Under Armor Rise U17 Session 1 Phoenix Top Players



From April 21-24 Under Armor Rise Session 1 was held at Legacy Sports in Mesa, AZ. The top U15, U16, & U17 Under Armor teams took part in the event. With 16 games played at all times we focused on the U17 teams. Here are the top prospects and performers from this weekend many of which you can find in the top 100 rankings of the 2024 and 2025 class.

Derik Queen 6’9 PF 2024 Class Team Thrill

Queen, (Pictured, Photo by Griffin Greenberg) born in 2004, demonstrated his experience and savy all weekend, leading Team Thrill to a 5-and-0 record over the tournament. He has a strong base, easily moving opponents out of his way by absorbing contact and showing nice touch around the rim. Utilizing his long arms, he had a plethora of dunks either on post moves or finishing on the break. He often brought the ball up court for his squad, playing a little point forward, showing good feel on the fast break and good vision in half court sets. He made shots, both from the free throw line and from mid range, showing potential pick and pop potential at the top level. He’s a solid screener and has a very good understanding of spacing on half court sets. For the next level, he needs to continue to develop his outside shooting and continue to work on his conditioning (albeit his body has improved over the last 18 months). The defensive end of the court is still very much a question mark for the NBA level. Granted he was a man among boys with his team often holding big leads but his intensity was at best sporadic on that end of the court. He had his occasional block shot given the talent disparity at this level but he often leaked out or did not get back on defense. AAU may not be the best setting to observe defense but he certainly isn’t working on it much here when his question mark at the highest level will be can he defend the pick and roll and can he have intensity on both ends of the court for more than a few minutes.

Bryson Tiller 6’9 PF 2025 Class Atlanta Xpress

Tiller physically looked the part of the best player on the court when you walked in the gym. With his huge wingspan and newly added muscles to his frame you would have thought he would absolutely destroy all of his competition. While he is a 2025 class, he was born in 2005, so the expectations should be similar to a player from the class of 2024. His team finished a disappointing 2-3 and was even blown out on Saturday when Chase McCarty was unable to play. With the lack of teammates with outside shooting ability, teams stacked the post and often double teamed Tiller. The refs let contact go for the most part in the post and with that, on a number occasions, Tiller was not able to finish through contact in the post. His lack of touch when absorbing contact was a notable contrast to Queen. The inconsistent touch extended out for him both from the free throw line and from the outside. He did show some good handles and on occasion some monstrous finishes and and one’s. But overall his offensive game is still a work in progress. On the flip side, on the defensive end he can be dominant. His body, wingspan, and agile feet make him difficult to score against. The matchup that scouts were craving for was a Queen versus Tiller matchup that we’ll hope to see by the end of the summer.

King Grace 6’5 Guard 2025 Class Texas Impact 4:13

Grace probably helped himself the most this weekend. He has the athleticism and the handles to be a high impact guard at the next level. Leading his squad to a 5-0 weekend he started Friday evening by hitting a barrage of outside shots. He has good handles as he uses both spin moves and crossovers effectively to get to the hole. If he catches near the corner he will pump fake and finish strong going baseline. On the defensive end of the court had good anticipation for steals and had a few highlight reel blocked shots. His outside shot is unorthodox and has a low release point which some scouts will no doubt be critical of. Its low release point will need to be adjusted some as he moves up levels and a quick release becomes integral. He started off hot from the outside on Day 1 and continued to play steady enough throughout the tournament. The other encouraging factor on his shot is that he performed well from the charity stripe and has a nice soft touch.

Shon Abaev 6’7 Wing 2025 Class SOH Elite

Abaev displayed guard-like handles in a small forward body. The lefty shot the ball well from the outside and had the uncanny ability to get fouled on corner 3’s and complete a 4 point play. He demonstrated the ability to come off 3 point extended elevator screens and hit the three and on a few occasions in a pick and roll situation hit a step back three. Despite his skinny frame, he was able to post up shorter guards on defense and hit a step back mid-range jumper a la Dirk. On defense he is quite agile and able to stay in front of smaller guards using his length and height to gap the offensive player he’s defending. While he is surprisingly strong, despite his skinny frame, he lacks the pure power that most wings display at the top level. Continuing to work on force production in the weightroom and change of pace moves for the top level is something to look out for. All in all Abaev and King were the two top 2006 born prospects in this U17s event.

Ethan Lathan 6’9 PF/C 2024 Class SOH Elite

Lathan, at 6’9 has a good body, and a long frame. He is very explosive and has really good agility and feet. With a good motor both on defense and on offense, he is a true menace on the offensive boards and will finish strong with put backs off the rim. He is good at rim protection and has potential as a defender in pick and roll situations but lacks experience reading the play, at this time. He can get caught up in pump fakes but has active hands and is a wiling defender. On offense his touch isn’t bad around the rim and his form from the line looks solid but lacks consistency. He is very raw and can at times lack focus both in games and on the bench, but with his natural body control, athleticism, and pursuit to the ball makes him a very intriguing player.

