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NXT UP (New Jersey)

By Ty Postell, 08/16/23, 12:45PM PDT


The NXT UP showcase welcomed a number of prospects from the classes of 2027- 2029 including participants from Connecticut, Pennsylvania and the DMV area. It was great to get an eye on some of the young talent representing programs such as Team Sharp, Exodus NYC, Jersey Gemz, Team Thrill and K-Low elite to name a few. The players definitely came out to put in the work, the energy and effort to learn and compete was second to known.  

NXT UP featured Laurin Mincy  and Jade Walker as the lead clinicians. both of whom have collegiate and professional experience as well as strong ties to grassroots basketball. Younglife basketball and SheElite Experience were also in to assist. The day compiled of an Dynamic warm up, hour of skill work which included transition situations, half court reads and dribble drive principals. There was a focus to implement and executing the components in 3 on 3 and 5 on 5 game play. During competitive play the court coaches did a outstanding job managing the games, keeping it fun but competitive while holding players accountable for implementing the skills emphasized in the sessions. 

We were extremely excited to bring the NXT UP Showcase (formally known as Next100) back to the Tri-Sate area this pass weekend after a two year hiatus.  In 2021, we had a number of current HS players from the classes of 25' and 26' that have since gone on to have solid starts to HS/AAU careers thus far,  some of whom have earned multiple Division 1 offer from the ACC, Big East, BiG 10 and more. There is no question that this years group will follow suit as they are NXT UP !! (See alumni list)

21' Notable Alumni

25’ Angelina Hodges (NY)                           25’ Varalyn Aviles (NY)                       25’ Sky Hunter (NJ)

25’ Gianna Chuffo (NJ)                                  25’ Emma Olausson (CT)                    25’ Daniella Matus (NJ)

26’ Jayla-Jordan Jackson (MD)                 26’ Lexi Carnegie (NJ)                         26’ Kamaria Bowens (CT)

26’ Priyanka Pronam (NJ)                            26’ Stella Lockhart (NJ)                      26’ Ava Fajardo (NJ)

Staff (l to R) Jade Walker. Na'Tyah Postell, Na'tori Postell, Laurin Mincy, Coach Ty (event Organizer), Coach Ahmod (Sh3Elite experience) Des Salas (missing)

NXT UP - 3 on 3 Champs (Lto R) 28' Emma Bruno-Dunn / Jersey Gemz, 28' Valentina Li / Jersey Gemz and 29' Hailey Benbow / Jersey Gemz

NXT UP -Queen of The Court 27' Mary Ganim Exodus NYC

 27’ Sydney Santora / K Low Elite

Sydney is a true throwback guard that just gets the job done. A cerebral player with an intense focus and natural leadership qualities as she was vocal throughout the day. Fundamentally sound using textbook ball fakes, pivots and playing off of two feet very well. Needs to be a bit more selfish at time. High school ready frame and strength, predicting a solid freshman campaign, one to watch.   

27’ Mary Ganim / Exodus NYC 

Shifty guard that was hard to stay in front of as she created off the bounce at will. Excelled in transition getting end to end in a flash for layups or making lead passes to streaking teammates. She shot the ball well and took advantage of closeouts getting to the nail either finishing with a floater or creating for others. She ran the gauntlet winning the Queen of the court battle, One to watch. 

28’ Hailey Benbow / Jersey Gems 

A very athletic guard, with length and athleticism. She performed well in the skill sessions displaying tight handles and good footwork showing improvement over the past few months. She stayed in attack mode during competitive play getting in the lanes which set up a nice step back that she went to often, her high release made it hard to contest. Like to see her add a little more pace to her game.

28” Emma Bruno- Dunn / Jersey Gemz

A very serviceable guard with a great work ethic as she pushed through all drills with maximum effort. A hard hat type with a nose for the ball, aggressive on the boards and first to loose balls. Her long strides and extended dribbles in transition put pressure on the defense as she unselfishly engaged defenders to create for teammates.  I'd like to see her utilize her right hand a bit more and a more consistent jump shot.  

28' Logan Clifton / Team Thrill

Compact guard with a calm demeanor but natural aggression on the defense end,  tough on ball defender with good lateral speed. Offensively she gets in the lane, finishes either hand and showed the ability to space the floor with her jump shot, hitting multiple 3's throughout the day. As she gets better creating off the dribble she's gonna be hard to guard. 

29’ Angelyn Almonte 

High energy wing with good length and a lot of bounce, displaying a quick second jump on rebounds getting multiple put backs. Slim in stature but very physical and did not shy away from contact as she attacked the boards with reckless abandonment. Young but has all the tangibles, form on jump shot and improved handles will come with time, nice upside.  


27' Sydney Santora / 27' Mary Ganim / 28' Hailey Benbow

28' Emma Bruno-Dunn / 29' Logan Clifton / 29' Angelyn Almonte

Remember the Names

27' Nassiah Haricha / Exodus NYC 

Long athletic post that showed a bit of ability to play on the perimeter and defend all five positions. She was active on the boards rebounding out of area and getting breaks started with accurate outlet passes. She runs the floor well and showed range on her jumper. Improved ball handling and mid/post game will increase her stock. 

