In the latest edition of “P.I.Pulse”, Pro Insight’s Alex Brown highlights prospects that stood out at the NBA Academy Games after spending five days on site in Atlanta, Georgia:
Filled to the brim with mid-to-high major coaches and NBA scouts, the traditionally talent-laden NBA Academy Games was once again a standout destination amongst a very busy live period in the southeast, coinciding with both Peach Jam and the Under Armour Finals.
The NBA Academy Games boasted an incredibly high quality of play, excellent defense, constant engagement, competitiveness, and care with a myriad of prospects that could find themselves knocking on the NBA door, playing at a very high level abroad, or joining the high major college basketball ranks. The Centre of Excellence won the championship in bracket play led by breakout star Johnny Furphy and Perth Wildcats signee Ben Henshall, but there was major, major talent across the board, which we’ll dive into below.
2027 | 6’4” Guard | Australia | Centre of Excellence (AUS) | 15.6 years old
As one of the youngest players in attendance and the younger brother of Dyson Daniels, expectations for Dash were high coming in, and he certainly did not disappoint. Extremely mature and poised for a 15 year-old, Dash stood out immediately for his intangibles, including the team-first approach, two-way engagement, and constant awareness. He played with a toughness that suggested he had something to prove, as well. The frame looked great as well, standing close to 6’4” with broader shoulders and long arms, and he clearly has more room to grow and isn’t nearly fully developed athletically, yet. On the skills side, he is a superb shooter with a fluid energy transfer and excellent touch, and picks his spots efficiently and in the flow. He is a capable passer in scheme reads and avantage states as well, routinely finding the big or a shooter when able to probe the defense. The handle and self-creation were areas to track, and had their struggles at times with the length and age of his opposition, but overall they projected as positives, long term, albeit perhaps not his most elite skills. On the defensive end, he looked well beyond his years with cognizant denials, great mirroring, and keen awareness of his role within the scheme. Being able to hang his hat on defensive impact is something that should be expected, long term, as his foundation is incredibly impressive. Overall, it was a tremendously impressive five days from Dash, who looked well on the path to being an NBA prospect with his growth mindset paired with the scalable BBIQ, shooting, defense, and passing.
2025 | 6’5” Guard | Australia | NBA Global Academy | 17.1
Luke Fennell is a leader and competitor, through and through, setting the tone on both ends for his team while vocally leading on the court and on the bench. For the lead guard spot, Luke has great positional size at a slender 6’5”+, and while he is still developing athletically, he plays with tremendous pace, has serviceable burst, and isn’t afraid of physicality. Capable of generating paint touches in PnR and in matchup-dependent isolation, Fennell presented a fearless downhill threat and had the capacity to make a pass to the perimeter or the big, often creating (and capitalizing on) the majority of his team’s advantages and breakdowns. Flashing a tight handle, some crafty finishing, and streaky perimeter shooting when getting his own, Luke showed intrigue as a scorer that can pick his spots efficiently and self-create at a potential secondary level. The primary area to track with the offensive side was the streakiness of his shot, as he can string together multiple misses, as well as multiple makes. While his impact doesn’t disappear without the jumper falling, it will be a determining factor for his ceiling. Defensively, Luke’s competitiveness and activity were bright spots, constantly pressuring handlers and generating multiple on-ball steals with active hands. A vocal communicator and capable off-ball navigator, Luke’s presence was positive defensively, but he will need to improve his functional strength to stay out of foul trouble and defend multiple positions with more ease. Overall, for high majors looking to find their leader and point guard of the future, Luke Fennell makes a lot of sense as a sharp, competitive, tough, big guard that can shoot, pass, handle, and defend with intensity.
