2023 New Heights Lightning 15u EYBL Player Profiles



Two of the most storied programs in New York City grassroots basketball history have again teamed up this year on the EYBL circuit. New Heights and the New York Lightning playing under the New Heights Lightning flag this season. Recent college commitments from the program include Youssouf Singare (UConn), Akil Watson (Arizona St.), Jahmere Tripp (Fordham), Christian Jones (George Washington), Jason Rivera (Vanderbilt), Armoni Zeigler (St. Peter’s) and Will Patterson (Syracuse).

New Heights Lightning 15u EYBL team is coached by Khalid Green and his assistant coach, Gary Ervin. Their roster is as follows:

#0 Deron Rippey Jr. (2026) 6’0 point guard, Blair Academy (PA) - Tough two-way player with high major potential. Recently attended and played well at USA Basketball minicamp.

#1 Josh Powell (2026) 6’3 guard, Archbishop Molloy High - Coming off great freshman year on Varsity, Powell is a big-shot maker and tough defender. Exudes confidence and toughness.

#2 Davonne ‘DJ’ Biggins Jr. (2026) 6’1 point guard, Kingswood Oxford School (CT) - Dynamic point guard who is equally adept at making plays for himself as he is creating for his teammates.

#5 Kamari Whyte (2026) 6’4 wing, St. Raymond’s High - Started varsity as a freshman, junkyard dog on both ends of the floor. Loves to defend and rebound.

#10 Joshua Benka-Coker 6’7 forward (2026) Bethlehem Catholic (PA) - Four-man loves to finish around the basket and a rugged rebounder. Developing perimeter skills.

#12 Jermel Thomas (2026) 6’1 guard, Cardinal Hayes High - “Magic Mel” is crafty with the ball, is a willing passer and creates looks for himself and his teammates.

#13 Preston Merrick (2026) 6’5 guard, Hotchkiss School (CT) - Explosive and athletic wing who shoots threes and attacks the basket with the same enthusiasm. High major potential.

#14 Dylan Perry (2026) 6-6 small forward, Archbishop Stepinac High - Coming off a CHSAA championship as a freshman, Perry is all of 6-6 and can play inside and out. Has an extremely bright future.

#25 Oesoemana Sacko (2026) 6’7 forward, St. Francis Prep - Rugged and physical, Big O had a great freshman season on varsity and is an inside/outside threat. Very tough matchup for most teams.

#32 Kamsi Awaka (2026) 6’9 Franklin Roosevelt High - Younger brother of Tennessee Big man Tobe Awaka, Kamsi is all of 6-9 and has a high ceiling. Has size 18 sneakers and tremendous upside.