BROOKLYN — The Brooklyn Nets players may be household names at this point, but who are the top up-and-coming players calling Brooklyn home? We’ve compiled a list of the 10 rising stars in alphabetical order.
The list features players who are in their junior year or younger and includes Berkeley Carroll pitching ace Ian Miller and boys basketball players like Isaiah Whitehead, who guided Lincoln to the PSAL title at Madison Square Garden, and the Bishop Loughlin duo of Khadeen Carrington and Mike Williams, arguably the city’s best backcourt.
The girls are well represented, too. Aaliyah Jones led Bishop Ford to its first-ever New York State Class AA Federation title, pouring in a career-high 25 points in the title game and is one of the most highly touted players in the Class of 2014. Sophomore forward Brianna Fraser, the youngest of the group, helped South Shore reach the PSAL title game at Madison Square Garden.
Football fans, we’ve got you covered as well. A teddy bear off the field, Jay Hayes is a terror on it and Poly Prep’s two-way lineman has verbally committed to Notre Dame. The explosive running back tandem of Curtis Samuel and Kahlil Lewin guided Erasmus Hall to its first PSAL Championship Division title at Yankee Stadium in December. Lincoln won the PSAL football crown two years ago and could be the favorite to win it this fall with a senior-laden squad returning, including defensive lineman Thomas Holley.
All 10 of Brooklyn’s rising stars are being recruited by Division I schools, proving college coaches certainly know where Brooklyn’s at.
Here is DNAinfo New York’s list of Brooklyn’s top 10 rising stars.
Bishop Loughlin (Fort Greene) basketball, junior guard
The slick and athletic 6-foot-3 guard, a two-year starter at the Fort Greene school, led the CHSAA Class AA in scoring, averaging 24.7 points per game, including the 1,000th of his career. Carrington, who is being recruited by St. John’s, Connecticut, Cincinnati and Florida State, is just 140 points shy of becoming Bishop Loughlin’s all-time leading scorer.
“He’s a very humble young man who has grown and matured tremendously,” Bishop Loughlin coach Ed Gonzalez said. “Not much rattles him. He does what he has to do in practice, he works hard and he just wants to play the game the right way.”
South Shore (Canarsie) girls basketball, sophomore forward
The 6-foot-3 sophomore forward has the size to battle under the basket, the ability to run the court and the ball skills and jump shot of a guard. Fraser averaged 13.3 points and 7.6 rebounds per game in the postseason, helping lead the Lady Vikings to the PSAL Class AA title game at Madison Square Garden for the second time in three years.
“She has unlimited potential and now she’s starting to realize it,” South Shore coach Anwar Gladden said. “It’s a beautiful thing.”
Poly Prep (Bay Ridge) football, junior defensive lineman
The 6-foot-5, 270-pound three-year starter on the Poly Prep football team, was one of the most coveted offensive linemen in the country, picking up offers from Michigan, Alabama, Florida, Ohio State and Georgia. But he’ll play on the defensive line at the University of Notre Dame, following in the footsteps of Eric Olsen, a 2006 Poly Prep graduate who now plays for the New Orleans Saints.
“He’s always been a tremendous kid, a tremendously hard working young man, but he’s so much bigger and stronger now,” Poly Prep coach Dino Mangiero said. “He came into the program as a big kid, but now he’s quite a force in the weight room and he’s much quicker and stronger now because he’s kind of grown into his body and is becoming a man.”
Lincoln (Coney Island) football, junior defensive lineman
A transfer from Christ the King, the junior is on the storied Lincoln basketball team, but it's on the gridiron where the 6-foot-4, 300-pound junior has garnered national attention. His combination of size and speed is why Alabama, USC, Notre Dame, Florida, Florida State, Miami (Fla.), Ohio State, Penn State, Ole Miss, Tennessee and Rutgers have already offered scholarships. Holley has been selected to play in the Under Armour All-American Game.
“Not many guys who are 6-4, 300 [pounds] who can run like he runs,” Lincoln coach Shawn O’Connor said. “He runs like a deer, he just takes off. He hasn’t even come close to reaching his potential.”
