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2022 PrepHoops Live Kansas City

On April 22-24 ENG United Raptors 16U & 17U teams traveled to Kansas City, MO for the 2022 PrepHoops Live showcase. Thanks to high level performances from both teams, ENG captured the attention of national sports media and college coaches.

The KCMO event featured over 320 teams from 13 states, with our teams facing competition from Kansas, Oklahoma, Minnesota, Illinois, and Arkansas. Both ENG United Raptors squads began the tournament with 2-0 records, but as travel fatigue and unexpected injuries became a factor, the 17U boys finished 3-1, while the 16U group ended the weekend 2-2.

While all of our players had stellar moments throughout the weekend, five (5) ENG United players were named "Top Performers" for the weekend showcase.  Those players who earned this designation include:

  • Jakenes Heard - 17U/2023
  • Austin Wilkerson - 17U/2023
  • Quentin Rakestraw - 16U/2024
  • Jeremias Heard - 16U/2024
  • Jayden Hames - 16U/2024

But, these five players could not have gained media attention without their teammates, whose high level contributions all weekend helped the ENG United Raptors program leave its mark on Kansas City.

  • 17U/2023:  Nick Majors, Ethan Sams, Kyan Bullock, JayQuan Nelson, and Ahmed Hussein (of Minnesota)
  • 16U/2024:  Jace Freeman, Gabe Mason, Charles Kimani, and Christian McAboy

We'd also like to thank all of the ENG United parents and extended families whose support for our players and coaches throughout the long distance trip was tantamount to the success we experienced in KC.

The next tournament for our 16U and 17U teams will be the RYZE Showcase II, May 7-8, 2022 in Emerson, Georgia at Lakepoint Champions Center.

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Congrats To Our All-Region Honorees

ENG United Raptors would like to acknowledge those players who earned Georgia High School Association (GHSA) All-Region honors with their respective boys varsity basketball teams this 2021-22 winter season.

These five (5) ENG United Raptors worked extremely hard to earn their All-Region recognition:

  • Jeremias Heard (2024): 1st Team All-Region (Model High, Rome, GA)
  • Jakenes Heard (2023): 1st Team All-Region (Model High, Rome, GA)
  • Nicholas Majors (2023): 2nd Team All-Region (Druid Hills High, Atlanta, GA)
  • Cameron Keith (2023): All-Region Honorable Mention (Rome High, Rome, GA)
  • KeShaun Pace (2023): All-Region Honorable Mention (Carrollton High, Carrollton, GA)
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Jeremias Heard Earns 1st Team All Region Honors

The ENG United Raptors family would like to congratulate 2024 center Jeremias Heard on earning 1st Team All-Region honors in Georgia High School Association Region 7AA for the 2021-22 winter season.

Only in his sophomore year at Model High School in Rome, GA, Jeremias is a formidable presence in the paint, leading the Blue Devils in both blocks and rebounds per game this season. Heard also placed himself among the Top 3 in scoring for the varsity squad.

At 6'8" 250lbs, Jeremias Heard has established himself as one of Georgia's top 2024 prospects.  His stock is guaranteed to rise during the upcoming 2022 travel basketball season with the ENG United Raptors 16U (2024) team, under the direction of head coach Shaine Freeman and assistant coaches Chris Rakestraw and Burbee Heard.

"Jeremias is, in my opinion, the best true big man in Georgia's 2024 graduating class. Ignoring his obvious size, his nose for the ball and shot blocking talent, coupled with his court vision, are what makes this kid special. I don't know very many bigs his age and size who can run the floor, block shots, rebound, and pass like a point guard the way this kid does. There are no other 16-year-olds in Georgia like him! To cap it off, he's a high academic student-athlete. This kid's stock will skyrocket this travel season," says Coach Shaine Freeman.

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Nick Majors Receives All-Region Honors

ENG United Raptors would like to congratulate 2023 point guard Nick Majors on achieving 2nd Team All-Region honors in Georgia High School Association Class 6A, Region 4 for the 2021-22 season.

