Boys BB: Introducing 2026 Class

Freshman Tahj Ariza has made his mark against tough competition playing for state ranked and CIFSS open hopeful St. Bernard of Playa Del Rey. Photo: Nick Koza

Freshman Tahj Ariza has made his mark against tough competition playing for state ranked and CIFSS Open Division entrant St. Bernard of Playa Del Rey. Photo: Nick Koza.

Our boys basketball coverage for Gold Club VIPs continues with a first look at the state’s top ninth-graders. The freshman (2026) class has 10 elite talents who are already making a huge impact and at least 15 who track as high major prospects. Some in the group are already mature and it’s important to keep that in mind when projecting future success, especially for post players who often develop later. Some of the state’s better freshmen also won’t contribute right away because they are part of strong programs with veteran players.  

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Related: California’s Top 8th Graders Since 1982 | NEW HOT 100 FOR CLASS OF 2023 | NEW HOT 100 FOR CLASS OF 2024 | NEW TOP 65 FOR CLASS OF 2025

Note: This post is for Gold Club members only. You can now sign up for the 2021-22 basketball season at rates of $3.99 per month or $9.99 for three months, which by the way will carry you through most of the current season (and every all-state team presentation). Yearly rate of just 6.8 cents per day also can be done. For details, CLICK HERE.

The first Class of 2026 Cal-Hi Sports Top 25  for the 2022-23 school year in boys hoops is based on evaluations from this past summer’s NCAA viewing periods, non-viewing showcases since August, middle school events over the past year and the current high school season through MLK weekend.

The baseline of where we begin with each prospect begins with high school basketball, so keep that in mind when you view the initial rankings for the 2026 class because most of them have played about half a season of regulation varsity basketball so far. These rankings will expand as we see more varsity games the rest of the season and change over time as players develop and new ones emerge in the next six months. Cal-Hi Sports realizes some talented ninth graders sit behind talented upperclassmen, while a select few remain in junior high this school year. We also realize not every 2026 prospect participated in showcase events the past six months, in last summer’s NCAA viewing periods or with their high school team this fall and we might not have yet had an opportunity to evaluate them. That’s why we limit this list to 25 players.

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