mechanical as he extends out to three range.
All-in-all, this was a productive weekend for Owens in his two games. The final stat sheet had him for 24 points, eight rebounds, and four assists.
2. Four-Star C Ben Ahmed (2026)
Ben Ahmed knows exactly who he is as a player, and with that, he is able to maximize his output on the floor. The 6-foot-9 lefty has a sturdy frame, but it is his understanding of angles and his body positioning that gets him numbers.
He looks to bury his defender on the right block and provide a big target so he can get to the shot over his right shoulder. He has a soft touch with his left hand and is able to absorb contact and finish. Ahmed is a below-the-rim big man who plays predominantly on the left half of the court. His feel and understanding get him a lot of production at this point.
He finished day two of the National Prep Showcase with 17 points and 11 rebounds, going 7-of-12 from the field.
3. Three-Star PG Keyshaun Tillery (2025)
The impressive aspect of Keyshaun Tillery in this game was that he had complete control of the pace of play. While he is on the smaller side, in the 5-foot-10 or 5-foot-11 range, he got everywhere he wanted on the floor and made plays at each level.
Tillery sees the floor very well, and that goes for his passing and his scoring. His head is always up and his balance is maintained on the move, able to make the read as the opening happens. He scored well in the mid-range and extended his range beyond the three-point arc off the bounce.
Chris Collins and the full Northwestern staff were courtside for Tillery. He finished with 29 points and 7 assists in the win.
4. Four-Star SG Kur Teng (Michigan State)
It took him a half to get going, but once he did, Teng showed the comfort of making shots at a high level. He plays with good balance, and gets to his spots off the ball, on balance. Teng plays efficiently, with a lot of his shots coming from his purposeful cuts off the ball. He is a solid athlete but with good instincts and a lot of toughness.
Teng finished with 20 points in the National Prep Showcase. He was 2-of-5 from three and had two steals.
Four-Star F Niko Bundalo (2025) – Niko Bundalo has found his groove as a player. The 6-foot-10 forward is very skilled and has good size. What he has done is mold his game to playing inside-out. He is tough around the basket and on the boards. He is a fluid athlete. Bundalo finishes around the basket and at the rim. He can also step away and push the break and deliver passes in traffic. He competes.
Three-Star SF Justin Johnson (2024) – Justin Johnson has a lot of tools, and he has the ability to affect the game in a number of ways. Good length, explosive pop, and three-point range and touch. He is continuing to find more consistency in his outputs.
Four-Star PF Royce Parham (Marquette) – Royce Parham’s game has continued to expand. As a 6-foot-8 power forward, there is not much that he cannot do. Parham has a smooth shooting stroke, he can take his man off the bounce in straight lines, and he is a good athlete. He finished with 23 points, going 4-of-6 from three.
Three-Star F London Jemison (2025) – London Jemison is an intriguing athlete. He has fluidity with some explosive pop. He also has a great frame, good length, and size. The skill set is continuing to emerge and the upside is clear. He finished today’s win with 12 points and seven rebounds. Jemison’s recruitment is starting to pick up.
C Collins Onyejiaka (2026) – Collins Onyejiaka is a strong and physically built post player. He did his best protecting the rim, with good timing and quick-twitch leaping ability. His offensive game is still developing, but there is something there, but right now he finishes putbacks, rim runs, and out of the dunker spot. Only a 2026, will be worth continuing to check back.
Three-Star F Ryan Mela (Providence) – Ryan Mela is a gamer. Someone who always tends to produce when the lights are on. He plays with a relentless motor and he always seems to be in the right plays at the right time. Mela, a Providence signee, had
Three-Star PG Luka Toews (Boston College) – Boston (MA) Newman School was in a dogfight for the majority of the game, until they started to pull away with about eight minutes left. Luka Toews made big shots and he took care of the ball. The game was not flashy, but it was very effective as he led his guys to a comfortable 15-point win.
Three-Star F Mason Blackwood (2025) – Mason Blackwood has a physically impressive frame with great length and broad shoulders. He is at his best in transition, but his game has improved in the half-court. He made a couple of mid-range shots and attacked the rim in straight lines. Defensively he has interesting versatility and is a good rebounder. The next step for him is continuing to develop the wing skills.