Maryland Recruits Shine in Atlanta Thanksgiving Showcase

This past weekend’s Holiday Hoopsgiving event in Atlanta, GA brought in the heavyweights from both coasts, including nationally ranked programs Prolific Prep (CA) (8th), Southern California Academy (CA) (16th), Combine Academy (NC) (20th), and The Skill Factory (GA) (21st). Among the teams competing were a couple of high-priority Maryland targets, both of which are DMV-based.

Nykolas Lewis is a 6’1” PG out of Gonzaga High School in Washington, DC. Just starting his sophomore year (class of 2025), he plays with savvy and a court sense well-beyond his years. Those attributes, plus many more, were on full display this weekend. Lewis averaged 22.5 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals per game in two wins over Georgia high school public programs Pebblebrook and Etowah, who featured signees to Dayton and Virginia Tech, respectively.

His ability to penetrate into the lane seemingly at will, finish at the rim with craft, and make good decisions while playing at different speeds opened eyes. He got whatever he wanted off the bounce with crisp, direct dribble moves. Defensively, Lewis was a ball hawk, mirroring opposing guards the full length of the court and disturbing their rhythm using his long arms and sticky fingers. With Assistant Coach Tony Skinn leading the effort, Maryland extended an offer to the young floor general at the end of September, and will undoubtedly be keeping tabs on him through the season.

The other Terp target who starred at the event was 2024 Jaeden Mustaf, a former DeMatha standout who transferred to Carmel Christian School in the Charlotte area this spring. Mustaf is a 6’5”-6’6”, 200-plus-pound lead guard who can excel at either backcourt position. That’s exactly what he did this weekend, averaging 21.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 4 assists, and a steal in a close loss to Southern California Academy (CA) and a double-OT win against Calvary Christian School (FL).

Mustaf is one of the most physical guards in his class, and he showed that again this weekend as he repeatedly got downhill going in either direction to finish through contact. One of his most desirable traits as a big lead guard is his basketball IQ. He makes good decisions as a play maker, has great feel for the defense, and uses his body masterfully. He’s an excellent finisher and an expert at creating contact to get to the line. Mustaf shot 16 free throws in their 2 games, making 12. The area to monitor most is his perimeter shooting progression. It was encouraging to see him shooting a higher volume of 3s, going 3-of-9 over both contests. Maryland’s pursuit of Mustaf, again, is being led by Tony Skinn.

Lewis and Mustaf are both 4-star prospects, with Mustaf currently ranked 45th by On3 and 76th by 24/7 Sports.