The 2025 and '26 high school basketball classes in Southern California are incredibly deep, with more than a handful of prospects who could be game changers for any college program. Dinos Trigonis, a longtime camp organizer, club coach and talent evaluator, shared his thoughts on the top players in each class with The Times:
Tounde Yessoufou, 6-5 SF, Santa Maria St. Joseph: “A big, strong, physical and athletic swingman a la [Miami Heat All-Star] Jimmy Butler … he’s like a Swiss army knife and uses his strength to score at the basket … has developed a very nice jump shot.”
Brayden Burries, 6-5 SG, Eastvale Roosevelt: “A very polished guard who can play on and off the ball … great feel and instincts, he’s a natural scorer … has a chance to be a special player at the college level and beyond.”
Elzie Harrington, 6-5 CG, St. John Bosco: “A big guard who reminds me a lot of a Tyrese Haliburton-type lead guard … can score but likes to facilitate and plays with good poise and savvy … can guard multiple positions … possesses very good basketball IQ and is a very good student; his father Darrell is a professor at UCLA medical school.”
Nikolas Khamenia, 6-7 SF, Harvard-Westlake: “A very skilled face-up player who can really score inside and from the perimeter … kind of a European-style forward, he can stretch the floor and is very offensively gifted.”
Jovani Ruff, 6-5 CG, Long Beach Poly: “A versatile lead guard with nice length and an effective mid-range pull-up jump shot … talented prospect is just consistent production away from joining the top tier in this group.”
Mazi Mosley, 6-5 SG, La Cañada Flintridge St. Francis: “He’s a shooter, kind of a thin-framed guard that’s starting to make a move and maximizing his potential … quick, can score in a variety of ways and fairly athletic … needs to add strength but has big upside.”
Brandon McCoy, 6-4 PG, St. John Bosco: “A very versatile, athletic two-way guard who can score in a variety of ways … very quick on getting to the basket but also a guy who can turn defense into offense as a terrific on-ball defender and getting into passing lanes … great basketball instincts.”
Alijah Arenas, 6-5 CG, Chatsworth: “Tremendous shooting touch and footwork; has just got to get stronger and a little quicker … has natural scoring instincts and knows how to create space to get his shot off … taller than his dad [former NBA All-Star Gilbert Arenas] at the same stage.”
Tajh Ariza, 6-7 SF, St. Bernard: “Very talented swingman is much further along than his dad [former UCLA and Lakers forward Trevor Ariza] was at the same stage … kind of a big, tall wing who can score off the dribble and has massive upside that is too massive to ignore.”
Jason Crowe Jr., 6-2 PG, Lynwood: “Shades of [former NBA guard] Brandon Jennings, a lefty guard, kind of a similar build in high school … his strength has not crystallized and that’s where he’s potentially at a disadvantage against bigger, stronger guards, but he’s crafty and just got his 2,000th point in a year and a half of high school.”
Julius Price, 6-3 CG, Santa Maria St. Joseph: “Reminds me of a young [Denver Nuggets guard] Jamal Murray as a lead guard … Swedish import is a smooth combo guard with impressive mid-range game and excellent feel for the game.”
Kaiden Bailey, 6-2 SG, Crean Lutheran: “Pure shooter with NBA three-point range who just hit the 1,000-point mark as a sophomore … the kind of guy who goes to college and becomes a big-time scorer and stays a while putting up big-time numbers.
Brannon Martinsen, 6-7 SF, Santa Ana Mater Dei: “His skill set is a cross between Manu Ginobili and Jaime Jaquez Jr. … hard-nosed and versatile, he’s a lefty who can play the two, three or four with great basketball instincts. … a terrific passer, he can also hurt you by shooting the three and scoring inside.”
Zachary White, 6-6 SF, Sherman Oaks Notre Dame: “Talented wing forward, he doesn’t get a lot of the acclaim yet because he plays a role behind other players … he’s the son of former Rams running back Russell White.”
Christian Collins, 6-7 SF, St. Bernard: “Long and athletic forward has growing confidence and terrific long-term potential … son of former Inglewood High standout DeAngelo Collins.”
Joe Sterling, 6-2 CG, Crespi: “Sharpshooter has put up big numbers, including a recent 26-point effort against Harvard-Westlake.”
Maximo Adams, 6-6 SF, Gardena Serra: “Younger brother of 2023 Kansas signee Marcus Adams [now at Brigham Young] is a very athletic forward with a high-major skill package of his own.”
Brayden Kyman, 6-7 SF, Santa Margarita: "Brother of former UCLA wing Jake Kyman, Brayden is a strong wing forward with accurate three-point shooting touch."
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.