Powell earns invite to NBPA Top 100 Camp


PITTSBORO — The accolades keep coming for Northwood rising senior boys’ basketball player Drake Powell.


This week, Powell is participating in the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) Top 100 camp in Orlando, Florida, along with 99 other of the top high school players in the country. 


The players who are competing at the camp were chosen with help from John Lucas, a Durham native who played basketball at the University of Maryland before having a 14-year NBA career from 1976-90. The camp has taken place since 1994, and over 300 former campers have gone on to play in the NBA.


Powell is one of two UNC commits attending the camp along with James Brown. Also participating are three of the top-10 players in the class of 2024 — No. 4 Flory Bidunga, No. 7 Liam McNeeley and No. 9 Derik Queen — and the top two overall players in the class of 2025 in No. 1 Cameron Boozer and No. 2 Cooper Flagg.


The Top 100 camp has produced plenty of recent NBA draftees, including 16 players in the 2023 draft. Among the current NBA players who participated in the camp in the past are Devin Booker, Jaylen Brown, Stephen Curry, Anthony Davis, DeMar DeRozan, Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving.


Powell, a 6-foot-6 forward, is ranked as the No. 15 overall player in the Class of 2024. He’s also considered the No. 1 player in the state of North Carolina after recently passing North Mecklenburg forward and Duke commit Isaiah Evans.


Earlier this month, Powell competed with 34 others in USA Basketball’s 2023 U19 men’s national team training camp in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Despite not being chosen for the final 12-player roster that is set to play in the FIBA U19 Men’s World Cup in Hungary starting this Friday, the Northwood product has certainly done himself plenty of favors with his play this offseason.


While Powell has set himself up well for life beyond high school, he still has unfinished business at the prep level. Over the past three seasons, he has helped Northwood reach the 3A state championship game twice, but each time the Chargers came up short.


In 2021, Northwood made the tournament finals before losing to Weddington. This past season, the Chargers tied a program record with 28 wins before suffering a lopsided defeat to Central Cabarrus in the 3A title game.


In 75 career games at Northwood, Powell has averaged 16.2 points, 6.4 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 2.0 steals per game. He will likely end his career with the Chargers with over 1,500 career points, as he currently has 1,213 and totaled 578 last season. To reach 2,000 career points, Powell would need to average 25.4 points per game, given Northwood plays as many games (31) as it did last season.


Powell will undoubtedly lead the Chargers in 2023-24, but there are several other players who will also share the burden. Despite losing starting forwards Max Frazier and Kenan Parrish to graduation this offseason, Northwood expects to bring back rising senior Fred Whitaker Jr. (9.6 ppg), rising senior Jake Leighton (7.8 ppg), rising senior Ashton Elliott (5.3 ppg as a starter) and rising sophomore Cam Fowler (4.3 ppg).