2024 Rising Stars 17u Player Profiles


Rising Stars was founded by Paul Savramis in the early 1980’s as a series of summer camps but has since been on a 20-year journey of changing the lives of countless youths and their families. Today, Rising Stars is staffed with dozens of dedicated professionals and is considered of the elite, educationally-centered youth programs in the country. Additionally, The Rising Stars Athletic Complex located in Freeport, NY, opened in December 2024, bringing a new 16,000 sq/ft state-of-the-art facility features two regulation high school basketball courts, dedicated strength/fitness training rooms, and a community/academic space.


The 2024 season looks like another robust production for the Rising Stars. Veteran coach and Director Willis Perry is orchestrating a deep array of talented coaches and players. The Rising Star “Red” teams represent their A level teams for each grade.


            17u Red  Coached by Prentice Smalls and Jamaal Wilson

Carter Wilson (2025) 6’0 guard, Bay Shore High. A high talent offensive player. Capable of 20 points or more every night, including deep range shooting. He was one of Long Island assists leaders last winter. on the Island. His decision making has matured,  now showing D1 level floor general ability.

Christian Smiley (2024) 6’6 forward, Bay Shore High - e. Smiley is an athletic and active player on both ends. Really good coming off the weak side blocking shots and is outstanding on the ball defender. Does most of his damage 17 feet and in but is a capable shooter from the perimeter. He can dunk it in traffic.


Brandon Margolin (2025) 6’5 small forward, Xaverian High - An easy to root for over-achiever. Plays bigger than his body size due to his relentless energy and instincts for the game. Stat sheet stuffer and a game winner impact player in every aspect of the game.

Javelle Epps (2025) 6’5 guard, Putnam Science Academy (CT) - Epps is a gifted athlete that plays as a smooth, controlled, play maker, with knockdown perimeter shooting. He has a soft and creative touch on finishes and a high release point jumper, which makes him a matchup problem . Spends his school year honing his skills against the nation’s highest level prep talent at PSA.  3.1 gpa

Dylan Kopp (2025) 6’2 guard, Stony Brook School -  Wow-level twitchy. Explosive off of the ground. Nasty change of direction/ankle breaker. Hard to stay in front of…will embarrass a Big on the PnR. One summer’s worth of heavy long ball shooting reps away from being a D1 level star. 3.2 gpa

Ryan Hempfling (2025) 6’9 small forward, Blair Academy (NJ) -  An NFL LT body that makes OG hoops coaches purr. Very smart/knows his teammates jobs as well as they do, and communicates to make them better. Does not cede ground in the paint. Sets a massive screen. Scores over the right shoulder, to set up his next move …over the left. CEO-in-training court presence. 3.7 gpa

Jayden Miller (2025) 6’3 guard, St John the Baptist - Athlete! - Miller uses his length and fast-twitch gifts to be the toughest guard defender on the floor.

Jawuan Smith (2025) 6’5 small forward, William Floyd High - High level shooter, literally and figuratively. Long range splashing with a sweet-looking and with-elevation jump shot. But he is also aggressive and slippery in getting to the rim. D1 length and athleticism. 3.2 gpa

Jermaine King (2025) 5’7 point guard, William Floyd High - A quick guard. He can handle the ball and knock down threes. As a defender, he uses his quickness and energy to create pressure on the opponent.