There are a number of 2019 wings and forwards making noise on a national level early in their high school careers. This article takes a look at ten of the best forwards making a major impact so far in the 2019 class.
(Note – Listed in alphabetical order)
RJ Barrett – 6-5 – SF – Montverde Academy (Fla.)
Barrett is one of the highest profile freshmen in the nation because of his role with Montverde. He could have been included in the 2019 guard article as he has plenty of perimeter skills. Barrett is the son of Rowan Barrett who played at St. John's University as well as the Canadian Olympic team. Junior is a supreme athlete that has made an impact during big games already for Montverde. Barrett has been best in transition where he uses his athleticism to sky above the rim. He is also a good spot-up shooter at this stage. He is highly productive while having major upside.
Keion Brooks – 6-7 – SF – Fort Wayne North Side (Ind.)
Brooks has been one of the most productive freshmen in the state of Indiana. He is still physically growing and his game is expanding. Brooks is rail thin, but his athleticism has continued to improve. Once he is able to add muscle, his athleticism should take another step forward. Brooks is a solid outside shooter at this point, but he is best when he is working around the glass. He had a 32 point, 13 rebound game against Fort Wayne rival South Side earlier in the season. He is a major prospect.
Bryant Brown – 6-4 – SF – Waukegan High School (Ill.)
Brown started off his freshman year quite well. He had a 22 point, 10 rebound, five block performance early in December. He has been sidelined due to injury for the last few games for Waukegan. He is a long wing that is extremely versatile. Brown is best when he is using his length to be productive around the basket. He is also a very skilled passer that has vision and feel for the game. Brown is definitely a player to watch in Illinois.
Juwan Gary – 6-6 – PF – Gray Collegiate Academy (Columbia, S.C.)
Gary is off to a strong start to his freshman year. He is putting up 14.7 points per game for an 11-2 Gray Collegiate Academy team in South Carolina. Gary has a long wingspan on top of his 6-foot-6 height. He has wide shoulders and good strength for his age. He is also a good leaper already as well. Gary handles the ball well in the open court. He is not afraid to take down a rebound and go coast to coast. He has displayed a decent jump shot when he has time and space as well.
Blake Hinson - 6-5 – SF – Deltona High School (Fla.)
Hinson is a dual sport star. He is a major football prospect as well as basketball. Hinson is averaging 16.7 points and 6.9 rebounds per game to this point in his freshman year. He is shooting a ridiculous 64% from three point range so far. When he has time and space, he is automatic as his shooting percentage is proving. He is really strong at 220 pounds as a frosh. He does a good job of carving out space with his strength. Hinson will also finish above the rim, but he is not as explosive as many others on this list. It will be interesting to see if he sticks with basketball down the road since he is a big-time football prospect in Florida.
Matthew Hurt – 6-8 – SF – John Marshall (Rochester, Minnesota)
Hurt averaged 15 points per game as an eighth grader on varsity last year for one of the best teams in Minnesota. He is really coming into his own as a freshman while staring with his brother, Michael Hurt. Michael is signed to play at the University of Minnesota. Matthew might and likely will end being better than his older brother. Matthew is extremely skilled for his age as a shooter, ball handler and passer. He is also a very good athlete. The combination of those attributes makes him one of the best players in the 2019 class at this early stage.
Scottie Lewis – 6-4 – SF – Ranney Prep (Tinton, N.J.)
Lewis and Bryan Antoine combine to make a fantastic freshmen duo at Ranney. Lewis is similar to Antoine, but Lewis is a little bit more of a wing forward and Antoine is more of a shooter at this point. Lewis has incredible wingspan at 6-foot-4. He has a thin build (normal for a freshman), but he is a good athlete despite that. He is a very good leaper in transition and on the glass. He is a fluid athlete at this point. He loves to use a spin move around the basket and he has had good results with it to this point although it could lead to trouble down the road. Lewis displays good form on his jump shot. He has a high release and good follow through. He has proven to be a solid mid-range shooter off the dribble so far. Lewis has a really high ceiling.
Deontay Long – 6-5 – G/F – Milwaukee Washington (Wisc.)
Long is averaging 13 points per game for a talented Milwaukee Washington team. He plays alongside Illinois signee Te'Jon Lucas. Long is a power wing that can everything on the court. He is a fantastic playmaker for himself and others. Long is a good vertical athlete as well. He has been finishing above the rim for some time now. With his strength, Long does a great job of finishing through contact around the basket as well. Long has some nice potential with continued hard work and development.
Wendell Moore – 6-5 – SF – Cox Mill (N.C.)
Moore is a strong forward that can create his own scoring opportunities. He is a good ball handler especially in the open court. Moore is a good vertical athlete as well. At this point in his freshman year, Moore is averaging 16 points and nine rebounds per game for a good team. Cox Mill is 11-3 on the year. Moore is getting to the line often and shooting 83% from the free throw line. He has not shot well from the three point line yet but that should come down the road.
Trendon Watford – 6-7 – F – Mountainbrook (Ala.)
Watford is having a huge freshmen year. He did play varsity basketball as an eighth grader because that is allowed in Alabama. He is averaging over 24 points and 11 rebounds per game this season. Watford has displayed the ability to score inside and outside. He projects well with his size and current skill level. His feel for the game is well developed for a player of his age. That comes from playing varsity as an eighth grader as well as his brother, Christian Watford, being a high-level college player and current professional. Watford is definitely a player to keep an eye on.