As the starting varsity point guard at Druid Hills High School in Atlanta, Nick spent his junior season as one of the school's leaders in points, assists, and steals. He is well known for his tenacity on the defensive end, and his ability to get downhill and score over much taller defenders; which all led to his All-Region honors.

This 2022 travel basketball season, Nick will bring his conference-leading point guard skills to the ENG United Raptors 17U (2023) team, under the direction of head coach Burbee Heard and program director Shaine Freeman. 

According to Coach Shaine, "Nick Majors is a great kid and high-academic student athlete. I've known and spent time training Nick between his 6th - 10th grade years, and I'm super happy him and his parents have chosen to spend his final grassroots season here at ENG United Raptors. We look forward to helping Nick and his family navigate this crazy college basketball recruitment landscape."

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Austin Wilkerson Joins The 1000 Points Club

ENG United Raptors family would like to congratulate 2023 sharpshooter AUSTIN WILKERSON of Unity Christian School (Rome, GA) on joining the 1000 Points Club over the winter 2021-22 season.

The big moment came on January 28th versus region opponent Shiloh Hills Christian School in Kennesaw, GA, where Austin can be seen (video below) dribbling through multiple defenders on a fast break for a quick pull up three pointer.

Wilkerson, who compiled a team-leading 586 points over the course of his junior season at UCS, had 16 games where he scored 20+ points, which included 7 games of 25 or more. Austin also set a season and career scoring record of 43 points in a game versus Pepperrell High School (Lindale, GA).

This 2022 travel basketball season, Austin Wilkerson will showcase his high level scoring talents to college coaches as a member of the ENG United Raptors 17U (2023) team, under the direction of head coach Burbee Heard and program director Shaine Freeman.

As Coach Shaine puts it, "Austin is a high academic student-athlete who has placed himself in a position to continue his basketball career at the collegiate level after high school. We are very excited to have such an exemplary young man joining us this 2022 grassroots season."

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National Respect At Pangos All-South Frosh/Soph Camp

October 2nd-3rd, five ENG United 2024 players traveled to Dallas, Texas for the 2021 Pangos All-South Frosh/Soph Camp to compete against 240 top players from 19 states, and prove why they are amongst the top 2024 players in the country. Players who took the trip included: Jace Freeman, Gabriel Mason, Quentin Rakestraw, Jeremias Heard, and Charles Kimani.

Only 240 players from 19 states were invited to the camp, with nine players representing Georgia; five (5) of them from ENG United. Here's how it went for our future collegiate student-athletes.

Gabriel Mason: Fresh off a strong showing at the 2021 CP3 Rising Stars camp, Gabe was selected by national media and Pangos camp director Dinos Trigonis as the #15 ranked player at the All-South Frosh/Soph event, proving why he is one of the top 2024 prospects in the nation.  Thanks to consistently strong play throughout the Dallas camp, the 6'-4" wing was the only player out of nine from Georgia selected to compete in the camp's Top 30 game, which featured players from the 2024 ESPN Top 25.  As a result, Gabe also secured an invite to the 2022 Pangos All-American Camp, which is held in Las Vegas, NV each year, and features the nation's top juniors and seniors.  

jacefreemanJace Freeman: Fresh off his first unofficial visit to the University of North Carolina, Jace made his national camp debut in Dallas and showed why he is one of the toughest point guards in the 2024 class.  The 5'8" floor general kicked off the camp wreaking defensive havoc on every opponent that dared test him; and in typical Jace fashion, he was the sparkplug for his squad, leading them in steals (5) before suffering a sprained ankle in the final minutes of his team's first game and 30-point victory. Unfortunately, Jace was sidelined for the final day of camp.

Jeremias Heard: The All-Region big man, standing at 6'8" 240lbs, was a real beast in the paint. Leading his team in blocked shots and rebounds, Jeremias put on a show, garnering "oohs and ahs" from spectators and athletes alike with his low post play. In addition to showing off his elite paint skills, Heard knocked down multiple 3-pointers to show off his shooting range, while also displaying his guard-like court vision and passing abilities. Jeremias is by far one of the top "bigs" in the 2024 class.