Bishop Ford (Park Slope) girls basketball, junior guard
The 5-foot-8 junior helped guide the Bishop Ford girls basketball team to its first ever New York State Federation Class AA crown in Albany. Jones averaged 16 points, four rebounds and three steals per game. She saved her best for last, scoring a career-high 25 points in the championship game against Ossining. Jones, an aspiring model, has scholarship offers from East Carolina, Virginia Commonwealth and Providence.
“What makes Aaliyah special is her knowledge of the game and work ethic,” former Bishop Ford coach Mike Toro said. “She plays with a mind frame of always wanting to outwork her competition and never becomes satisfied, which keeps her hunger and improvement at a high level.”
Erasmus Hall (Flatbush) football, junior running back
The 5-foot-8 all-purpose back, who runs a 4.49 40-yard dash, burst onto the scene as a sophomore, scoring the winning touchdown in overtime against Tottenville. As a junior, he rushed for 898 yards and three touchdowns and had 10 receptions for 67 yards and another score for the PSAL champions. Lewin, who has made a career of bouncing off tackles, is being recruited by Pittsburgh and Stony Brook.
“He is going to ground and pound,” Erasmus Hall coach Danny Landberg said. “His strengths are his vision, his balance and his ability to get out of tight spaces. He’s got the strongest legs that I’ve seen on a running back in a long time.”
Berkeley Carroll (Park Slope) baseball, junior pitcher
The hard-throwing junior righthander is a big reason why Berkeley Carroll is enjoying an undefeated season. Miller, who is being recruited by Harvard, Princeton and Columbia, tossed a one-hit shutout in the PSAA Alliance tournament final to help the Lions earn the top seed in the NYSAIS tournament. According to Berkeley Carroll coach Walter Paller, Miller is among the best pitchers ever at the school, along with Eric Naison-Phillips, Adam Ottavino and Philip Seay.
“Ian rates right up there with those guys,” Paller said. “I’ve been doing this for 27 years now and those are four very special pitchers. Ian is a complete package. He’s as focused as any player I’ve had at this school.”
Erasmus Hall (Flatbush) football, junior running back
One year after missing the PSAL title game with a broken leg, the explosive running back scored the winning 2-point conversion to guide Erasmus Hall to its first PSAL Championship Division crown at Yankee Stadium. He rushed for 1,047 yards and had 18 total touchdowns. The 6-foot junior, who is invited to compete in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in January, has recently sliced down his sizable recruiting list to Alabama, Notre Dame, Miami, Ohio State and Rutgers.
“He’s the best I’ve ever coached,” Landberg said. “He’s the best player I’ve ever coached at Erasmus Hall. No question.”
Lincoln (Coney Island) boys basketball, junior guard
Touted as the next great basketball player at Lincoln from the time he enrolled at the Coney Island school, the versatile 6-foot-4 junior guided the Railsplitters to the PSAL Class AA title in March like Stephon Marbury, Sebastian Telfair and Lance Stephenson did previously. He has offers from a bevy of Division I schools, including Kansas, Syracuse, St. John’s and UCLA.
In PSAL title game against Thomas Jefferson, Whitehead took just five shots, but finished with 12 points and 10 boards.
“Isaiah knew he was going to get trapped,” Lincoln coach Dwayne (Tiny) Morton said. “Everybody knows what Jefferson tries to take away. But Isaiah did what he did and took his team to the promised land.”
Bishop Loughlin (Fort Greene) boys basketball, junior guard
One year after coming off the bench to score nearly 12 points per game, the lightning quick 6-foot-2 junior guard averaged 19.8 points and 7.6 rebounds per game, helping Bishop Loughlin reach the CHSAA Class AA intersectional title game. Williams, a ferocious defender, has offers from Rutgers, Quinnipiac, Drexel and Manhattan.
“Mike has a tremendous upside, has great range, he jumps very well and goes to the offensive glass very well,” Bishop Loughlin coach Ed Gonzalez said. “He’s blossoming tremendously.”