From the 13U level of the Generation Next Invitational, there was a long list of players who showcased a great ability on the court. While just seventh graders, many from the group already have great ability on the floor. 

Kaylen Hardy – 2028 – F – Peoria Pride

The impactful forward was a big piece of this Peoria Pride team advancing all the way to the championship game. He scored it effectively all tournament long, including a 22-point game in the semifinals. He has a strong build, plays with a big motor, and was often overpowering players inside but also has the ability to play out on the perimeter. 

Ben Hills – 2028 – F – RAS Bucks

While still more than a year out from high school, Hills already stands at 6’2” in addition to a nice versatile game. He has a great blend of abilities being able to play big shutting down the paint defensively blocking plenty of shots and score playing with his back to the basket but also make plays off the dribble moving well with the ball in his hands. A big reason why his team advanced all the way to the semifinals knocking off some very good teams along the way. 

Chase Jones – 2028 – SF – MidPro South

One of the most versatile players at the 13U level as he already stands at 6’3” but is mobile and has a good skill set. He can use his size to be effective playing inside on both ends can play out on the perimeter moving well with the ball in his hands. He had multiple big games over the course of the tournament, including a 23-point game on Saturday. 

Cole Kelly – 2028 – F – Illinois Flight

One of two players from this championship Flight making this top player list. Kelly played at a high level all tournament but took his game up a notch in the championship game. In the first half alone of the title game, Kelly was unstoppable going for 18 points in that half alone to build a large lead. He already has plenty of size standing at 6’4” to score inside showing some good post moves. Though he can also play out on the perimeter, scoring it very well playing on the attack with great moves getting to the basket. The game of Kelly has taken huge strides over the past year. 

Xavier Kelly – 2028 – G – Focus Premier

A skilled and athletic guard that can do so much on the floor at a high level. He excels with the ball in his hands as he can create for himself from all over the floor as well as set up his teammates. A smart player with the ball who maneuvers well attacking the basket and finishing but also has a smooth jumper off the dribble from the outside.

Jason Susdorf – 2028 – PG – Region Force

The point guard puts up big point totals every time I see him play. This included a 27-point game on Saturday. An incredibly skilled scorer who can create for himself and doesn’t force anything. Susdorf is a high percentage shooter who was knocking down three after three but also moves so well with the ball in his hands. Even at a young age, he has a high skill level and knows how to play. 

Ethan Vahl – 2028 – PG – Illinois Flight

Throughout the entire tournament Vahl was playing at an incredibly high level all weekend leading the Flight to the 13U championship. He is a special talent with a very advanced skill set and great feel. The guard excels making plays off the dribble, a smooth operator who scored it very effectively all tournament getting into the paint but also has great vision, awareness, and passing skills. There are very few players at the seventh-grade level that have all his tools. 

Vinnie Walker – 2028 – PG – Lakers Youth

Walker had one of the top performances of the tournament with a 37-point game, scoring 34 points in one half alone. Not only a scorer, the point guard also showed his good distributing ability in other games over the tournament. With his quickness and handle he is incredibly tough to stick with to constantly make plays getting into the defense or creating his own shot.  

Taaj Whitlock – 2028 – PG – Gain Elite

On Saturday, Whitlock went off for a 30-point game in a winning effort. In the game, the point guard knocked down seven threes. Not only a shooter who can knock down threes in bunches, but he plays extremely well on the attack as a facilitator. Whitlock is strong with the ball and with his quickness penetrates the defense and passes it well on the attack playing a step ahead of defenders.