Class of 2025 No. 1 Recruit AJ Dybantsa is the Game’s Next High School Superstar

Gatorade State Player of the Year in Massachusetts as a freshman. Gold medalist with the USA U16 team in Mexico. Leader in points per game (25.8) during the EYBL Peach Jam, while playing up. Nike NIL deal. No. 1 player in the Class of 2025. AJ Dybantsa. 

“Playmaker first, two-way player,” Dybantsa says of his personal scouting report. “Defense and offense, can do a little bit of everything: rebound, score, pass, finish. Just a team player overall, and unselfish.” 

We’ve been following AJ since he was a lanky eighth-grader hailing from Brockton, MA, documenting his meteoric rise over the past few years. And despite reclassifying in October, Dybantsa clearly remains one of the best prospects in the country. Please, infer for yourself. With an unrelenting motor and shot-making ability matched by an equally eccentric personality, it was a no-brainer that the best player in his class is taking the pen to help officially relaunch our historic Basketball Diary. 

But more on that later. This is now. And now is Dybantsa’s time. He staked that claim not too long ago. 

“When I was in third grade, I had the dream of going to the NBA, but it wasn’t really realistic until Covid year. That’s when I started taking it crazy serious,” Dybantsa says. “There were no gyms available and I found myself just working out outside every day. I just took off. That’s when the rankings started coming, that’s when the attention started coming and I was like, This could be a reality.” 

After dominating the local New England competition as a freshman—posting 19.1 points, 9.6 rebounds and 2.5 blocks a contest—reality set in further this past June when Dybantsa elected to transfer to national powerhouse Prolific Prep. The increased competition plus moving in with a host family—on top of living on the opposite coast as your immediate family—would be a tough transition for any teenager. 

“The most challenging part [about being AJ] is just people forgetting that I’m a kid,” Dybantsa tells SLAM. “Like, I’m 17 years old, I have a life outside of basketball. But they just see the internet side of me so they just think everything’s flowers and butterflies, when it’s really not.” 

While Dybantsa finds his footing, he leans on the life lessons and work ethic instilled in him by his Congolese father and Jamaican mother. “Nothing’s given to you, everything is earned,” he says of his parents’ reminders. “It was big for me in my life development.”

Colleges are swarming, the League’s already within view and he just signed on the dotted line with The Swoosh. SLAM has been covering high school hoopers for a minute (30 years, tbh!) and we can say with confidence, the next modern-day high school superstar is here, and his name is AJ Dybantsa. 

Portraits by Marcus Stevens.

The post Class of 2025 No. 1 Recruit AJ Dybantsa is the Game’s Next High School Superstar appeared first on SLAM.

Search this website