Five 2019 GA Players on the rise this spring

Malachi Rhodes

As we draw closer to the spring live period, our staff is looking deeper at the 2019 class. Here are five players that are outside of our top 15 rankings but should play themselves into a more regular rotation of basketball conversations in the Peach State. 

Brandon Barron
Travel team: Atlanta Celtics 16U
High School: Alpharetta

Barron took advantage of the Elite Preview stage in March and started his spring off on a high note. Sure, he’s small at 5-foot-9. But he’s explosive. And quick. And unique. To be that size, you have to have something to hang your hat on and Barron has several things. He’s a competitive player that helped Alpharetta win a lot of games - 25 to be exact - this past high school season. He’s off to a strong start with the Atlanta Celtics 16 and under team this spring. 

Darius Dunn
Travel team: Macon Bucks 16U
High School: Northeast Macon 

If you’ve read any of our reports on players this spring there is a theme with players from Middle Georgia - they are ultra-competitive. Dunn falls into that category. Dunn averaged 20.7 points a game as a sophomore for Northeast High. He’s wired to score. He was our AA Freshman of the Year after last season. The Macon Bucks are a tough team and a group that has battled through our Georgia Cup series since its inception. Dunn has gotten better every year out. This is a big year on the travel circuit for the wiry 6-foot-1 guard. 


Avante Lederer 
Travel team: Team EAT
High School: Heritage

We’ve had a chance to see the active 6-foot-6 forward quite a bit over the years. He and his Team EAT squad have won a lot of games at our events over the years and Lederer is one of the main reasons why. He’s a bit of a mismatch problem at the forward spots because he’s good inside and out. His strength is in the paint but we’ve seen an improvement in his perimeter game as a shooter and scorer since this time last year. Lederer and Team EAT will be at our Atlanta Jam and should open some eyes on that platform.

Jalyn McCreary
Travel team: Southern Stampede
High School: Kennesaw Mountain

Of all of the players on this list, McCreary is the most interesting. The 6-foot-7 forward has the frame of a high-level Division I player. He has a nice motor and an aggressive style of play. We toyed with the idea of including him on our top 15 ranking for the class of 2019 but wanted to see him again before we settled on that. He’ll be on that list next go round. We have no doubt about that. McCreary could be the biggest “blow up” player in Georgia’s 2019 class this spring. Also, Kyle Sandy profiled him on Wednesday morning. Be sure to READ IT next. 

Malachi Rhodes (pictured above)
Travel team: Game Elite 16U
High School: Eagle’s Landing Christian 

The 6-foot-6 forward has a lot of likable tools for a four man. He’s incredibly long. He’s also raw and intriguing. Rhodes has a lot of natural tools that recruitable big men have. He’s played football and brings that toughness to the court. Don’t be surprised to see him take a similar path that Devontae Cacok took and that 2018 power forward Kalu Ezipke is currently taking to the Division I level. And that’s a slow and steady and ever-improving trek to the college game. That’s a good thing.

RELATED: Five 2019 North Carolina players on the rise this spring


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