2024 | 6’8” Guard/Wing | Australia | Centre of Excellence (AUS) | 18.6
Johnny Furphy was the breakout star of the NBA Academy games, and had coaches and scouts excited throughout. At 6’8” playing the 2 and 3, Furphy is an exceptional athlete that plays with a high motor and constant aggression, while also showing legitimate value as a dribble-pass-shoot wing and disruptive defender. Furphy is a phenomenal (though late-blooming) athlete off one foot that can explode off the floor in an instant, and is naturally a star in the open court that constantly pushes the pace. In the halfcourt, his straight line slashing was borderline unstoppable at times, blowing by defenders with his burst and finishing at and above the rim with ease. With multiple poster dunks throughout, Johnny proved to be the most dangerous downhill player there, by a fair margin. If he wasn’t intriguing enough already, his versatile three-point attack was eye-catching throughout, shooting the 3 off the catch, off movement, and a little bit off the dribble. Furthermore, he proved to be a capable ball handler that can handle pressure and make reads, routinely hitting cutters and the pocket pass along with some scheme and live dribble reads. The accuracy is still developing on some of the more out-of-routine reads, but long term it could be a notable positive. He is not just an offensive threat, though, as he plays highly aggressive and assertive defense, as well. Playing with a high activity level, Johnny used his superior size, athleticism, and anticipation to generate events in passing lanes and on the ball. In his interview, he noted that this disruption is a part of the game that he just loves, and it shows on the court. With the quickness and size to slide with multiple positions, and the athleticism to make plays inside, Furphy’s defensive versatility was very ideal for the next level. While he isn’t very long and has some polishing to do, naturally, all in all there are not many plus athletes at 6’8” that hit on that dribble-pass-shoot mold while also changing the game defensively. Johnny Furphy established himself as a HM+ name that has intriguing NBA potential, and he recently reclassified to the class of ‘24 in hopes of using this as an extra year to develop and work on his body.
2025 | 7’0” Big | New Zealand | NBA Global Academy | 17.2
Kiwi big Julius Halaifonua made a tremendous impression over the course of five days, and was a huge riser throughout. At 6’11” to 7’0”, Halaifonua has an excellent feel for the game and basketball IQ, handling scheme reads and decisions as a hub and post facilitator for the Global Academy. Halaifonua picked apart opposing defenses with decisive reads to cutters with timely, accurate deliveries, seldom making mistakes. As a scorer, he posed a threat at multiple levels, but mostly as a post scorer, dunker spot finisher, and face-up shooter. With superb mid-range touch and advanced footwork for his age in the post, it seemed like there was nothing that Julius couldn’t do within the arc. The three-point shot had encouraging signs, but was up and down overall, and looked projectable, long term, with the mid-range touch and free throw execution factored in. In the open court, Julius showed some handling prowess along with the capacity to make a hit-ahead pass, and while he isn’t the most eye-catching athlete on a play-by-play basis, he showed the capacity to run the floor, finish above the rim, and maintain a high energy level throughout the game, here. Defensively, Julius handled the 5-man’s cognitive load at a superb level for a 17 year-old, showcasing keen rim protection instincts, angle awareness, and timing. Additionally, despite being a bulkier 5, Julius is surprisingly quick laterally, and has upside to defend at the level and switch in a pinch as he develops his body and athleticism. All in all, depending on how his athleticism, body, and three-point shooting continue to develop, Julius looked like a real prospect to monitor for the highest levels of professional basketball, not just high majors. It is a rare find to have a 17 year-old, 6’11+ big that can process the game at the level he does while also having the offensive versatility, post creation and defensive instincts.
2023 | 6’5” Guard | Australia | Centre of Excellence (AUS) | 19.1 | Signed: Perth Wildcats
While Johnny Furphy was incredible for the CoE, the Perth Wildcats signee looked like the MVP of the week, consistently owning the pace of the game and excelling as a polished, aggressive creator. With an incredible feel for the game and impeccable toughness, Henshall looked the most pro-ready, mentally, of anyone, and led CoE to a championship win with his versatile shotmaking, playmaking, and defensive toughness. At 6’5”, Ben can put it in the basket in a variety of ways off the bounce, burying stepback 3s, creating mid range pull-ups/floaters, and generating rim attempts in PnR and transition. What potentially differentiates Henshall is that he also has the passing acumen to capitalize on advantages, routinely finding shooters, rollers, or cutters with superb accuracy and decisiveness. Along with being incredibly scheme aware, Ben is an adept enough ball handler to remain unfazed by pressure, and own the pace of the game as the primary ball handler. He thrives in transition as well (leaning on defense/rebounding to get there), where he sprints the court and looks to push the pace and play above the rim in space. Essentially, he just seemed a tier ahead of almost everyone else in terms of pass-dribble-shoot equity, and executed with decisiveness, aggression, and confidence. Defensively, he was a major standout, as well. He brings that edge, fearlessness, toughness, and activity to this end of the court as well, competing each possession and generating multiple steals with quicker hands and better anticipation than his opponents could handle. He gave effort in doing the little things, as well, crashing the glass hard and bringing that relentless nature to each possession. Throughout the week, Ben looked like the most complete guard in attendance, and seeing him sign with Perth already makes a ton of sense after witnessing him compete at such a high level throughout the event. 6’5” guys who can dribble, pass, shoot, defend, and bring a toughness and edge seem to often succeed, and he will be one to track for the NBA as he continues to develop in Australia.
