NY Lightning Media Day 2024/2025 Standouts
Updated: Aug 5, 2020
5'11' G Tahaad Pettiford (Hudson Catholic)
Tahaad Pettiford peers have unanimously coined him as the best shooter in the Class of 2024. It is amazing to see how confident he was with his shot. He shot the three ball every chance he could get. I witnessed him make ten out of twelve three's on the evening. It was an incredible sight to see. Every time he shot the ball, both teams would start heading back down the opposite end of the court because his shot was automatic.
6'2" PG Elliot Cadeau (Bergen Catholic)
Cadeau is one the primetime guards in this class. He's lightning quick and shifty. Cadeau can sink a shot from anywhere as soon as he passes half court. Cadeau is very strong, quick, and explosive for his age. He's doing windmill dunks as an 8th grader. When ESPN ranks the 2024 class next year, I wouldn't be surprised if he was the #1 prospect in the class or somewhere in the top 10.
6'8" F Jacob Hogarth (Archbishop Stepinac)
Hogarth is a phenomenal two-way player. He's aggressive in his post game and aggressive protecting the rim. He plays with no constraints. He plays with the attitude that he's willing to risk it all for his teammates. Hogarth has made quite an improvement to his game from last season. His footwork, and ball-handling has gotten better. With the right guidance and development, his game can resemble that of Kevin Garnett.
6'8" Tarik Watson (Don Bosco Prep)
Watson is a man amongst boys. He is the #1 ranked player in the Class of 2024 by multiple sources. He knows his strength and he does not play around. Whenever he gets the ball, he's looking to punish the defender and dunk on him. He knows he's strong and uses that to his advantage 100% of the time.
6'9" F Jack Nieradko (Kingswood Oxford)
Nieradko was the surprise of the night. Nieradko plays above the rim. He's another dominant big in this 2024 group. He can play in the post and knock down jumpers on occasion. The most athletic of the bigs in this group. Footwork is amazing. He moves great for a kid that's 6'9" in "MIDDLE SCHOOL." I look forward to seeing how his game develop over the years. He should also be headed towards being a Top 100 player in this class.
6'2" G Jakai Sanders (Eagle Academy)
Sanders is a very tough and gritty kind of guard. He's the type of guard that will guard you 94ft. Very high motor. He's able to dunk as an 8th grader. His toughness and passion for the game will take him a long way.
6'4" G Quentin Duncan (Sacred Heart)
At first glance, I assumed Duncan was a 2021 prospect. He is in the Class of 2024 but has the skillset and demeanor of an upperclassmen. He is a fantastic ball handler and shooter off the dribble. He was a quiet assasin all afternoon. He didn't say much but when it was time to go toe to toe with the high school kids, he showed up ready to go at it. You can tell he was completely fearless which exhibits how confident he is in himself at the game of basketball. He's another Guard to keep your eye out for in the Class of 2024.
6'9" Wing Badara Diakite (Redemption Christian)
Diakite is most certainly no joke. The improvements he has made within the last few months are scary. He has the same height and figure to him as a Kevin Durant. Diakite has become a more versatile scoring option. He has always been able to dunk on opponents but now he's a better shooter. I witnessed him sink two three's back to back and two mid-range jumpshots in one scrimmage. That was enough to catch everyone's attention considering he's only in the Class of 2025 and dominating in scrimmages with elite 2021, 2022, and 2023 prospects. Diakite has the potential to not only be the best in the Class of 2025 but in all of High School once he reaches the platform.