Vyctorius Miller 6’4 SG 2024 Class West Coast Elite

Miller looked really good at this event leading the West Coast Elite to a 5-and-0 weekend. An older participant, 2004 born, he showed massive improvement on the defensive side of the ball from a year ago. He has struggled at times this season at AZ Compass when he didn’t have the ball in his hands. There were no such concerns here as he is the featured player for West Coast Elite, starting games off with thunderous dunks, hitting outside jump shots, and creating plays for others with some timely assists. Miller looked really good this weekend, even showing some leadership qualities for this team albeit the competition he faced was far from the best at this event.

Chase McCarty 6’6 SF 2024 Class Atlanta Xpress

McCarty did not play on the second day of the event due to concussion-like symptoms. His presence was sorely missed as they handily lost both games without him. McCarty has good length but his future money maker is his outside shooting ability. Displaying both mid range and behind the 3 point line ability and solid handles. His strength and length make him a difficult player to get around on defense, blocking some big shots.

Rob Dockery 6’7 Forward 2024 Class Team Thrill

Dockery, the Texas A&M commit, showed the uncanny ability to get to the hole and finish strong around the basket. On a team which is, on paper, the favorite to win it all on this circuit, he doesn’t have to display his full arsenal. He mainly played strong defense, ran the lanes on the break, and created some opportunities by breaking down opponents with his quick first step. He showed good vision and is a wiling passer. His outside shooting is still something that needs some refining for the next level.

Jason Jakstys 6’10 PF 2024 Class Breakawy Basketball

The 2005 born Jakstys was a relative unknown coming into this tournament. His best performance was in a buzzer beater victory against SOH Elite. Long armed at 6’10 he has good height and length. He is still getting comfortable in his body, looking athletic on one play, flushing the ball 2 handed with 1 second left in the 3rd quarter and then losing balance on occasion. He does have a go to, up and under move that was very effective at this event and shot the ball well from the free throw line and had a mid range step back shot that went in on occasions. Seemed to get winded at times by the intensity and level of competition but played really well at this event and could be a late bloomer.

Cole Certa 6’5 Guard 2024 Class Illinois Wolves

Certa helped lead the Illinois Wolves to 4-1 record in his division, tying them for first after session 1. Certa, at 6’5 displays a very mature game. An excellent shooter who makes good reads on the pick and roll. He has mastered the change of pace to his game and can play either guard position. He is not the strongest, not the quickest, not the most athletic and has room and the ability to improve in all three aspects as he matures but his great equalizer will be the ability to continue to make good reads and continue to shoot it well from the outside. When he plays the better guards at this event he will need to display that he can handle their pressure and can keep them in front of him on defense.

Jayce Nathaniel 6’8 Forward 2024 Class Team Curry

Nathaniel showed some backcourt ability at this event that many scouts had not observed during his high school season. At 6’8, he is somewhat of a hybrid forward who needs to continue to work from the perimeter. He played within himself from the perimeter, playing off his outside shooting ability and getting down hill on a few occasions. A good shooter from the corner he will need to continue to expand his shots from other spots on the floor. Has a good base and strength from playing in the post, he is very comfortable and strong at the top of the key as a high low or pick and pop option. Very comfortable with his back to the basket has a slew of moves and countermoves on the block. Defensively can play bigger than his height

JT Rocks 7’0 Center 2024 Class Sanford Sports Academy

Rocks, the Iowa State commit, at 7 foot has the ideal size and frame that all teams look for. He is a load around the rim and finishes the ball strong. He plays hard and hustles on both ends of the court. He needs to continue to work on his agility and footwork as he is neither the best athlete or does he have the swiftest feet. he needs to continue to work on his ability on the perimeter both offensively and defensively.

Sir Mohammed 6’6 Guard 2024 Class Team Curry

Combo Guard who had the ability to play lead guard for Team Curry. Strong frame, good handles to get him downhill. Has some potential as a lead guard but did not finish through contact well at this event. Will need to continue to work on his shooting from the exterior. Strong defensively with his height, frame, and length can be a player that switches on to a big.


Jahseem Felton 6’5 Guard Class of 2024 B. Maze Elite

Felton has a very bulldog like mentality on the court . Has a good frame and size for a guard. Strong going downhill and finishing. Hustles and runs the floor well. Intense on the defensive end. Shooting needs some work and shot selection was poor at times at this event.

Babatunde Durodola 6’7 Power Forward Class of 2025 Canada Elite

Undersized power forward with a long wingspan. Knows how to use his length and body to create space and finish around the rim. Has good hands and soft touch around the basket.

10 Other Honorable Mention:

Ari Fulton 6’6 Wing Class of 2024 Team Curry
Jacob Hogarth 6’9 PF/C Class of 2024 Middlesex Magic
Brayden Jackson 6’8 Wing Class of 2024 Canada Elite
Justin Johnson 6’8 Forward 2023 Class SOH Elite
Cole Kirouac 6’10 Center Class of 2024 Atlanta Xpress
Chance Mallory 5’9 Point Guard Class of 2025 Team Thrill
Darrell Morris 5’10 PG Class of 2024 West Coast Elite
Bryson McGlothin 6’7 Forward 2024 Class Texas Impact 4:13
Chidi Nwigwe 6’6 Forward 2026 Class Riverside Hawks
Jehvion Starwood 6’4 Guard Class of 2024 Illinois Wolves

Session 2 will be held in Rockhill, South Carolina from April 28-30.


**Photo by Griffin Greenberg


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