Syracuse Basketball: NYC point guard, a Peach Jam star, wants to visit SU

Syracuse basketball (Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports)
Syracuse basketball (Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports) /

Deron Rippey Jr., a fast-rising point guard in the 2026 class, said in a recent interview that he would like to visit Syracuse basketball at some point.

The 6-foot-1, 170-pound Rippey, who hails from Brooklyn, N.Y., was a star at the beginning of July as he competed for the New York City-based New Heights Lightning in the annual Peach Jam tournament on the Nike EYBL circuit.

He is a rising sophomore at the Blair Academy in Blairstown, N.J., which is the same prep school where current Orange guard Kyle Cuffe Jr., a redshirt sophomore, also played.

In a recent Q&A with scouting service Pro Insight, Rippey discussed a range of topics, including his recruitment, his dream schools growing up, and teams he would like to visit. The ‘Cuse, I’m delighted to say, was mentioned a few times in this interview.

Deron Rippey Jr., a talented 2026 point guard, seems to like Syracuse basketball.

Rippey told Conrad Chow, an analyst at Pro Insight, that his scholarship offer sheet presently includes Mike Hopkins-led Washington, Binghamton, Fordham, Hofstra, Long Island University, Oklahoma State, St. John’s, and TCU.

When asked about his dream school growing up, Rippey first mentioned North Carolina. But he also listed schools such as UConn, Duke, the Orange and Michigan.

He was also asked which college squads he is hoping to visit in the near future. Again, Rippey mentioned Syracuse basketball, as well as St. John’s, UConn, Duke, Oklahoma State and UNC.

As a rising sophomore, Rippey can start taking unofficial visits on August 1 of this year. He can begin going on official visits come August 1 of next year. And next June 15, college coaches can start initiating direct communication with him and other 2026 prospects.

Most of the primary recruiting services have yet to publish national rankings for the rising-sophomore class. When they do, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if Rippey is rated a four-star or even a five-star prospect.

Earlier this spring, he was named one of 18 finalists for the 2023 USA 16U national team after competing at a training camp in Colorado Springs, Colo.

"On3 national analyst Jamie Shaw watched Rippey in person at this training camp and wrote that he “has a legitimate claim as the fastest player in the gym. His quick-twitch shines in the half-court, attacking the paint, putting pressure on the defense.”"

When Peach Jam took place in early July at the Riverview Park Activities Center in North Augusta, S.C., Rippey was a stock riser while starring for the 15U squad of the New Heights Lightning, according to analysts and scouts.

Per the EYBL Web site, as the New Heights Lightning went 2-2 at Peach Jam, Rippey averaged 13.5 points, 1.8 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game, while connecting on 50.0 percent from the field, 50.0 percent from beyond the arc, and 55.6 percent from the free-throw line.

In his last game at Peach Jam, Rippey went off. He produced 30 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 blocks and 4 steals. He hit on 11-of-13 from the field, 6-of-7 from 3-point land and 2-of-2 from the charity stripe, as the New Heights Lightning crushed the Oxon Hill, Md.-based Team Durant, 90-55.

To date, Syracuse basketball coaches have offered scholarships to a pair of 2026 players. They are five-star shooting guard Jordan Smith Jr. out of St. Paul VI Catholic High School in Chantilly, Va., and small forward Maximo Adams with Narbonne High School in the Harbor City area of Los Angeles.

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