JBL HS HYPE: Prep to Pros - Breaking Barriers
- By Jron Magcale, Day 157, 2025
JBL HS HYPE: Prep to Pros - Breaking Barriers
Just recently Galesburg PG Keiron Bloom has announced that he will declare for the 2025 JBL Draft, the 6'4" wonder kid has been consensus #1 HS player in the nation and for good reason. He averaged 29.5 ppg, 10.3 apg, 8.9 rpg and 3.14 spg, he basically toyed against HS competition and his AAU coach even told the press that he thinks that Keiron Bloom is the BEST PG in the nation and HS or College ball that trended on social media. With a number of top college programs offering him scholarships, the kid decides that he is ready for the JBL.
It has been a hot topic of prep to pros because we haven't seen anyone do it in the modern JBL the last one drafted was back in 2019 with Miami scoring guard Quinton Rice out of Walton High in New Jersey. Rice was selected 4th overall pick by the Mexico City Jaguars but has since been traded 3 teams and has played for 4 teams in his 7 years in the league. Rice has grown to be a solid scorer at 6'4" 200 lbs he has been one of the most lethal outside shooters in the JBL but throughout his career he has been sort of one dimensional offensive threat and hasn't grown to be an All-Star yet (although he is just 24 as of this writing).
After Rice, it seems that HS players has become hesitant to jump to the pros and most of the top HS players elects to spend 1 more year in a college program. Before Rice there were 2 in the 2018 draft class Skyhawks Mark Hunter (6th Pick Overall, St. Joe's HS) and Mohammed "Tupac" Shakur (10th pick Overall, Oberon High) and before them Taquan Slattery from Vander High was selected #1 pick in the same class Kendall Nash of St. James High was selected 5th, in 2016 PG Keith Humphries of Westvale High was picked in the top 5 while Reggie Goodwin of Kirkland High went #12 overall. 2015 has spitfire SG Jamaine Curry out of Milton High going 3rd overall pick and in 2014 Kelvin Hawes goes #2 pick out of Cascan HS. From 2014-2025 11 seasons deep we only have 1 MVP out of them and that is Kelvin Hawes although players like Taquan Slattery, Mark Hunter and even Reggie Goodwin has proved that can be a franchise piece/cornerstone none really showed full growth and dominance like Hawes who played all of his career with the Knights and even have to develop for 4 seasons before becoming a full time starter at the age of 21 where he also became an All-star the 1st time.
Finding the next HS phenom is a big hit of miss of all those mentioned from 2014-2025 only Taquan Slattery was selected #1 pick but the HS kids because of their potential has always been picked in the Top 12 but the teams that selects these kids knows what their getting. They know that there will be development and they can hit the lottery and get Hawes or fail and Keith Humphries development-wise. One thing is for sure if you pick a HS player out of the gate you better have a plan for him. Keiron Bloom is sort of breaking the barrier as like we said Rice was the last HS player picked 6 seasons ago. So, it is kind of a hot topic for Bloom to even consider the pros but he did already declare and for what we heard will be hiring an agent soon.
Another player that is threatening to go pro is elite scoring big and #2 ranked HS player C Lamont Woodson who has lit up HS basketball with his 36.1 ppg and 12.3 rpg averages, basically the most dangerous scorer in HS has been deciding if he will follow Bloom's footsteps to go pro. The 6'11" scoring savant will be weighing his options up until the last minute if it will be wise to forego college ball and enter the pros. Woodson's situation is different while Bloom has to worry about UNC's frosh PG Mitchell Butler Jr. or even Sophomores Michel Saint-Jean (Michigan State) and Andre Bender (Kentucky), Woodson might benefit with a shallow depth for bigs as he just have to worry about Butler's sophomore Chris Dillinger and Arizona State's Trevon Cage making him basically in play as the best big man in the draft.
This year is will be interesting as draft storylines are compelling. With Keiron Bloom basically "breaking the barrier" for modern JBL, it leaves us all into thinking how will this decision dictates the future of other HS kids. This is a new layer in the landscape of the JBL draft and will forever be connected as the string that will pull other prep to pros in the future. Bloom although a mesmerizing talent is still a big question mark for most, same can be said about Woodson. It will be a GM's due diligence to see if they are convinced that either of the 2 (if Woodson declares) can be trailblazers on their own rights. But for now the jury is out not only for the these HS kids but to the GMs and teams that will look their way and if ever pick them.