Quentin "Q" Rakestraw: Noticeably one of the most skilled players on his camp team, Quentin showed off his elite abilities to defend and score at all three levels.  The 6'1" wing got off to a slow start, but by the close of the camp's first day, Q began to heat up - making multiple aggressive scoring moves to the basket out of the triple-threat position. Rakestraw continued his aggressive play into the final day of camp helping his team to an overtime victory, finishing as one of his team's leading scorers.

Charles Kimani:  The athletic 6'-1" lefty guard kicked off his recruitment journey showcasing his knack for rebounding and finish strong at the basket over bigger defenders. Throughout the camp, Charles displayed his developing deep shooting range, as well as his ability to run the point and set teammates up for easy buckets. A rising star in Georgia's 2024 class, Kimani was undeterred by taller defenders who would attempt to challenge him on his way to the basket, breaking out his signature spin-and-reverse move several times for easy lay-ins. When it was all said and done, Charles Kimani made a very strong national camp debut; one that he will undoubtedly build upon moving forward.

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Jace Freeman Kicks Off Recruitment With Unofficial Visit To UNC

Jace Freeman has kicked off his college recruitment journey with an unofficial visit to the campus of the University of North Carolina, where UNC Hall of Famer and former Detroit Pistons coach Phil Ford was his guide.

Accompanied by his parents and younger sister, Jace toured the Dean E. Smith Center where he experienced walking the tunnels to the Roy Williams Court, and spent time on the very court where legends are, and have been, made. In addition to his time on the main court, Jace Freeman spent time touring the Tarheels' practice facility where he got to see firsthand where his future collegiate practices could be held someday.

From there, Coach Ford took Jace and family to the Carolina Basketball Museum, which is located in the Dean E. Smith Center complex.  Jace spent an extended period of time learning about the rich history of the University of North Carolina men's basketball program. In addition to learning about the legends who have suited up in that classic Carolina blue, and the Hall of Fame coaches who built time honored basketball traditions, Jace had the unique experience of gaining one-on-one advice from Coach Ford.  We won't tell you what he said, but just know that Jace took a lot of notes and has been grinding daily to achieve his dreams in the game of basketball.

Jace Freeman is in his sophomore year at Cornerstone Prep Academy in Acworth, GA and has plans to visit several other schools from his recruitment list this fall.  Jace's next stop will be an invite to the Pangos All-South Frosh/Soph Camp in Dallas, TX to showcase his basketball talents to college coaches and national media, alongside four (4) of his ENG United teammates. 

NOTE:  Taking an unofficial visit to a college or university does not necessarily mean you've been extended an offer, nor does it mean you'll be extended an offer. It is possible for a coach to offer a student athlete while taking an unofficial visit, but by no means is this guaranteed. As of the date of this article, Jace Freeman has not yet received an offer from UNC Men's Basketball.

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Gabe Mason – CP3 Rising Stars Camp

ENG United combo guard Gabe Mason continues to prove why he is one of Georgia's top high school basketball players. A legit 2024 prospect (no re-class), Mason was among a small group of 11 players from Georgia's sophomore class to be invited to the 2021 CP3 Rising Stars Camp in Greensboro, NC.

Gabe Mason Profile1

Measuring 6'4" tall with a wingspan of 6'7", Gabe Mason represented his ENG United family well at the elite national basketball camp, which featured some of the top 2024 players from across the country. Mason showcased his high motor, elite skill and athleticism, and his ability to score on all three levels; proving why he is the cream of the crop amongst Georgia's class of 2024 prospects.

 

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Next up for Gabriel Mason is the 2021 Pangos All-South Frosh/Soph Camp on October 2-3 in Dallas, Texas.  He will be joined by fellow ENG United 2024 teammates: Jace Freeman (PG), Jeremias Heard (C), Quentin Rakestraw (G/F), and Charles Kimani (G/F).

