With tournaments in Atlanta, Dallas, Indianapolis, Louisville, and Orlando, it was an exciting year of hoops on the NY2LA Association. The 2023 and 2024 classes constantly stood out with a very strong group of teams from top to bottom making for a very exclusive First Team list at the underclassmen level. Even with this deep field of teams, Mid Pro Academy shined to earn three of the seven players on this list, including the MVP Ty Pence. 

Xavier Booker – 2023 – F – George Hill All Indy
While there have been many breakout players this year, Booker may top the list. He entered this spring without a single offer but now has a long list of them including Illinois, Indiana, Louisville, LSU, Ohio State, Purdue, and several others. At 6’11” with great length, Booker stands out immediately on the floor but there is much more to his game than just his size. While he is a dominant shot blocker, he also has a good skill set with his ability to hit perimeter jumpers and put the ball on the floor. Booker is one of the top power forwards nationally in the 2023 class with unlimited potential. 

Brock Harding – 2023 – G – Mid Pro Academy
A pure floor general and playmaker with his tremendous point guard skills. With his quickness, incredible shiftiness, and tight handle, Harding is incredibly difficult to stick with. He has a tremendous ability to get wherever he wants with the ball constantly getting paint touches to create. One of the more gifted distributors with his ability to see the floor and always be a step ahead of defenses. Harding came into the spring without any offers but now Radford, Purdue Fort Wayne, and Western Illinois have all offered him. 

Gavyn Hurley – 2023 – G – WI Swing
Every tournament throughout the spring and summer, Hurley continued to improve his game to be a huge factor in Swing’s success this year on the association and earn himself first team honors. The 6’4” junior is a skilled two-way guard with good length and a great motor. He’s a tough on ball defender in addition being a very good versatile scorer that has beaten defenders in numerous ways each tournament. Hurley is such an impactful player that has done it all for his team.

Owen Freeman – 2023 – F/C – Mid Pro Academy
While Freeman missed the start of the spring with an injury, he quickly made up for lost time to solidify his spot on the first team. Standing at 6’10” with a solid build, Freeman is one of the more dominant 2023 big men in the entire nation. He controls the paint on both ends, but also has good mobility playing out on the perimeter and can take opposing big men off the dribble. Freeman has a tremendous combination of strength, agility, and skill to go along with his size. He has been one of the fastest rising 2023 recruits in the nation over the past few months earning himself offers from Indiana, Michigan State, Ohio State, Wake Forest, Wisconsin, and others all recently. 

Gehrig Normand – 2023 – G – 3D Empire
One of the more talented scorers in the entire NY2LA this year putting up some serious points. Normand has a great blend of skills, athleticism, and positional size as a 6’5” two guard. He’s at his best knocking down perimeter shots with a great looking jumper but also plays well off the dribble attacking the basket. The high IQ guard has all the tools for the next level.  

Ty Pence* – 2023 – G – Mid Pro Academy
After the spring and summer Pence had, not only did he earn himself first team honors but MVP of the 16U level as well. Even while a part of the loaded Mid Pro team, Pence always found a way to make a big impact in every single game. He’s a highly skilled 6’6” wing guard with a great all-around skill set as well to a nice combination of athleticism and strength. Pence scores it a high level going to the basket as well as from the perimeter in addition to showing a good ability to defend the ball. 

Nasir Whitlock – 2023 – G – Gain Elite
Not only did Whitlock shine on the 16U level but playing up at the 17U one as well. He’s a dynamic point guard that can do it all, scoring and distributing both at a very high level every tournament. The junior is such a gifted scorer off the dribble with his ability to get into the paint and finish everything as well to a great ability to create his own shot from the mid-range and three. Not only did Whitlock put up big scoring totals throughout tournament season but assist totals as well.