Six class of 2026 guys to watch closely at Section 7
This list is a little different than the 2024 and 2025 five guys to watch list. Some of these players already have a nice profile at this stage of their young, budding careers. But this may be the first time I’m getting a chance to see them at the highest level and certainly the highest of stages.
Elias Obenyah, Salesian - If there was a certified stud from the Cali Live camp last weekend in Orange County, it was Obenyah. He opened a lot of eyes and generated a lot of buzz with his play. The 6-foot-3 guard is tough inside the paint as a finisher. He's big and strong and tough enough to convert big boy buckets. One the best things about June is the follow-up weekend. He should draw a good number of schools to see him given what he did less than seven days ago. As schools from all levels start to formalize their recruiting lists for 2026, this is his chance to really lock in his spot on a pecking order list for recruiters.
Kai McGrew, Smoky Hill - This could be the stage where the nation catches onto the high-flying forward from Colorado. He’s coming off a very productive freshman season and this bracket provides a stage where he really levels up his profile. McGrew is a rim-bender, a quick bounce vertical threat, a forward who can confidently knock down the three and a young guy who plays with a lot of passion. He’s very high on my must-see list and I’d imagine he’ll finish the weekend with a lot of schools paying closer attention, too.
Dean Ruckert, Timpview - I’ve seen him before at the Border League and his coach, Izzy Ingle, has raved about his versatile sophomore in every conversation I’ve had with him. It is easy to understand why. Ruckert is an interchangeable player and he’s still at the early stages of his player development. I had one trusted source in the state of Utah tell me “I know how much you loved Colin Chandler in high school. I think you may like Ruckert even more.” That caught my attention. I thought Chandler, a BYU signee on a LDS mission, was a McDonald’s All-American level player.
Yeabsera Aklog, Eastside - We saw his teammate Jacob Cofie start his national conversation at the Section 7 camp at the same stage in his career a couple of years ago. Aklog has proven himself at the younger age group divisions over the last couple of years but this weekend feels a little different as a jump off, or jump up, stage for the 6-foot-1o big man from the Seattle area. A first-round pairing against fellow 2026 Brannon Martinsen of Mater Dei (CA) feels awfully enticing to see on Friday. Aklog has all of the traits of a player who will trend nationally.
Mason Magee & Elijah Summers-Livingston, Basha: The 1-2 punch from Arizona will be a fun combo to watch on this stage. Magee, a dynamic 6-foot point guard, has been on fire at the 15 and under division with Vegas Elite this season. He can pump in the points and turn up the tempo with speed and athleticism. Summers-Livingston is a stretch forward with a high-major ceiling. He's the beneficiary of Magee's ability to touch the paint with hard drives. Harvard-Westlake is the first-round match-up for the locals and that will be a tall task, for sure. The college coaches will be there and they'll see what Magee and Summers-Livingston can become.