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Section 7: Diving into the top dogs, part V

28, Jun 2023

Section 7: Diving into the top dogs, part V

GLENDALE, AZ - The depth of talent at the Section 7 camp this season was unreal. We can unpack it for a week and still never cover it all. That said, we continue to look at the top overall performers from the action. 

RELATED: Part I | Part II Part III | Part IV

Gavin Hightower, Winward (CA): Great players, especially point guards, are oftentimes graded by their wins. So, going 4-0 and claiming the BHHS Legacy Foundation championship only helps the case for one of the best 2025 point guards in the field. 

He's all gas, no brakes. But he's also a keen passer and decision-maker. Hightower showed that he is what we saw from him in the high school season and the spring schedule - a reliable shooter from all three levels. Hightower is a right play at the right time kind of guard. 

His recruitment is full of good mid-majors at the moment but it wouldn’t come as a big surprise if high-majors get into the mix over the course of the next 12 months. He’s the kind of point guard who will win a lot of games at any level he’s competing in. - Justin Young 


Jaden Steppe, Tualatin (OR): With a clean bill of health, the Oregonian send a message to the college coaches at Section 7 that he is worthy of a scholarship offer. The versatile wing put the washing machine to the test because he fully sweat through all of his uniforms with a non-stop effort from start to finish. 

With a cool 40-point performance, end-to-end versatility and toughness inside, Steppe picked up a nice flurry of scholarship offers (Cal Poly, Colorado State, Montana State, UC Santa Barbara and Weber State). Steppe was one of the best mismatch players in the field. 

Quite frankly, he looks like a guy who will be a March favorite. His game says he’s a bracket-buster kind fo dude. How do you not like that? Steppe was easily one of my favorite guys inside State Farm Stadium at Section 7. - Justin Young


Dean Ruckert, Timpview (UT): Feel, feel, feel. That’s his best trait. The IQ and natural understanding of the game is off the charts. In this setting, his scoring shined through on the grand stage, including a stellar 40-plus point outing against Campbell Hall, featuring Bryce James. Ruckert is a big guard who can handle the ball like a point guard, score like a seasoned shooter and to the rim like a wing. 

His recruitment has been regionalized early on, which you’d expect, but as more college coaches get a chance to see him, Ruckert should trend on a national level in this loaded 2026 class. He’s got that kind of juice to his game. Utah has produced some fun high-major national players of late and Ruckert should be the next homegrown stud out of the state. - Justin Young


Alec Blair, De La Salle (CA): A two-sport stud, Blair may have to make a decision between the diamond and the hardwood. In hoops, he has high-major game through and through. 

From a pure athleticism point of view, he was one of the best players in the event. You saw that right away with Blair. He’s nimble runner and agile in the halfcourt. His quick-twitch jumping ability resembles that of a high-level volleyball player. Now mix in elite length and wingspan and you have A. a great wing prospect. B. a great left-hander pitcher. 

Either way, he’s in a good spot. 

From a pure versatility standpoint, I think Blair is one of the best multi-positional players in the nation. His recruitment will be important to track as he has some big decisions to make down the road. If he goes the hoop route, he has a high ceiling as an all-conference level guy. - Justin Young

Justin Young

Justin Young has been the editor-in-chief of since 2013. He manages the day-to-day operations on the site and in conjunction with our national and regional events. He was the national basketball editor for and a contributing editor at Yahoo! Sports. Young has been earned numerous awards for his work in sports journalism, including the Georgia Press Association Columnist of the Year. His Justin Young Basketball recruiting service has been in existence since 2002 and worked with over 300 schools from all levels. He is the director of HoopSeen Elite Preview camps and our national Preview camp series.