Ultimate Guide to Canadian Talent at the NPSI in Rhode Island
Most Outstanding Player - Chris Duarte 2018 NPSI
The National Prep School Invitational (NPSI) is a highly-regarded basketball tournament hosted annually at Rhode Island College presented by NetScouts. The tournament features some of the top high school basketball teams in the United States, as well as a select number of teams from across the world including Canada, Mexico, Italy, Sweden & more.
Over the years, several Canadian teams and players have participated in the NPSI and made a significant impact on the tournament. One of the most notable Canadian teams to participate in the NPSI is Orangeville Prep. The team, which is based in Orangeville, Ontario, has competed in the tournament several times and has consistently been one of the top teams.
Orangeville Prep has produced a ridiculous amount of high-level players who have gone on to play Division I college basketball and even in the NBA. One of the notable players to come out of Orangeville Prep is Thon Maker who was a member of the team before going on to be selected 10th overall in the 2016 NBA Draft by the Milwaukee Bucks directly out of what was formerly also known as Athlete Institute Prep.
If that name doesn’t ring a bell, the most notable Canadian to participate in the NPSI is Jamal Murray. The Kitchener, Ontario native and current Denver Nuggets star has also competed in the tournament several times. Jamal was a pivotal part of the program at Orangeville Prep and helped establish its dominance in the Canadian basketball market. Jamal was a member of the team before going on to play at the University of Kentucky and was selected 7th overall in the 2016 NBA Draft by the Denver Nuggets.
In addition to these teams, several other Canadian teams and players have participated in the NPSI over the years and made a significant impact on the tournament, such as Chris Duate, O’Shae Brissett, Simi Shittu, Lugentz Dort, Ignas Brazdeikis, Dalano Banton & even as recently as last year’s Fort Erie International Academy and current G-League Ignite standout, Leonard Miller. The NPSI is a great opportunity for Canadian basketball talent to showcase their skills against some of the top high school teams in the United States and gain exposure to college coaches and recruiters.
Simi Shittu at the NPSI
With the Canadian basketball scene continually growing in recent years, it’s exciting to see the level of talent coming from Canada to compete on a national stage. This year’s NPSI will host a total of 4 Canadian teams as well as multiple Canadians from American prep schools. I will be using this article to breakdown some of the top prospects from each Canadian program, Orangeville Prep, Fort Erie International Academy, United Scholastic Academy & New Horizon Academy. I will also touch on Baraka Okojie of DME Academy, Olivier Rioux of IMG Academy, and Chris Tadjo of NBA Academy Latin America.
There are multiple Canadian prospects who have already committed to post secondary programs such as:
- Vasean Allette from United Scholastic – Old Dominion
- Yamarai Allette from United Scholastic – Old Dominion
- Thoms Ndong from NBA Latin America – Oklahoma State
- Adrian Uchindiuno from Cushing Academy – Brown
- Jaiden Cole from NBA Latin America – Towson
Starting with, Orangeville Prep is one of the top basketball academies in Canada and home to some of the most promising young prospects. The Orangeville Prep players competing in the OSBA (Ontario Scholastic Basketball Association) league this season are no exception.
Here are the top prospects to watch out for:
- Matai Baptiste: (2023) A 6’9 forward, Matai is known for his athleticism and versatility on the court. He is unconcious from beyond the arc and has a great understanding of the game, making him a key player for Orangeville Prep. Top 10 prospect in his class.
- Jalik Dunkley-Distant: (2024) Standing at 6’7, Jalik is a highly rated prospect in the country and a dominant scorer for Orangeville Prep. He has a great touch at the rim and has springs in his legs, can jump over the moon.
- Kevin De Kovachich: (2024) At 6’5, Kevin is one of the top PG in the OSBA. He is a physical presence on the court and has the ability to dominate smaller guards on both ends of the floor. Tough and gritty.
- Justin Chase: (2023) Perhaps the best dunker in 2023 is a 6’7 forward with a high basketball IQ out of Scarborough, ON. He has a great understanding of the game and is an excellent mid range shooter, making him a valuable asset to the team.
- Sean De Kovachich: (2023) A 6’6 guard, Sean is tough as nails and has the ability to take over a game. He has a great shooting touch and can create his own shot, won’t back down from anyone.
- Ebenezer Ogoh: (2023) 6’11 out of Calgary, AB is a presence in the paint but finds most of his production via rebounds as opposed to entry looks.
- Dawson Matsell: (2023) Dead-eye shooter who acts as a real connector piece for this Orangeville Prep team. Culture pusher.
These players have already made an impact in the OSBA, Grind Session & other events this season and are attracting the attention of scouts from all over the country. With their talent and determination, they are sure to have a bright future in basketball.
Orangeville Prep continues to be a breeding ground for top-level talent and these 7 players are a testament to that. Be sure to keep an eye on them as they look to impress coaches at the NPSI this week.
