HENDERSON, Nev. — More than 100 college coaches and 90 colleges gathered on the outskirts of Las Vegas for the inaugural Sportradar Showdown, a 16-team tournament hosted by Spotradar featuring prospects from all over the world.
Five-star big Derik Queen led Baltimore’s Team Thrill to a championship win and firmly established himself as one of the top high school players in the world. But with teenagers from the Adidas and Under Armour circuits, as well as the NBA Global Academy and Canada, there were plenty of other players worth tracking for the years to come.
Here are notes on the best prospects at Sportradar Showdown.
VJ Edgecombe was arguably the top long-term prospect at this camp. The 6-foot-5 guard kicked off Sportradar Showdown on Friday night in a private game, posting an incredible 24 points with 11 steals and blocks combined to take his Austin Rivers SE Elite squad into the main bracket.
The Bahamas native is going into his senior year of high school, but he’s already an elite athlete who turns the corner and beats defenders off the dribble easily. One coach in the gym put him on the same level as Jalen Green. Most of the time, it feels like Edgecombe is gliding past defenders on the court. However, because his athletic tools are so difficult to contain, he can get out of control from time-to-time and turn the ball over or commit offensive fouls.
Edgecombe can also create his own shot from two and three — and has real range on his jumper. It can be slightly mechanical at times since he really squares his shoulders, but I have no real concerns and he’s skilled enough to break defenders down off the dribble and pull-up.
Baraka Okojie, a Canadian point guard who plays for his country’s Canada Elite program, broke out at Sportradar Showdown. The first thing to note is how few mistakes he made. Okojie was steady with the ball in his hands, both as a passer and as a scorer from the mid-range or spotting up. The DME Academy prospect has a quick and reactive handle which allows him to get into the paint at will. That is where he lived this tournament, either drawing fouls, finishing through contact, or finding his teammates.
Okojie can continue expanding his range, and he’s an average athlete at around 6-foot-3 with more coordination than burst, but he should be a shrewd pick-up for whichever college program he ends up committing to. Okojie reclassified into the 2023 high school class and committed to George Mason on Monday morning. He’d also been pursued by UC Santa Barbara and Cincinnati.
Sir Mohammed, the son of former NBA champion and current OKC Blue general manager Nazr Mohammed, showed off his positional size at 6-foot-6 and scoring instincts for Team Curry. The 2024 guard was making pull-ups, sharing the ball, getting lots of paint touches, and playing ferociously in transition. This included a 28-point outing versus the NBA Academy’s select team. Mohammed, who plays his high school ball at Myers Park in North Carolina, has offers from Miami, St. John’s, Notre Dame, Virginia Tech, Stanford, Oklahoma, Villanova, and others.
CJ Cox from the Middlesex Magic might have been the toughest shot maker at Sportradar Showdown. The 2024 guard doesn’t stand out at first glimpse — he should continue working on his body — but he definitely catches one’s eye when the ball gets to him. Cox was a gunner all weekend long, regularly hitting pull-up twos and threes off the bounce and even forcing an overtime in one game. Outside of scoring, Cox plays with solid two-way toughness but he only stands at a little over 6-feet.
16-year-old Khadim Mboup from the NBA Academy Africa established himself as one of the best international prospects in the world this weekend. Mboup is still raw as a scorer on offense, but he makes up for that with his incredible rebounding — it felt like he was first to every loose ball or miss — athleticism, ability to play the 3 and the 4, and defensive potential. He is already a wiry strong, but his frame will continue to fill out nicely. Up next, he needs an offensive go-to outside of crashing the boards. Mboup can put the ball on the floor a bit and attack closeouts here and there, so that point of emphasis should really include his three-pointer.
Khani Rooths, a rising senior at IMG Academy, is a four-star sleeper who has really helped his stock over the entire summer. Rooths is a do-it-all wing at 6-foot-8 who can pull-up out of a few dribbles, spot up, create his own drives off the bounce, or drive and kick to generate shots for his teammates. He flashed all of those skills at Sportradar Showdown, but can still lack regularity across the board. Rooths also stood out as a leader. He was constantly encouraging his teammates and standing up on the bench to yell out instructions or defensive rotations. Looking ahead, Rooths will have to get stronger to beat defenders off the dribble more often as well as finish at the rim. He can also continue growing his comfort level from three, as it seems like he prefers the mid-range right now.