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ABOUT 2021 CP3 RISING STARS CAMP

Chris Paul’s CP3 Rising Stars National Camp is considered the #1-rated youth exposure camp in North America for rising high school freshmen who are serious about playing at the collegiate level and beyond. Each year, more than 10,000 active players on the youth basketball travel circuit are considered for the coveted roster spots, but only the most gifted are awarded an invitation to participate.

The 2021 CP3 Rising Stars National Camp staff will once again be comprised of qualified instructors hand-picked by 11x NBA All-Star Chris Paul and his trusted executive board members. The concept is simple: Learn from the best. Compete among the elite. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 CP3 Rising Stars event was postponed, leaving Class of 2024 players without an opportunity to showcase. For that reason, for the first time in our history, the 2021 CP3 Rising Stars National Camp will feature the top prospects from both the Class of 2024 (rising high school sophomores) and the Class of 2025 (rising high school freshmen).

For more about CP3 Rising Stars Camp, visit https://www.cp3risingstars.com/2021-camp.

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ENG 15U Puts On A Show At Best of the South (NCAA LIVE)

ENG United 15U tallied a 4-2 record in their first ever NCAA Live event, July 8-11, 2021 at the HoopSeen Best of the South, which was held at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta.

 

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ENG kicked off the event on Thursday, July 8th versus a talented Elite 24 team out of Portland, Oregon. Led by hot performances from Marquan Murray (24pts, 4stls, 3ast), Jeremias Heard (14pts, 10reb, 2blks), Jonathan Heath (12pts) and Gabe Mason (8pts, 8reb, 3ast). ENG United went on to win the game 76-62.

But, Day 2 brought a much more challenging game to our young 15U group who faced off against Alabama's Baldwin County Elite (BCE). From the opening tip off, BCE couldn't miss a shot, while ENG United couldn't buy a bucket - scoring just 11 points in the first half and 8 points in the second half. Baldwin County continued their hot shooting throughout the game and cruised past ENG United to a 24 point win (43-19).

 

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Day 3 (Sat., July 10th) brought yet another challenge for ENG United, versus Excel 2024. The two teams were evenly matched and put on a show in the first half. But, ENG went cold in the second half and allowed Excel to build an insurmountable double-digit lead, which led to a 15-point ENG loss (62-47).  Later that evening, ENG would secure it's second win through forfeit; although the team would have rather played.

But, Day 4 would prove to be a strong rebound for ENG 2024, closing out the final day of the event 2-0.  In Game 1 versus Chattanooga Elite, ENG would pull out a decisive 28-point victory (73-45) behind the lock-down perimeter defense of Jace Freeman who tallied 12 deflections, 4 steals and 6 assists, while Jeremias Heard racked up 10 blocks in the paint. Offensively, the whole team was on fire for ENG, but the most impressive play of the game was a powerful fast-break dunk by Gabe Mason, who took flight and finished through contact over Chattanooga's big man. 

In their final game of the day versus Game Elite Blue (Adidas), ENG United continued their top-notch play.  Once again, the smothering defense of Jace Freeman, Gabe Mason, and Jeremias Heard proved to be too much for their competition, while Mason, Heard, and Marquan Murray poured it on in the scoring columns. In the end, Game Elite fell to ENG 47-40.

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Congrats To Our Academic All-Stars (2020-21)

Congrats to our ENG United 2024 scholar athletes who kept their minds focused throughout a tumultuous 2020-21 school year, and handled their business in the classrooms.

We always see and hear about the on-court success of young athletes, but rarely are we privy to the hard work they put in when they're not competing on the hardwood. So, join us in celebrating these stellar young men for maintaining a 3.3 GPA or higher throughout their first year of high school.

  • Quentin Rakestraw, Woodstock High School - 4.0 GPA
  • Jace Freeman, Cornerstone Prep Academy - 3.8 GPA
  • Charles Kimani, Harrison High School - 3.7 GPA
  • Gabriel Mason, Kennesaw Mountain High - 3.7 GPA
  • Marquan Murray, McEachern High School - 3.7 GPA
  • Jeremias Heard, Model High School - 3.4 GPA