Fort Erie International Academy RED
Fort Erie International Academy RED in Fort Erie, ON, is making a name for themselves in the basketball world. Competing in both the Ontario Scholastic Basketball Association (OSBA) league and the Grind Session league, this team has a roster filled with top prospects and a bright future ahead.
Here are some of the top prospects to keep an eye on from Fort Erie International Academy:
- Christian Nitu: (2024) A 6’11 point forward, Christian is known for his unicorn like abilities on the court and calculated playstyle. He has a great understanding of the game and is a key contributor on both ends of the floor.
- Ishan Sharma: (2024) 6’5 guard, Ishan is a smooth operator and initiator for this FEIA RED team. He has a well above average shooting stroke from all 3 levels, making him a valuable asset to the Fort Erie International Academy team with a very high ceiling going forward.
- Felix Kossaras: (2024) A 6’4 guard, Felix is known for his shooting touch and ability to create his own shot. He has a great understanding of the game and is a key factor on the offensive end. Polished and poised.
- Char Yeiy: (2025) A 6’9 wing, Char is known for his length and athleticism on the court. He is a big time lob threat and has the ability to lock down a variety of positions.
- Oliver Faubert: (2024) A 6’10 forward, Oliver is a collegiate prospect if I’ve ever seen one. I feel like this guy could fit into any system out there, he plays the right way. When you watch him you’ll understand more.
- Brayden Jackson: (2024) A 6’9 wing, Brayden is slasher who gets above the rim in a hurry, can take guys off the bounce and is phenomenal in transition.
- Marial Akuentok: (2025) A 6’11 center, Marial is a dominant presence in the paint. He has a great touch around the basket and is a dominant rebounder, making him a very nice piece when he gets the minutes
- Christopher Kumu: (2025) An electric floor general who gets downhill very quickly and can leap out of the gym.
Fort Erie International Academy is a program to watch out for with coaches looking to build for the future as there are only 2024’s and younger on this team. With a roster loaded with talented players such as Christian Nitu, Ishan Sharma, Felix Kossaras, Char Yeiy, Oliver Faubert, Brayden Jackson, Chritopher Kumu and Marial Akuentok, this team is poised to be a threat for not only this season but years to come.
United Scholastic Academy
United Scholastic Academy (USA) in Scarborough, ON, is one of the top basketball programs in the province, with a reputation for producing top-level talent since it’s inception only one year ago. This season, the USA team is competing in the National Prep School Invitational and has some prospects for all levels from NBA to low-major.
Here are some of the top prospects from USA:
- Efeosa Oliogu: (2025) A 6’7 guard, Efeosa is the best prospect regardless of class in the entire country of Canada in my eyes. This kid can do it all, and when I say kid I should really say man-child. Efeosa is a completely different beast in comparison to everyone else in his class.
- Maxwell Voorpool: (2023) A 5’10 guard, Voorpool is one of the best shooters in the country, bar none. Can hit from anywhere over half court with confidence and ease. Only knock against him is his size but plays a lot bigger than he is.
- Arden Begaj: (2024) A 7’0 center, Arden is known for his shooting touch operate out of the low and the high post. He has been on visits to Richmond and Princeton recently and is a hot topic in the class of 2024.
- Kobe Charles: (2023) A 6’4 guard, Kobe a high flyer and can guard a a multitude of positions. He is a ferocious scorer and has the ability to impact the team on the court and in the locker room, making him a key player for USA.
- Preston Gayle: (2023) 6’6 sturdy wing piece who can make shots within the system or off the dribble, rebounds above his size and is similar to a PJ Tucker in what I have seen.
- Romell Russell: (2024) Sleeper in his class with a ton of upside. Shot maker. Shifty point guard who doesn’t kill his dribble and attacks the defense with conviction.
Currently, USA is seeded in the top 5 in the OSBA league, making them a strong contender for the championship. With a roster loaded with talented players and a strong coaching staff, USA is poised to make a deep run in the OSBA and will sure to impress at the NPSI.
(2023) 6'8 Augustas Brazdeikis of @NewHorizonMBB came up big in the 4th quarter for his squad, scoring 8 crucial points in the final 4 minutes to help secure the victory over Cali Prep in the Step Up to the Crown tournament. Hitting a big time 3 ball & finishing through contact. pic.twitter.com/xWWzXdocDg— Josh Millican (@Josh_NPH) January 8, 2023
New Horizon Academy
New Horizon Academy, based out of Burlington, ON, is making waves. This is a relatively new program, but one with a ton of promise, and I’m here to break down some of the top prospects.
- Augustas Brazdeikis: (2023) Standing at 6’8, Augustas is a versatile forward with a great shooting touch. Very disciplined much like his brother (Ignas Brazdeikis) who once upon a time was named to the All Tournament team at the NPSI. Maine and Weber State offers currently.