Efeosa Oliogu is arguably the most heralded long-term prospect in Canada, but he had an up-and-down Sportradar Showdown. Oliogu was lethal in transition and when playing above the rim. He had a handful of huge dunks, including a left-handed tomahawk that kicked off his tournament with a bang. However, Oliogu is still limited in the half-court as a ballhandler and shooter. He can drive strong and with physicality in a straight line, but that is mostly it for now. Then, outside of catch-and-shoot threes, he is not going to be operating from the outside. Oliogu just transferred to DME Academy in Florida, where his fellow countryman Baraka Okojie plays.
Brody Kozlowski might be more of a stretch 4 than a pure wing, but those are the areas of the court that he tends to occupy. Playing for Utah Prospects, Kozlowski was on a heater all weekend long, including one game in which he made six threes. He is not one to monopolize or demand the ball; rather, he is assertive and quick with his decisions, while also bringing solid size at 6-foot-8 on the glass and in the paint. BYU was front row watching Kozlowski, who is also being recruited by Stanford, Yale, Utah, Utah State, UNLV, Cal, and others.
Flory Bidunga is arguably the best center in his high school class, and he demonstrated as much at Sportradar Showdown. Bidunga is a pure 5 who dominates the paint on both ends. He’s slightly undersized for a center at around 6-foot-10, but that’s not an issue because he makes up for it with his endlessly long arms and insane pop. Bidunga is an incredible athlete who easily displaces opposing defenders — this includes bigs who tries to get into him — and can immediately catch, gather, jump, and dunk. Bidunga is a score-first player, but he is also a capable facilitator at this level. He grasps the gravity he has on the floor and can spray out passes to his open teammates.
The biggest question mark, surely, will be his lack of a jumper since Bidunga can’t stretch the floor to any extent at this point of his development. However, it’s tough to really make that an issue — because it just hasn’t been. Instead, I think Bidunga’s biggest point of emphasis must be improving his right hand. The Indiana Elite center is exclusively left-handed at times, which limits him as a play finisher. At this level, it might not matter as much, but it will once Bidunga gets to college or the pros, and defenses try to force him right all the time.
2025 center Khaman Maluach looks primed to be one of the NBA’s biggest success stories in quite some time. He could be a future top 5 pick. The 7-foot-1 South Sudanese prospect is part of the NBA Academy Africa and already has pro experience playing in the Basketball Africa League. He is huge but moves so lightly on his feet, able to cover ground from the rim all the way out to the perimeter. If Maluach closes out on an attacker trying to shoot a three, they’ll most likely just pass the ball off because it’s very tough to shoot over his length. The same applies in the paint, where Maluach can block shots with his left, right, or both hands. Offensively, he lives at the basket right now, either finishing plays in the half-court or rim-running in transition. However, Maluach has a sweet stroke that is worth monitoring. He might not make threes in-game right now, but he shoots them and then is able to cash in with very clean form in warm-ups.
Ulrich Chomche, who is 17 until the end of the year,is another intriguing big from the NBA Academy. Like Maluach, he has pro experience with the Basketball Africa League, having played for the competition’s Cameroonian and Rwandan teams. He’s shown more consistency as a floor spacer, shooting a fluid jumper out to three with a high release point. That is partly why he can play both the 4 and the 5. Chomche is also an aggressive shotblocker who has the length and athleticism to be make plays at the rim but can still learn to rein in his craving for blocks sometimes.
Derik Queen led Team Thrill to a Sportradar Showdown tournament win, also solidifying his standing as one of the best bigs in the 2024 high school class in the process. The Montverde prospect “made everything,” as one college coach put it, at the basket over the entire weekend. Queen is an ambidextrous finisher who makes up for his lack of burst with his soft touch and patience. Unlike Bidunga or Maluach, Queen isn’t really going to explode for a massive poster, but what he can do is face-up and pull-up or even push the ball in transition. He’s more of a drop big on the defensive end — Queen had 6-foot-10 Luke Bamgboye stepping out in space instead of having to do it himself most of the time — but he’s effective with his size, instincts, and quick hands. Proving that he can guard out to the perimeter will be key, though. Queen has offers from the likes of Maryland, Auburn, Indiana, Florida State, and Texas, who all evaluated him in-person.
Moustapha Thiam, playing for Austin Rivers SE Elite, stands at around 7-foot-1 and projects as a two-way spacer who can catch lobs, block shots, and shoot threes. Defensively, he ticks all the boxes but still needs to improve his positioning and timing in the pick-and-roll. The 2025 big also attends DME Academy, the same school as Baraka Okojie or now Efeosa Oliogu. Thiam is still early in his development, but he is blooming fast. He received an NBPA Top 100 players’ camp invite earlier this summer and has offers from Oklahoma State and Cal Poly, while UCLA has also shown interest.