Top Recruits Xavier Booker, Justin Edwards and D.J. Wagner Headline 2023 Jersey Mike’s Naismith High School Trophy Boys Preseason Watch List

ATLANTA (November 16, 2022) – Montverde Academy, with four winners in the last seven years, and Sunrise Christian Academy, account for a total of eight players on the 2023 Jersey Mike’s Naismith Boys High School Player of the Year watch list, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced today.  Montverde boasts former winners Ben Simmons (2015), R.J. Barrett (2018), Cade Cunningham (2020) and Dariq Whitehead (2022) and has four candidates this season.   Top recruits D.J. Wagner (committed to Kentucky), Justin Edwards (committed to Kentucky) and Xavier Booker (committed to Michigan St.) headline this initial watch list.

“We are off and running in what should be an exciting and competitive season of high school basketball,” said Eric Oberman, executive director of the Atlanta Tipoff Club. “There are so many talented candidates who could win the Jersey Mike’s Naismith Trophy, and that will play itself out over the next several months.”

“The players on this list represent the future of basketball,” said Jeff Hemschoot, vice president of marketing, Jersey Mike’s. “We look forward to following these young men as they compete throughout the season.”

Duke leads all schools with five candidates committed to playing for them next season: Caleb Foster, Jared McCain, Mackenzie Mgbako, T.J. Power and Sean Stewart.  Sophomores Cooper Flagg and Koa Peat are the only underclassman candidates on this year’s watch list.

The five finalists will be announced in February and the 2023 Jersey Mike’s Naismith High School Trophy Boys winner will awarded in March 2023.

Flory BidungaJRCKokomo, INKokomo High School
Omaha BiliewSRPFWaukee, IAWaukee High SchoolIowa State
Layden BlockerSRPGLittle Rock, ARSunrise Christian AcademyArkansas
Xavier BookerSRCIndianapolis, INCathedral High SchoolMichigan State
Aaron BradshawSRCCamden, NJCamden High SchoolKentucky
Matas BuzelisSRSFHinsdale, ILSunrise Christian Academy
Elliot CadeauJRPGWest Orange, NJLink Academy
Coen CarrSRSFHampton, GALegacy Early College High SchoolMichigan State
Stephon CastleSRPGCovington, GANewton High SchoolUCONN
Isaiah CollierSRPGMarietta, GAWheeler High School
Mookie CookSRSFPortland, ORAZ Compass PrepOregon
Freddie DilioneSRSGFayetteville, NCWord of God Christian AcademyTennessee
Justin EdwardsSRSFPhiladelphia, PAImhotep Institute Charter High SchoolKentucky
Dennis EvansSRCRiverside, CAHillcrest High SchoolMinnesota
Kwame "KJ" Evans Jr.SRPFBaltimore, MDMontverde AcademyOregon
Baye FallSRCDenver, COAccelerated SchoolsArkansas
Jeremy FearsSRPGJoliet, ILJoliet West High SchoolMichigan State
Cooper FlaggSOSFNewport, MEMontverde Academy
Caleb FosterSRPGSherman Oaks, CANotre Dame High SchoolDuke
Brandon GarrisonSRCDel City, OKDel City High SchoolOklahoma State
Rayvon GriffithSRSFCincinnati, OHAZ Compass PrepCincinnati
Amani HansberrySRCBaltimore, MDMount St. Joseph High SchoolIllinois
Dylan HarperJRSGRamsey, NJDon Bosco High School
DeShawn Harris-SmithSRSFFairfax, VAPaul VI High School Maryland
Ron HollandSRPFDuncanville, TXDuncanville High SchoolTexas
Aden HollowaySRPGCharlotte, NCProlific PrepAuburn
Elmarko JacksonSRSGSouth Kent, CTSouth Kent SchoolKansas
Ian JacksonJRSFBronx, NYCardinal Hayes High School
Bronny JamesSRPGLos Angeles, CASierra Canyon High School
Tre JohnsonJRSGDallas, TXLake Highlands High School
A.J. JohnsonSRPGWoodland Hills, CASouthern California Academy
Chris JohnsonSRSGMissouri City, TXMontverde AcademyKansas
Miro LittleSRPGFinlandSunrise Christian AcademyBaylor
Jared McCainSRSGCorona, CACentennial High SchoolDuke
Mackenzie MgbakoSRPFNewark, NJRoselle Catholic High SchoolDuke
Scotty MiddletonSRSFMiami, FLSunrise Christian AcademyOhio State
Milan MomcilovicSRPFPewaukee, WIPewaukee High SchoolIowa State
Koa PeatSOPFGilbert, AZPerry High School
T.J. PowerSRPFShrewsbury, MAWorcester AcademyDuke
Reed SheppardSRSGLondon, KYNorth Laurel High SchoolKentucky
Sean StewartSRPFWindermere, FLMontverde AcademyDuke
Andrej StojakovicSRSFCarmichael, CAJesuit High SchoolStanford
Dusty StromerSRSFSherman Oaks, CANotre Dame High SchoolGonzaga
Bryson TuckerJRSFBaltimore, MDIMG Academy
D.J. WagnerSRPGCamden, NJCamden High School
Ja'Kobe WalterSRSGMcKinney, TXLink AcademyBaylor
Simeon WilcherSRPGPlainfield, NJRoselle Catholic High SchoolNorth Carolina
Mikey WilliamsSRSGSan Ysidro, CASan Ysidro High SchoolMemphis
Cody WilliamsSRSFGilbert, AZPerry High SchoolColorado
Wesley YatesSRSGBeaumont, TXBeaumont United High SchoolWashington


Founded during the 1956-57 season, the Atlanta Tipoff Club is committed to promoting the game of basketball and recognizing the outstanding accomplishments of those who make the game so exciting. The Atlanta Tipoff Club administers the Naismith Awards, the most prestigious national honors in all of college and high school basketball. Named in honor of Dr. James Naismith, inventor of the game of basketball, the family of Naismith Awards annually recognizes the most outstanding men’s and women’s college and high school basketball players and coaches. Other Naismith Awards are presented to the men’s and women’s college basketball defensive players of the year, as well as lifetime achievement awards to basketball officials and outstanding contributors to the game. UCLA’s Lew Alcindor received the first Jersey Mike’s Naismith Trophy in 1969, while the late Anne Donovan (Old Dominion) was the inaugural women’s recipient in 1983. Corporate partners of the Naismith Awards include Jersey Mike’s and Werner Ladder.


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Media Contact:

Traci Messier

Jackson Spalding for the Atlanta Tipoff Club

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