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Grassroots Finale: Mekhi McKinney's notes from Saturday

16, Jul 2023

Grassroots Finale: Mekhi McKinney's notes from Saturday

By Mekhi McKinney


The Biggest Dog on the court

Isaac Ellis was the "biggest dog" on the court during the 2026 match of Team Loaded NC 3SSB’s 17U against VA Premier. His tenacity on defense was a sight to behold throughout the game. He managed to come up with numerous steals in the backcourt, took charges, and brought a level of intensity that you don’t usually see from players with this level of hype surrounding his name.

Nevertheless, his offense wasn't overshadowed. Ellis delivered an impressive 31 points, consistently getting into the lane and dislodging bigger defenders. He made a living at the free throw line and finished through contact all game long.

Isaac Ellis is not merely a subject of hype; he's a true game-changer on the court. 

Straight Buckets

Nic Niare, the 6’6 guard, is a straight bucket-getter. Fresh off an offer from St.Bonaventure, Naire dropped 26 in his first game of the weekend against Florida Pro 2025. Over the last couple of weekends, Niare has become one of my favorite players to watch. He’s a knockdown shooter, and he showed that today with his six three-pointers in their first game of the day. Naire keeps defenders on poster watch when he comes into the lane, usually clearing out the paint for his above-the-rim finishes. Niare continues to impress and I don't think it will be long before Naire starts pulling in some high-major offers. 

Took Advantage Of The Bright Lights 

In the star-studded matchup against the Ellis brothers and Team Loaded NC 3SSB, Evan Morton demonstrated all the attributes of mid-major to low-major guard. Morton put college coaches on notice with his impressive shot-making ability and toughness. There was a stretch where Morton scored nine straight points, he knocked down two step-back threes and another three off a down screen, grabbing everyone's attention in the gym.

Not only was Morton impressive offensively, but he also displayed his commitment on the other end of the floor by bringing the same intensity to the defensive side of the ball. College coaches should definitely take a look at Morton on Sunday. 


Lives On The Rim

JuJuan Nicholls lives to dunk the basketball. There's nobody in the gym that I've seen dunk or attempt to dunk the basketball more than Nicholls. JuJuan makes a living on the glass, creating second chances for himself and teammates. Nicholls had 18 points in a game today and 22 in another, and I guarantee most of his points were off second chances. Nicholls is an unsigned senior that colleges should be all over if they have a roster spot. He doesn’t need anybody to pass him the ball, he’s going to go get it himself. 


Buy Stock Now 

Blake Wilson's stock keeps rising weekend after weekend. During ATL Pivot's victories on Saturday, Wilson had coaches raving on the sidelines throughout the games. After witnessing Wilson's performances today, I have no doubt that he's one of the best frontcourt players in Georgia's 2024 class. Blake filled up the stat sheet all day with a 17-point double-double and a 28-point double-double.

Wilson has added a consistent jump shot to his game, which he showcased in front of coaches by knocking down three three-pointers in their win over DMV Stags. Coaches won't want to miss out on Wilson, and he should be a must-see for coaching staffs on Sunday at the 2023 Grassroots Basketball Finale. 

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.