- Cameron Brennan: (2024) A legit 7’0 center, Cameron is shot-blocking and 2nd chance opportunity creation. He is a beast in the paint and is seeing his recruitment heat up.
- Dominic Pangonis: (2024) A 6’7 wing, Dominic is a terrific athlete, able to finish through contact in traffic and make shots at a very high clip. Could be a big time prospect this time next season.
- Tyson Lama: (2024) A 6’7 guard, Tyson is a high IQ player who has a positive impact on his teammates due to his knowledge of the game. Great athlete and leader, Chandler Parsons 3 & D vibes with this prospect.
- Roddy Muntu: (2023) A 6’4 guard, Roddy is known for his relentless effort on every play, very tough nosed guard who can break the defense down in a multitude of ways. Pest on D.
Leading this talented roster is Head Coach Ray Kim, who has a wealth of experience and a great understanding of the game. He has a proven track record of developing young talent and has instilled a winning culture at New Horizon Academy. Will be a program to take notice of at the NPSI this February.
Canadian Prospects on American Programs
DME Academy (2024) Baraka Okojie:
Baraka Okojie, the captain of DME Academy, is one of the most exciting prospects to keep an eye on at the National Prep School Invitational this week. This young man is a true standout, both on and off the court, and his performance is sure to attract attention from top coaches and recruiters across the country.
First and foremost, Okojie was nominated to be a McDonald’s All American, an accolade awarded to the best high school basketball players in the country, he didn’t make the cut but on the initial list. This recognition is a testament to his skills on the court and his ability to compete at the highest level.
Off the court, Okojie is equally impressive, maintaining a 4.0 GPA. This level of academic excellence is a rare find in a student-athlete and is an illustration of his commitment and dedication to both his education and his sport.
In addition to his high school achievements, Okojie has also had the opportunity to play for the Team Canada national program. This experience has given him the opportunity to showcase his skills on the FIBA stage as well as playing on the UAA Circuit with Canada Elite.
Currently, Okojie is averaging 13 points per game (PPG), 5 rebounds per game (RPG), and 6 assists per game (APG). These impressive statistics demonstrate his versatility and ability to contribute to his team in a variety of ways. Whether he is scoring, rebounding, or setting up his teammates, Okojie is a player who consistently makes a positive impact on the court.
In conclusion, Baraka Okojie is a player to watch at the National Prep School Invitational this week. His combination of on-court skills and off-court achievements make him a highly sought-after prospect and a player who is sure to have a bright future in the world of basketball. Keep an eye on this young star and see how he performs on the big stage.
IMG Academy (2025) Olivier Rioux
IMG Academy is known for producing top-notch basketball talent, and Olivier Rioux is no exception. This young player from Montreal, Quebec has gone viral, not only for his impressive skills on the court but also for his towering height.
At seven feet and five inches, Rioux is one of the tallest high school basketball players in the country. In fact, when he was 15 years old, the Guinness World Records recognized him as the world’s tallest teenager. This height gives him a distinct advantage on the court, allowing him to play above the rim and defend the paint with ease.
Despite his height, Rioux is far from a one-dimensional player. He is a versatile forward with a well-rounded game. He also has a natural feel for the game and an exceptional mobility for his size, which allows him to make smart decisions and set up his teammates with precision.
Rioux’s impressive skills and height have not gone unnoticed by the international basketball community. He has represented Team Canada in the FIBA circuit, where he has had the opportunity to showcase his talents on a larger stage and gain valuable experience competing against international competition.
If he played in the NBA now, Rioux would be tied with Cleveland’s Tacko Fall as the league’s tallest player. This height, combined with his impressive skills and versatility, make him a highly sought-after prospect and a player with a bright future ahead of him.
NBA Academy Latin America (2024) Chris Tadjo
The high school basketball scene is filled with talented players, but few have gone under the radar of fans and coaches more than Chris Tadjo of NBA Academy Latin America. This six-foot eight-inch forward is making a name for himself as one of the more intriguing and productive players in the country.
Hailing from Montreal, Tadjo runs with Chris Boucher Elite in the spring and summer and is known for his high energy and relentless play. He has an intriguing skill set that sets him apart from other players his size, making him a difficult player to defend. He is built like a linebacker, with a powerful and athletic frame reminiscent of a young Zion Williamson.
Tadjo’s impact on the court is felt in a variety of ways. He is a dominant force on the glass, grabbing rebounds and starting fast breaks with his quickness and agility. He is also a threat from beyond the arc, with a smooth shot and the ability to score from anywhere on the court.
But Tadjo’s impact on the court extends far beyond just his scoring and rebounding. He has a unique combination of size, skill, and athleticism, making him a valuable asset to any team.
His unique skill set, high energy, and versatility make him a player with a bright future ahead of him. Whether he is scoring, rebounding, or setting up his teammates via second chance opportunities, Tadjo is a player who always makes an impact on the court and is a player who scouts and coaches will be keeping an eye on in the coming years.
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