Khaman Madit Maluach
2025 | 7’1” Big | South Sudan/Uganda | NBA Academy Africa | 16.8
Toolsy, vocal, and a leader, Khaman stands out immediately for his towering size and intangibles. At a mobile, rangy 7’1” with plus-length, Khaman is a massive presence inside and hangs his hat on his rebounding, rim protection, and defensive activity. Khaman was also often the loudest guy on the court, vocal in his encouragement and competitiveness, leading to a heavily positive court presence. Defensively, his prowess alone was extremely deterring to slashers, as were the multiple emphatic blocks he recorded, and when the motor was running hot he seemed to be disrupting everything. Maluach is also capable of playing at the level in PnR, recovering when beaten, and maintaining verticality on the ground. A tremendous rebounder, Maluach gives superb effort on the glass, constantly making multiple efforts to win the battle inside. Offensively, he is primarily a rim runner and dunker spot big as of now, but he had multiple intriguing perimeter shooting moments off the catch and off the pop paired with unselfish, instinctual passing. He didn’t show to be much of a low post creator yet, an area he is working on improving, and will have to rely on others to get him the ball in advantageous positions. All in all though, when the motor was running hot Khaman was a hard prospect not to love for his tools, defensive presence, rebounding, foundational skill set, leadership, and energy. He will continue to warrant interest from the highest levels of college basketball and beyond, especially if his work ethic is as strong as it came across.
2024 | 6’7” Forward | Brazil | NBA Academy Latin America | 18.7
Calderon hangs his hat on his outlier length, defensive versatility, and open court offense. Polishing the three-point shot to fill more of a traditional 3&D role (with some complementary finishing mixed in) will be the key area to track for his development.
2024 | 6’10” Forward | Cameroon | NBA Academy Africa | 17.5
As advertised, Ulrich Chomche is a high motor big with NBA-level tools at 6’10” with a 7’4” wingspan that is a highly disruptive defender and excellent rebounder. Offensively, he excels as a right-handed finisher with bounce and functional strength, and adds ancillary value with budding floor stretching and some connector passing mixed in.
2023 | 6’8” Forward | Senegal | Keystone Prep (FL) | 19.5 | Committed: Nebraska
Recent Nebraska commit Matar Diop played as hard as anyone in attendance, showing off his defensive upside with intriguing flashes of floor-stretching, dunker spot finishing, and low post scoring. With a strong, broad-shouldered 6’8” frame, big time length, and huge hands, Diop’s physical potential screamed high major upside. Most importantly, however, you could tell he loves to compete and cares for his teammates, and he wore those emotions on his sleeve.
2025 | 6’5” Guard/Wing | Australia | NBA Global Academy | 16.9
It is not difficult to love what Jacob brings to the table in terms of his attitude, polish, feel, crafty finishing, toughness, and excellent shooting profile. While playing in the flow and taking a team-first attitude, he always seemed to find his spots and pick them efficiently. If he can take his body and athleticism to the next level, the high major appeal is very easy to see.
2026 | 6’8” Forward | New Zealand | NBA Global Academy | 16.5
The ultimate utility guy, Oscar Goodman’s winning impact was evident in every watch. A bulky 6’8” forward with connecting passing and inside/out scoring paired with defensive versatility and glass impact, Goodman always seemed to leave his fingerprints on the game in a positive way. He has that type of scalable, complementary value that will make him a quality piece very early on in his college career, should he choose that route.
Ricardo “RJ” Greer
2025 | 6’2” Guard | Australia | Alter HS (OH) | 16.6
Arguably the most prolific, dynamic shooter in attendance, Greer’s perimeter shotmaking took over games and endeared him to plenty of coaches in attendance. Capable off movement, off the bounce, and off the catch, his lightning quick release and phenomenal touch coalesce into an elite, sought after skill in combo guards. Using that shooting gravity to generate paint touches and create power plays more often will augment his value as he continues to develop.
