Session 1 of the 2023 Generation Next Basketball Association “GNBA” hit the hardwood in Louisville, Kentucky this past weekend as part of the annual Grassroots Showcase platform and a host of talented prospects made their presence felt at the middle school proving grounds platform.  Here’s a look at some of those that stood out in the 7th grade division during the opening session…

Joey Kohnen – 2028 – Shooting Guard – RAS Bucks – I really like what I see out of the younger Kohnen. He shoots the ball very well and isn’t afraid to drive the lane and take contact. He’s a solid defender and competes on every possession. Plus, he is an unselfish guard that distributes the ball out to open teammates.

Cole Kelley – 2028 – Small Forward – Flight Athletics - Kelly is a nice size wing for his age. He has a nice stroke from deep and can fill it up in a hurry. He can rebound and initiate the transition for his Flight team. He showed good ability to get to the basket and a soft touch around the rim to finish in the midst of contact. He plays with a great motor and was very active throughout session 1.

Ethan Vahl – 2028 – Point Guard – Flight Athletics – Vahl plays on a loaded Flight Athletics team. The long and lanky point guard does what is needed for his team to win. If he needs to defend and rebound, he will as evident by his 6 rebounds and 3 steals in a game. If he needs to score, he will, scoring 14 points in a win on Sunday morning. He has a good feel for the game as is in line to be the next good guard from the Chicago area.

Kayden Turner - 2028 – Hybrid Guard – Mid Pro Academy – Turner is one of the better playmakers in the 2028 class. The young guard has a very good ability to create for his teammates. Turner is coming off an MVP performance at the NY2LA Generation Next Camp last fall and is continuing his growth as both a scorer and facilitator for his team.

Trent Greene – 2028 – Power Forward – Reach Legends Greene has good size for his age and is a force on the block where he does most of his work. In the games I watched he also showed some solid ballhandling ability and was able to attack defenders from the perimeter. He was one of the better rebounders that I watched in his age group and should have a bright future.

Jared Van Donselaar  – 2028 – Center – Kessel – A long lanky prospect, Jared uses his length on both end of the floor to impact games. Very few kids in his age group can match his size (6-5), and length. He offense is starting to catch up with his defensive skills and that could spell trouble for opponents. He has a soft touch around the basket and doesn’t seem too bothered by contact.

Jackson Meerdink – 2028 – Stretch Big – Cincy Royals – The young post that plays big in the paint. He is a tough interior defender that made shots tough from smaller players who attempted to attack the basket. I also like that he showed flashes of being able to shoot it from the mid-range, and can put it on the floor.