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Ontario's Hidden Gems: 5 Underrated players in the C/O 2025 to watch

The class of 25 is loaded with top-end Canadian talent from guys like Efeosa Oliogu, Will Riley and Spencer Ahrens. This class is surprisingly deep and this article will showcase five underrated players from Ontario who have proven that they are ready to play at the next level.

Tristan Darko | 6’4 combo-guard | United Scholastic/Canada Elite |

24.7ppg, 6.5rpg 3.1apg and 1.2spg

Tristan Darko is a combo guard who plays in three leagues for his school United Scholastic, playing up a year on the grad OSBA team and for United Scholastic’s NPH and CYBL teams.

Darko’s stats combined for both NPH and CYBL premier league are fantastic and from the jump do a great job at showcasing his ability to do it all, starting off by showcasing his scoring at 24.7 ppg over 30 games. Scoring from all three levels and his relentless ability to get to the basket have an almost slasher-like feel, and his high-level shooting makes him a fantastic 3-point shooter. This is showcased in recent performances where he scored 32 points while shooting 57% from 3, added 6 rebounds, and 4 assists to top it off, and his do-it-all mindset keeps his team's energy high, which shows great leadership to add on top of such a skilled player.

One of the most important parts of Darko’s game isn't even showcased in his stats, and that is his high IQ and ability to read the game. After watching Darko this past year it's clear to see why he has the skills to play at the next level. He thinks very quickly leaving defenders confused, never knowing what he'll do and making the right calls on both offense and defense and his smart shot selection is extremely desirable to see from a combo guard, keeping his FG% higher than others. Darko's ability to control the game both with and without the ball in his hands makes him perfect for spacing the floor or running your offence as well. He is also a great off-ball cutter, and he loves to make the game easier for himself and his team. Darko's willingness to crash the boards helps him keep possessions alive, and his unselfishness often leads him to give up a good shot for a great shot. Keep an eye out for AAU as Canada Elites, Tristan Darko is the real deal and is ready for that D1 level.

Oliver Beattie | 6’2 PG | Barrie North Collegiate HS/Simco United |

(HS) 32ppg, 7rpg, 5asp.

Beattie is your classic high-scoring point guard who will remind you of Tyler Herro, with the skills to score from all three levels at a high volume. He is a star in the making. Beattie is shooting a staggering 49% from the field, adding a solid 30% from 3, and with a hidden 36-inch vertical, he is always attacking the rim making it hard to stop him as a player who can finish on both sides and above the rim. as well as having the skills to pull up from anywhere on the court, he is confident and always able to get his team a bucket. Beattie this season is putting up numbers that are an incredible 32 points per game over 14 games playing varsity, topping 40 points three times and 50 once. The numbers don’t lie. Beattie is a high IQ player both on and off the court, posting a 96/A+ (4.0 GPA) in the classroom. He is also a player who always takes the right shots, is patient, and as such a skilled scorer is also an incredible passer who adds on a solid 5 assists per game and a good 7 rebounds per game throughout his high school season. Beattie is a guard who can help you win games instantly. For his Simco United squad, he was among a well-rounded team, putting up a very impressive 14 ppg, 4.2 rpg, and 4 asp over a 14-1 season in NPH, as well as helping his squad win CYBL this season, showing he can not only be a star but can fit into a system allowing for even more success in his career.

Beattie on the defensive end is just as skilled, with a solid frame, good speed and a great ability to read the opposing players, he stays in front of his defender, has great help in defence, and is the player who often takes on the role of guarding the other team's best player. His heart is always out on the court and he never gives up. To make it even better Beattie is extremely humble and a very coachable player making him soon to be a highly looked at player who is such a hard worker. With his talent, there is no saying how good he could be for a program. Beattie is a player all eyes should be on.

