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Posted June 14, 2023

New Heights Lightning Alum Elliot Cadeau Joins UNC Tarheels MBB

Elliot Cadeau is making a bold move, accelerating his high school graduation to join North Carolina’s 2023 recruiting class next week. ESPN’s 2024 No. 10 prospect and No.1 point guard, Cadeau has been a force on the court from an early age, concentrating solely on basketball since fifth grade.

Fueling his impressive growth has been an unwavering dedication, with Cadeau spending up to 4 hours each day refining his skills and aiming to outpace his competition. This work ethic has borne fruit in the Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL), where he’s played for New Heights Lightning in the Nike EYBL circuit, standing out as a potent player.

Cadeau, a West Orange resident who attended Bergen Catholic High School, was named ESPN’s number one point guard in the class of 2024 in the country. He’s been playing organized basketball since second grade, also played tennis, soccer, baseball and football in West Orange schools. In fifth grade, he stopped playing the other sports to focus on basketball and never looked back. In between school and studying, Cadeau is on the basketball court each day for as long as possible. He shared, “The only way to get better is practicing, so I am in the gym about 3-4 hours a day.” He added, “I do this because I need to outwork my competition and continue to grow and get better.” Cadeau plays in Nike’s Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL), a circuit for players who are 17 years old and younger, that’s operated by NIKE Basketball. When he isn’t practicing basketball, Cadeau enjoys being with his friends and was able to fit in a trip to Ocean City, Maryland this week in between EYBL games and a trip to Sweden, where his mother hails from, to play in the U18 National Team there. 

Cadeau is elated that all of his training has earned him the honor of number one point guard. He reported, “I felt like all my hard work is finally starting to show, and others are seeing it too. I was really happy when the ranking came out!” He plans to play college basketball, and college basketball scouts are watching from the bleachers at his games. 

Cadeau summarized what it means to him to be named as the number one point guard his age in the country. “It was a huge honor and something I have dreamed about since I was little. I have worked really hard to be a top guard in the country and to be ranked in ESPN showed that I can do it.” 

He will now have the option to enter the 2024 NBA draft. “I think I’m ready,” Cadeau said. “I think that I can play in college in a couple of months. There’s no reason to stay in high school, because I can hang with college players right now.” Cadeau is coming off an outstanding season in which he proved to be arguably the best point guard in high school basketball, helping Link Academy win the Geico Nationals and then leading the Nike EYBL in assists by a wide margin (9.3 per game). He has guided his New Heights Lightning team to a 13-4 record, posting 29 points and 15 assists in what proved to be his final grassroots game Monday. “Winning Geico was one of my biggest goals,” 

Cadeau said. “To do that as a junior pushed me to reclass for sure. Everything is coming easier for me now in the EYBL since this is my third year playing 17U.” Cadeau, whose mother is Swedish, has garnered significant experience at the FIBA national team level, playing for Sweden’s U16, U18 and senior teams the past three summers, and playing against men in the FIBA World Cup qualifiers vs. Germany in February. He says he will enroll at North Carolina on June 10 with other incoming freshmen and will focus on the Tar Heels full-time this summer. Cadeau says the UNC coaching staff told him it wants him on the roster and that he expects to play a “big role” this season. “The ball will be in my hands a lot when I’m on the floor,” Cadeau said. “I will run the team as much as I can as a freshman and think I can really help the team win a lot of games.” Cadeau said the option to enter the 2024 draft was a factor in his decision-making process. “My goal was always to be one and done,” he said. “Reclassing doesn’t change that. It’s definitely my end goal — to be in the draft as soon as possible — but this takes pressure off me to be one and done and gives me the option of staying two years if needed.”

Joining North Carolina on June 10, Cadeau aims to be a significant contributor to the Tar Heels, with the coaching staff confirming his pivotal role in the team. While the 2024 NBA draft is in his sights, Cadeau emphasizes that his reclassification alleviates pressure, allowing him the flexibility to remain two years in college if needed.

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