Continuing with regional events to start the travel season, Carolina Mania took place April 1st & 2nd in the Spartanburg area. A lot of South & North Carolina teams suited up for the 1st time this spring, along with some Georgia programs again. Here are 4 guys who left their mark on the event.

6’6” Ari Fulton (2024/Team Curry)
It had been a while since I got a live viewing of Fulton but he made sure to leave a lasting impression with his showing in Spartanburg. There were few others in attendance who played with the intensity & motor that he displayed. He’s aggressive & versatile on the defensive end, giving effort in the paint but also being more than capable on the perimeter. He has quick feet, long arms, is able to get low, and is very active when guarding the ball at 6’6”. Fulton is an explosive 2-foot leaper, allowing him to be a good rebounder on both backboards and resulting in some tenacious finishes above the rim, even in traffic. He’s still coming along with his full offensive repertoire, but flashed some shooting potential and could be productive as a driver once things slow down for him. I really enjoyed watching him and Jayce Nathaniel in the Curry frontcourt, and I’m sure college coaches will this month too.


6’6” David Clark (2024/Atlanta Allstars)
The Allstars suited up for the 1st time this spring at Carolina Mania and it quickly became clear that Clark will be one of their primary offensive options. He hurt opponents in different ways and showed off a unique skillset that can cause matchup issues. Clark was good at stretching the defense with his ability to put the ball on the deck from the wing or 15 feet, where he then found ways to get back to his left hand & convert with soft touch. He also has compact form on his jumper, which is most effective from the mid-range area but also expands out to the 3-point line. He has length, smooth movements, and seems to know what he wants to do with the ball. Clark has continued adding strength and helps the Allstars with rebounding too. I’m interested to see where his recruitment trends.


6’1” DJ Shine (2024/Upward Stars)
After a rough start to the weekend on Saturday, Upward responded by defeating Garner Road in a thrilling matchup in the tournament’s final game. Shine was the main reason they were able to come out on top, going off for 34 points with 8 made 3’s & connecting on the game-winning 3-pointer as time expired in OT. I’ve touched on his scoring ability in the past, but it was usually because he proved to be good getting downhill & creating off the bounce. As one could tell from the 8 3’s, it was perimeter shooting where Shine left his mark in this game. He connected on catch & shoot opportunities throughout both halves, looking very confident and getting his shot off with a quick release & no hesitation. Shine is already being tracked by a handful of college programs; he’ll see his recruitment elevate if he continues to shoot the ball well from deep to go along with his other qualities.


6’6” Bryce Slay (2025/Team Curry)
I talked about Trent Steinour’s production over the weekend, but Slay also had a solid tournament himself for Curry’s 2025 group. He put together a consistent and efficient 3 games, posting a reported 61.5% mark (8/13) from 3 and 11/16 from the field overall to average 10 PPG. He has a soft outside shot & was reliable on stand-still attempts from beyond the arc. Although he was primarily a 3-point shooter during this weekend, I think there’s some potential with him attacking closeouts to score in limited dribbles once he’s run off the line. I also like what Slay could become defensively as a long 6’6” with good mobility. A simplistic game with size & shooting is always a good place to start, and that’s what Slay has.