27’ Rose Latesta / NJ Rise 

Very poised player with a good IQ and feel for the game, as she doesn't panic under pressure and plays at her own pace.  She showed good vision, reading the floor well either to assist or score and has a very solid mid range pull up. Increased foot speed and agility will be needed as she moves forward. Sleeper

27' Heziah Kinston / Team Miller 

Quiet demeanor but plays the game with physicality. She ran the floor well and was aggressive on offensive end attacking from the wing with straight line drives. Needs to work on shooting off the dribble and better understanding of spacing.  

27' Alaina Cruz / Fort wolves Elite

One of the most energetic and active players in the gym, she played with a high level of intensity that was fun to watch. She stayed in attack mode, causing havoc on defense, getting the lanes displaying body control as she adjust in air around the rim.  Playing with little more pace and shot selection needs to improvement.  

28' Maya Morrison / Team Sharp

Smooth agile tweener with good hands, keeps the ball high in the lane and runs the floor well, finishing over and around defenders with her reach.  She did a great job facing up to take defender of the dribble using a smooth spin move. She is a hybrid that has a nice upside, just needs to continue to get stronger and more agile.

28' Bri Duque / Team Sharp

Strong and physical player, solid build and mobile. She finished well around the rim with activity on the boards and was mismatch problem against smaller players over powering them in the paint. Showed ability to create for teammates of the dribble and made good decisions with the ball in hand. Needs to be  more aggressive offensively. 

28' Victoria Cruz / Team Sharp 

Good size on the young post player who understands spacing, set solid screens and rolled well using her strong frame to bury defenders under the rim. Nice form on her jump shot and rebounded well. Would like to see her play with more physicality,  on a post ups and defer from contact.  

28' Breya Letennier / Team Sharp 

Smooth guard with good length and a scorers mentality. She plays with pace and has a nice pull up which is pure with a high release. She shot the ball well through out the day.  I noticed improved ball handling as she kept a live dribble under pressure and executed combos to get her shot off.  Next step is to work on becoming more of a play maker.   

28' Alicia Boscarino / Crusaders

A cerebral player that stayed under control with a pass first mentality. Ran the floor well, used ball fakes and pivot to get her smooth jump shot off. Displayed an understanding of spacing and ball movement always looking to make the extra pass. Very solid player, needs to get a bit quicker and add some agility to help elevate her game.  

28' Olivia Bruno - Dunn / Jersey Gemz 

Hustle player that got the job done on both ends of the floor, her length is disruptive on the perimeter as she had a number of deflections in passing lanes.  She moves well off the ball and stayed shot ready and has a quick release, consistency will come. Good size for a wing player, an improvement with ball handling will open her game up.    

28' Valentina Li / Jersey Gemz 

Has good size and strength and was really impressed with her stick to it mentality. She did a great job positioning her self for rebounds and opening up for post feeds. She has solid hands and made extra passes out of doubles. Improved jump shot and and foot speed would expand her game. 

28' Gia McArdle / Lady Gauchos 

A high motor guard that was aggressive with ball in her handle as she constantly probed to get into the lanes. Solid decision maker a the point positions setting up teammates of the bounce. She needs to add pace to her game and a more consistent jumper.  

28' Olivia Digiovanni / Team Sharp 

Solid player who can play inside/ out with the size to compete in the post and a smooth jumper that she can stretch the floor. Sets solid screen and pops into space ready to catch an shoot or put the ball on the floor to make a play.  Crafty with her ball fakes and a overall solid passer.  With her size, more skill work in the mid/high post will raise her game. 

28' Carli Fox / Team Sharp

Energetic guard with good leadership skills, she ran the point guard position well while taking advantages of opportunities to score. She controls tempo and does a good job finding open shooters off of help defenders.  She shot it well of the bounce and used her floater in the lane.  Does get sped up at times but that will change with maturity. 

28' Bianca Kaiser / Jersey Gemz

Solid combo, handled the ball well and plays within herself, making the right passes which baited defenses and allowed her to use a deceptive first step to take her defenders off the bounce. Very attentive as she adjusted in real time during skills sessions. I'd like to see her be a bit more aggressive calling her own number. 

28' Hayley Kolk / Mid Atlantic Magic

Slim in stature with length and wingspand, adjusted shot attempts in the paint and tips contesting long close outs. Made herself available with front cuts and finished well in the paint.  A nice midrange touch also hitting a few from long-range which is a added skill from my last look at her. Added weight and strength is need as she enters high school. 

28' Gianna Sano / Jersey Gemz 

Plays with some flare to her game, good footwork and handled the ball well under pressure, set up defenders with hesitation dribbles, to get to her side/back step jumper. She see’s the floor well and is a  solid passer, did a great job with draw and kicks. Needs to be more consistent from shooting outside the arch. One to watch. 

28' Ava Ramseur / AUF Lady Hawks

All hustle and showed no quit. Small but compact guard with quickness and an athletic frame. She was effective using her quickness to get to the rim,  good vision as she found open teammates cutting or on kick outs. Very solid on ball defender as well. Needs to work on shooting but will come with reps, has the tools to be a solid point guard. 

29' Peyton Pugh / Team Miller 

Speedy point guard with quick first step to get into the lanes putting pressure on defense. Always in the mix of things with active hands on defense and timing gaining multiple steals or tie ups.  Up tempo player that excelled in transition, next step is developing court vision and a consistent jumper.