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ENG United Raptors Receive College Offers (June 2022)

After a strong Spring 2022 showing from our 16U & 17U Raptors, college coaches at every level are taking notice.  As a result, some  ENG United Raptors have received offers to play college basketball, while several others are heating up with interest. Austin Wilkerson (2023) and Keshaun Pace (2023) are the first players to lock in offers to fill roster spots at the next level.

Keshaun Pace, an All-Region player at Carrollton High School (Carrollton, GA), has received his first college basketball offer from Reinhardt University in Waleska, GA.  After several strong performances during the month of June, Reinhardt's head coach Justin Newton extended Keshaun an offer to continue his basketball career at the college level.  The Reinhardt Eagles compete in the Mid-South Conference of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). 

Austin Wilkerson, an All-State player who has scored over 1000 points so far at Unity Christian School (Rome, GA), has received several offers to continue his basketball career at the college level.  Schools who have offered Wilkerson include:

As we enter the July "Live Periods," we have a great number of college coaches from every level of the NCAA, NAIA, NJCAA, NCCAA, and USCAA committed to evaluate our 16U and 17U players. We are confident that there will be more college offer announcements to report in the coming weeks/months at ENG United.  Stay Tuned!!!

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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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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.

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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
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Media Workout: Prep Hoops Evaluates ENG United 2024

On Tuesday (April 27th) ENG United hosted a media day workout for guest Keith Agran of Prep Hoops, as we prepared for the Prep Hoops Circuit's, A-Town Showdown event on May 1-2 in Atlanta. Here is what Keith had to say about our group of rising basketball stars.

(Published April 30, 2021 at PrepHoops.com) It’s always an intriguing stop when you drop in on one of the many small independent programs in the ATL-Metro, the talent pool in town is so deep you’re bound to find some players who have the look of those primed for breakout status.

Such is ENG United 2024 and Coach Shaine Freeman, even with three of their feature players not in attendance Tuesday night, there was intrigue to be found from this group that covers a lot of different schools. Let’s have a look at a few of the standouts:

Gabriel Mason, 6-4, SF, Kennesaw Mountain

Has the look of a future star prospect, great length for the long strider, sinewy strong getting to the basket, nice looking stoke from multiple levels, glides to the glass and has sticky hands, can play as a rim-protector even if that’s not what they ask of him much, can see him adding a few inches and really stepping into a high-level category.

Quentin Rakestraw, 6-1, SG, Woodstock

Sweet stroke from distance, spot-up shooter with quick and efficient release, good size and frame to create space for his own shot, can use the bounce to get downhill, good athlete can defend multiple spots, when the 3 absent bigs are in the lineup he’s sure to see good looks.

Charles Kimani, 6-1, SG/SF, Harrison

Plays a little more like a forward than a guard, really gets a head of steam off the dribble and is powerful at the basket. Being lefty gives him that little edge that savvy lefty scorers tend to utilize. Goes to the glass hard as well, making him seem a lot bigger. Nice motor (as well).

Marquan Murray , 5-10, SG, McEachern

As we’ve come to expect all over town when you encounter a McEachern product, he’s a tremendous athlete. Has notable basketball acumen, but still appears very much in his learning stage, which is to say he’s not “a project,” as his upside is tangible and the kind of driving and high-rising skills he shows now can become special. As he kicks up his motor he’s got a shot to crack what will be a new, but still deep, Indians pool of talent. 

Jace Freeman, 5-6, PG, Cornerstone Prep

The engine for this group, quite content in pass-first mode with wings and options like he has. With the missing bigs his work off the dribble getting by people must reward them well. More than willing to pull it from past the arc if teams slack off and don’t respect his scoring chops. He's a sound defender who makes up for diminutive size with good feet and savvy.

Jordan Brabham, 6-2, SG, Sprayberry

Reminds a bit of an earlier version of talented 2021 Sprayberry guard LePra George, perhaps not the downhill explosion of George just yet but the athletic talents are similar, showed off shooting touch from range and some definite slashing ability, with time and drilling he can translate his inherent gifts into the kind of all-court game from the perimeter down to the bucket that George has come to show us.

OTHERS TO WATCH: Vernell Jones (Dominion Christian), Jakenes Heard (Model), Jeremias Heard (Model), Christian McAboy (Florida)