By JAMAILL HINES
SALISBURY, MD - In its 37th year, it was another incredible Governor’s Challenge that featured 120 high school basketball teams with headlining talent such as Jyare Davis (No. 24 in Scout.com’s 2020 Class Rankings), Juwan Gary (No. 29 in 2019 ESPN Top 60), Cole Swider (Villanova, 2018), Brycen Goodine (Syracuse, 2019), Sharone Wright Jr. (Wake Forest, 2018) and Demetrius Mims Jr. (Long Beach State, 2018). With the plethora of talent at event, let’s take a look at a few of the top uncommitted younger prospects and potential future Governor’s Challenge headliners:
Nah’Shon Hyland (2019 Guard, St. Georges Tech-DE)
It was a special Governor’s Challenge for Hyland as he netted 56 points in two games, including knocking down 7 of 16 three point attempts in the first game (27 points) and scoring 29 points while notching his 1,000th career point in a win against Stephen Decatur(Md.). Hyland excelled with his confident and dangerous 3-point shooting (11-25 3PA), both in catch and shoots and off the dribble, along with creativity off the bounce to create shots for himself and others. On the defensive end, Hyland utilized his length and lateral quickness to be a chaos-causing defender, finishing with 10 total steals. His combination of size (6’3 with long arms), ability to stretch the floor from deep and create shots for himself and others make him a solid division one prospect. Hyland listed offers from San Diego State, Monmouth and Delaware with interest from St. Joe’s, Hofstra and Jacksonville.
Justin Lewis (2020 Forward, Baltimore Poly-MD)
Teaming with a headlining player in Demetrius Mims, Lewis (right) flashed the tools that earned him participation in the 2017 USA Basketball Men’s U16 National Training Camp and top 60 recruit honors in the 2020 class by Scout.com. Lewis used his size (6’7, 7-1 wingspan), mature body and above the rim athleticism to finish in the paint, rebound and protect the rim while showing a fluid shooting stroke with some range en route to 15 points and 11 rebounds in a win against Riverdale Baptist and 9 points and 4 rebounds against Olympic (NC). Lewis really shined defensively with his ability to switch, agility, length and quick leaping on plays at the rim, including multiple blocks and a tenacious chase block. Lewis has offers from Kansas State, Penn State, St. John’s, Georgia Tech, UNLV and St. John’s with interest from Connecticut, Florida, North Carolina, Temple and UCLA.
Woody Newton (2019 Forward, McKinley Tech-DC)
Possessing a rare combination of size (6’7), length, perimeter skills, athleticism, and fluidity for his age to be a versatile, impact player on both sides of the ball, Newton was arguably the most versatile and impressive player at the Governor’s Challenge. Those traits shined as Newton totaled 26 points and 20 rebounds in game one then 15 points and 6 rebounds in game two along with adding a handful of steals and blocks. Newton offers offensive versatility as a budding point forward that can play multiple positions, shoot with range, score and make plays for others. Defensively, Newton can guard 1-5 on the high school level with the potential to become a plus defender 1-4 on the collegiate level once he hits a collegiate weight room. Newton will become an even bigger matchup nightmare for opponents as he continues to develop physically and polish his diverse skill set. Newton received his first scholarship offer last May from Kansas St. and took an unofficial to Georgetown back in August. More major division one offers should be coming his way in a hurry. [Editor's Note: Newton currently is planning to attend Mt. Zion Prep as a member of the Class of 2020.]
Dimingus Stevens (2020 Guard, Wilson-DC)
To start the Governor’s Challenge in a game against Wake Forest commit, Sharone Wright Jr., Stevens came off the bench to steal the show and lead Wilson to 79-70 over Legacy Early College (SC). Stevens finished with a game-high 27 points on an incredibly efficient 9-13 FGA including 4-7 3PA and 5-5 FTA. He would follow up draining three shots from behind the arc to finish with 10 points in a thrilling double-overtime loss against Lincoln Academy (Ga.). During his games, Stevens displayed his smooth and effortless shooting stroke (7-15 3PA), ability to score on all three levels on and above the rim athleticism with thunderous one hand transition slams. Stevens possess an excellent basketball body, standing at 6’5 with a long, rangy frame that combined with his athleticism, shooting stroke, ability to score in bunches, ball handling and defensive versatility, make him a legit high major prospect that power conferences will be after very soon.
Forward Aminu Mohammad (2021, Carroll-DC)
Coming out of the Governor’s Challenge, there are three words that describe Mohammad: Motor, Effort and Relentlessness. Mohammad impressed in his debut game with 26 points and 14 rebounds then followed up with 12 points and 5 rebounds in the second game. The 6’4 Mohammad made plays everywhere on both sides of the floor by utilizing his size, athleticism, length and high motor while flashing developing perimeter skills. Just a freshman, Mohammad has the potential to become a plus, versatile perimeter defender that utilizes his impressive physical tools and unmatched effort to be a productive two-way player at the Division I level. He should see plenty of DI offers soon.