Recapping the Thompson MLK National Showcase
Thompson High School hosted the first annual MLK National Showcase on Monday. The event pitted three games of Alabama vs. Georgia high school programs, followed by Cottage Hill (AL) and West Morgan (AL).
Each game was competitive and boasted high-level talent from each team. Throughout the day, some signed prospects showed why they’re going to be playing at the next level while a flurry of underclassmen proved they’re next up.
Here’s Garrett Tucker’s takeaway from Monday’s action…
HOOVER’S YOUTH IMPRESSES AGAINST ALEXANDER
The MLK Classic wasted no time flexing its muscles with star-power, as the event’s first game featured Hoover (AL) and Alexander (GA). With several talented players on the floor, it was Hoover’s group of sophomores that impressed the most.
Salim London, a 2025 combo guard, put together one of the most impressive halves of basketball I’ve seen all season. The 6-foot-4 guard mixed up his scoring arsenal with a couple of shots from the perimeter to go along with some creative plays off the dribble. The lefty converted several tough finishes through contact to go along with precise passes that led to quality looks for teammates.
London, an Alabama legacy — his dad, Tarik, played for the Crimson Tide in the late 90s — played well enough to earn a scholarship offer from Auburn following the game. He finished with 18 points, five rebounds, and four assists in the win. I’ll have more on his recruitment later this week.
London’s skill-set and progress is no surprise to the HoopSeen team. He’s been a staple standout during our events for the last few years. Needless to say, when our 2025 state rankings debut soon, there’s a good chance London will find himself near the top.
They don’t make many players like 2025 big man DeWayne Brown. The 6-foot-9, 255-pound center is massive — and he’s only a sophomore!
Brown did a nice job of commanding and policing the lane during his minutes for the Buccaneers. Alexander didn’t quite have anyone to match him on the block, but 2024 forward Braedan Lue held his own from start to finish (I’ll touch more on him later).
Brown has no problem burying defenders on the block and putting himself in good positions to score. He did that several times, but my biggest takeaway was his shooting ability for a guy his size. Brown shot several free-throws and each shot came out of his hand smoothly and looked really good. He looks like a high-major prospect at this point in his development.
London and Brown have received a lot of the hype for Hoover and rightfully so. However, I think 2023 forward Jonathan Caicedo and 2025 point guard Jarett Fairley are X factors for the Bucs.
Caicedo, who transferred in this summer from the Orlando, Florida area, does a little bit of everything on the floor. At 6-foot-6, he has a quality skill level that makes him a dangerous small-ball 4 man. The senior didn’t have to score it much, but he seems like a viable threat.
I’m pumped to see more of Fairley, who did a nice job of distributing the basketball and making some timely shots. After London’s big first half, Fairley closed things out with a couple of three-pointers that ultimately helped Hoover extend their lead down the stretch. He’s a cerebral player that should be valuable going forward.
COMMITTED PROSPECTS SHOW THEIR WORTH
Norcross’ (GA) matchup against Thompson (AL) was another highly competitive game that ultimately saw the Blue Devils pull away late. Both teams had committed/signed prospects that showed why they’re going to be playing at the next level.
Future Georgia Bulldog Mari Jordan came out early and made some high-level shots coming off screens that were eye-popping. The lanky, 6-foot-6 wing man brings some versatility to the floor. His versatility and shooting ability should help him get on the floor early in Athens.
As good as Jordan was for Norcross, I thought their best player was future Alabama A&M point guard Bilal Adbur-Rahman. The 5-foot-10 floor general got wherever he wanted on the floor, but he excelled at getting in the lane and making plays. Throw in the ability to make shots from multiple levels and I think Adbur-Rahman should see some early action as a freshman for the SWAC program.
Thompson kept things close for three quarters and a lot of that had to do with the play of future Montevallo forward Carson Pringle. With his future head coach Anthony Komara sitting courtside, Pringle showed off his motor and all-around game.
Despite being an undersized 4 man at 6-foot-4, Pringle is productive from multiple facets each time out. He’s strong enough to battle in the paint but mobile enough to roam the perimeter, so he provides mismatch problems for many defenders. Could he fill a Draymond Green type role for Montevallo at the next level? I think so, and I can see him having a solid career at the next level.
UNDERCLASSMEN LEAD THE WAY FOR ARCHER & BUCKHORN
Archer (GA) was able to leave the state of Alabama with a narrow win over Buckhorn (AL) by two points. Both teams were led by underclassmen guards.
This was my first time seeing Archer’s 2024 guard Kahmare Holmes — and I really liked what I saw. The 6-foot-4 guard has an impressive physique that starts with broad shoulders and long arms, and he used both of those to his advantage when attacking the rim. He’s an extremely tough assignment on defense, especially when he gets downhill with his right hand. And, speaking of defense, Holmes was lights out with his versatility and ability to guard multiple positions. The junior got things going in the second half as he scored 17 of his 19 points in the latter part of the game.
2026 wing Caleb Holt has already earned a national name with his play in recent years. Unlike most young, promising prospects, this freshman doesn’t need to score a ton of points to affect the game.
Holt finished with 15 points and ten rebounds in the loss to Archer, but he impacted the game on defense with his length and ball pressure. The 6-foot-5 guard has strong defensive instincts and is an extreme competitor. He showed both of those on Monday.
The more I see 2025 guard Jeremiah Wilson, the more the young lefty intrigues me. Right now he’s a thin guard with a high basketball IQ that can make shots. What could he be in three or four years? That’s a good question, but I think he’s a player to buy stock in right now. Wilson looks to have a promising future ahead.
- 2023 wing Carson Muse battled foul trouble in the nightcap for West Morgan, but the unsigned senior was still able to score 24 points and pull down a number of rebounds. Muse is receiving a wide variety of interest from college programs right now. Montevallo, Faulkner, and Snead State were among the coaches in attendance on Monday.
- 2023 point guard Xzayvion Childress transferred in to Thompson over the summer and he looks like a significant addition for the Warriors. The 5-foot-11 guard is a rhythm scorer that is good off the bounce. He’s worth a quality look for non-major programs.
- I really liked what I saw from Alexander (GA) unsigned senior Marvin McGhee. The versatile wing touched the game in many ways, whether it was shot-making, defending, or being a capable secondary ball-handler.
- I’ve been a big fan of 2024 Archer forward Braedan Lue since the summer and he delivered again on Monday. The strong, 6-foot-7 forward is going to help a program win some games at the next level. He’s receiving some high-major interest right now, and I expect those to translate to scholarship offers sooner rather than later.
- Cottage Hill seniors Trent and Tyler Thomas have blown up on the gridiron over the last six months, but they can still play basketball, too. The 6-foot-8 forwards both played inside-outside games that helped them secure a win over West Morgan. However, I also came away impressed with 2024 wing Shadrick Toodle. The 6-foot-4 wing man has some length and quickness that allowed him to get to the rim whenever he wanted. I’ll be keeping tabs on him going forward.