Now that we’ve began to settle into the 2024 calendar year, it seems like a perfect time to reflect on some of the top freshmen in the Carolinas. While so much excitement is being generated around guys like King Gibson, LJ Smith, Josh Leonard, and countless others, there are several players worthy of attention. Among that group, Bryce Ward has been someone who is quietly enjoying an extremely productive season for Cathedral Academy.

Ward attended our South Carolina Freshman 40 Camp in October, where we stated, “Next, we look at a player who made a lasting impression through his production and leadership, Bryce Ward. He’s a smart, heady, well-rounded point guard prospect with a tight handle, sharp vision, and a polished scoring arsenal from all levels. Ward plays with tremendous pace and makes great decisions with the ball in his hands. He touches the paint at a high volume and sets up others or finishes with craftiness. Ward shoots the ball at a high percentage from along the perimeter, and is capable of operating in spot-up roles with relative ease. He’s a solid defender and excellent rebounder (especially for his size/position) who outworks his assignment on both ends of the floor. Next in his development process is working to get stronger, as it would allow him to become an even more physical player. Coach Priester on Ward: “Bryce is a smart player and reliable floor general. Plays with a high IQ and has really good upside as a lead guard.” Ward proved to be an asset during his time at camp and should be a focal point for Cathedral Academy going forward.”

Given everything he showcased, it was apparent that Ward had the makings of a noteworthy prospect. He stood out as a crafty ball-handler and polished creator with the necessary blend of IQ, quickness, and sheer instincts to stand out on both ends of the floor. However, this level of production was largely unforeseen by the naked eye. This season, Ward is averaging 20.5 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 2.3 APG, 3.0 SPG with 46/35/62 shooting splits. It’s also worth noting that Ward was a difference-maker during his previous season, where he totaled 385 points playing varsity while in eighth grade. Above all else, this group is winning games. The Generals are currently 21-7 and 8-0 in the region, which certainly makes this squad a sleeper come playoff time. It’ll be exciting to monitor Ward’s journey going forward.