2024 | 6’7” Guard/Wing | Egypt | NBA Academy Africa | 17.8
A 6’7” ball handler with passing chops, Hendawy initiated sets, moved the ball, and had positive shooting/slashing moments throughout the week in Atlanta. He has intrigue as a connecting dribble-pass-shoot wing player if he improves his scoring consistency and takes the handle to the next level.
2024 | 6’7” Forward | United Kingdom | NBA Global Academy | 17.8
Manie Joses has excellent foundational physical and athletic tools, and had multiple eye-catching physical feats on both ends, putting together a highlight reel of blocks and a few poster dunks. Showing more consistent flashes of shooting with some budding ancillary skills mixed in, there is a lot to like here in a potential high major recruit with intriguing long term upside.
2024 | 6’7” Forward | Japan | NBA Global Academy | 18.2
A U19 standout for Japan with positive moments in Atlanta, Yuto potentially adds value as a shooter, straight line driver, and hustler with a team-first attitude and serviceable defense against wings. Filling more of a complementary role for NBA Global Academy, tracking if he can improve the ball handling and playmaking will be key, moving forward.
2024 | 6’4” Guard/Wing | Brazil | NBA Academy Latin America | 17.7
A consistently positive player throughout the week, Eduardo Klafke is a plus-shooter from deep with a silky smooth jumper and range out beyond the college 3, with confidence to boot. He is a smooth ball handler and flows into the jumper nicely off the bounce, consistently punishing defenders for going under PnR or sagging off. That type of shooting equity is always valuable at the next level.
2024 | 6’8 Forward | Senegal | NBA Academy Africa | 16.9
Khadim Mboup possessed some of the most impressive physical and athletic tools across the board. While the shooting and open court finishing came in flashes rather than consistent production, the physical foundation was intriguing for a reportedly soon-to-be 17 year old.
2024 | 6’9” Big | Serbia | Partizan Mozzart Bet | 17.9
One of the most impressive rebounders in Atlanta, Mikic is a team-first big that knows who he is and plays to his strengths. He does the little things, doesn't make mistakes often, and always seems to make a superb impact on the glass. He is not the most athletic, but is strong and deliberate with his movements in the interior/low post. Should warrant serious looks from mid-majors, as of now.
2024 | 6’1” Guard | Portugal | Archbishop Mitty (CA) | 17.5
One of the craftiest, most deceptive guards we’ve seen this summer, Noronha plays with a unique flair and creativity that differentiated himself from similarly sized guards in Atlanta. A very high academic recruit, Ivy league teams, at the very least, looked like they should be all over this one.
2024 | 6’8” Big | Australia | Centre of Excellence (AUS) | 17.9
Physical, fearless, and tough, O’Donnell is a high intangibles big that really competes and owns his area on the court. A little undersized for the 5, tracking his development as a shooter will be key, but the capacity to make quick decisions as a passer, finish inside against length, and own the boards is enticing for mid majors and certain high majors.
2024 | 6’6” Wing | Italy/Brazil | NBA Global Academy | 18.2
Pozzato is a high motor, tough, two-way wing with flashes of shooting equity and aggressive, high flying finishing. A team-first hustler that is willing to do the little things, Pozzato looked the part of a scalable culture guy that will work to find a niche with the shooting potential and defense to get him on the court early.
2024 | 6’7” Forward | Canada | NBA Academy Latin America | 18.2
One of the most physically-ready prospects in attendance, Chris Tadjo is a physical and athletic 4-man. He shines as a mis-match slasher, finisher, rim runner, and versatile defender, putting smaller defenders in the rim, blowing by slower bigs, and switching onto the perimeter with ease. Tracking his growth as a shooter will be key to his long term upside, but the defensive versatility and finishing could be enough to hang his hat on, right away.
Modou Fall Thiam
2025 | 6’5” Guard/Wing | Senegal | NBA Academy Africa | 18.1
A heavily left hand-dominant perimeter scorer, Thiam has highly impressive tools at 6’5” with a 6’10” wingspan along with a developed frame and mature, fluid athleticism, looking the part of a high major athlete. Although old for the 2025 class, the appeal of Thiam as a toolsy, disruptive, and versatile defender with shooting upside, slashing, and downhill playmaking was enticing to many in attendance.