Nate Stoddart | 6’10 PF/C | Lincoln Prep/Monarchs AAU |

| 10.1ppg, 8rpg, 3asp, 1bpg, 1spg |

Stoddart is one of the best and underrated bigs in all of Canada for the class of 2025. Being a mix of both the old school and the new school, his game can keep him on the court at all times. Stoddart is strong, he can out-muscle everyone on the court and loves to backdoor cut for an easy dunk where he has no trouble finishing over or around defenders. Putting up 10 ppg, he bullies anyone down low and makes great plays, finding the right pass to make when double teams come his way, averaging just over 3 assists a night. He is almost a Jaren Jackson Jr level player, giving you at least 1 block or steal every game while scaring opposing players from attacking the rim with his size and length, as well as his ability to step back and shoot the ball, even expanding his range to the perimeter, which forces opposing bigs out of the paint, leading to many open chances for his teammates. Stoddart is 6'10 and very athletic, and he loves running the floor, doing so at a very high level. He is also surprisingly quick, which leads to a lot of fast breaks and chase-down blocks for this skilled big. As a player who loves to go for put-backs and is always chasing offensive boards to add to his strength this helps Stoddart average a solid 8 rebounds per game. He is an unselfish player who knows his role and excels at it. This mindset helps make him an amazing pick-up for any school that can grab him. Stoddart is absolutely ready for the next level his height, athleticism, and hustle will make him a sought-after big for any program looking to add size to their team, and Stoddart’s defensive skill set will make him a nightmare for any programs that choose not to.

Stoddart is returning from about 3 months off due to a leg injury and has been training and getting game-ready, and he is looking better than ever for AAU. Coaches should keep track of him, as a breakout season is just around the corner for this future D1 talent.

Connor Zinn | 6’0 SG | High 5 Academy/Team Active |

| 23.5 ppg, 3.5 asp, 3 rpg, 1.8 spg |

Zinn is the classic shooting guard you need for your team who can shoot lights out from anywhere in the half. His incredible shot selection has him shooting 42% from beyond the arc right now totaling over 150 3s this season for H5. Zinn is putting up 23.5 ppg, tallying most of his points from 3 and hitting about 4 a game. Yet you can't count him out anywhere else on the court either with a great one dribble pull-up and a fast first step, he can score at will and often attack when defenders close out too early. He even has the playmaking ability to kick it out to another shooter, as he averages 3.5 assists per game too. However, if you leave him anywhere past the 3-point line, the moment he gets that ball, you are likely to see it fly. Zinn isn’t afraid of pressure either and loves to be leaned on. Having hit multiple game-winners, including two already this year, being relayed heavily in those moments, Zinn is ready to be that guy. In a recent performance showing an amazing 36 points, going 10/14 from 3 pt, and adding on 3 steals in a win against a strong Tri-City prep team, there is no doubt that Zinn is one of the best shooters in Ontario.

Zinn is heart over height. He hustles and runs with the best of them, is always on the floor for loose balls, and is an impactful player when it comes to pressure, which you don’t see from shooting guards, let alone anyone. Being a little undersized in the eyes of most coaches, Zinn uses that to his advantage and loves to play those passing lanes, getting just under 2 steals per game, making him a great 3 and D guy with no excuses to take off the court. With the willingness to not only do his job as a shooter but also follow a system to work to bring his team a win, Zinn plays his role and is always ready for when the lights are the brightest. Zinn is a player you’ll want to keep an eye on for the upcoming season, as every team will need a shooter like Zinn.

| Marques Dasilva-Romeo | 6’5 SG/PG | Top notch academy |

| 23ppg, 4,5rpg, 4asp | 52 games played |

Marques Dasilva-Romeo, a high-energy, athletic, sharpshooter, has been slowly gaining notice from scouts everywhere, and it is about time as like the others on this list, he is one of the most underrated players in the class. Dasilva-Romeo is a go-to guy for his Top Notch Academy team, putting up a team-high 23 ppg. He loves to shoot the 3 ball and has a great pull-up jumper, yet he is also super athletic and loves to throw it down if given the lane. Defenders have no clue what to do with him, and with his killer mindset, Dasilva-Romeo is always looking to win. Watching him play, you can see his willingness and ability to adapt to in-game situations, allowing him to stay on the court for long periods of time, and leaving the door open for him to get hot. This is a huge reason behind many of his team's impressive wins and quite a few stellar performances. These included a 31-point game in the semi-finals of the Big Shots Diamond-HS against a steller Combine academy, then following it up with a 19-point, 6-rebound game to win his team the championship against a tough Moravian prep. Winning MVP honours in the process, it is clear he can perform on the big stage.

Dasilva-Romeo loves to keep both his own and his team's morale and energy high, He is often the loudest player on the court, no matter the score, and you can still hear him chanting and making callouts when he is on the bench. He is passionate about the game, is very humble, and would much rather showcase others than himself, no matter how well he performs. When talking to him, it is clear he has a greater love for the game than most, and this allows his skills to be showcased like no other. Dasilva-Romeo is a top-notch prospect who is ready for the next level.

Gabriel Hodgins | Ontario Scout | The Maple Minute

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