Kenny Noland, a 2021 point guard from Apex Friendship, has had a tremendous summer and fall, really capturing the eyes of many around the region and college coaches. He quickly has made a name for himself and become a fan favorite on the court with his IQ, scoring output, vision, and feel for the game as a leader.
Now, getting ready for the upcoming season at Apex Friendship, a program that should certainly have the attention of many around the state, Noland is looking to show even more what he has been continuing to work on during the off-time. Phenom Hoops caught up with Noland to check in on the latest; what his focus has been on, an update on his recruitment, and his excitement about his team and the upcoming season.
PHR: Hello Kenny, how have you been doing these days?
Noland: I’ve been doing well; we start high school practice which is exciting.
PHR: How does this upcoming season been feeling for you? Anything different with you going in?
Noland: It’s been different this year but I’m just grateful that we get to play, even if it means wearing a mask and shortening the season because I know a lot of states aren’t getting that opportunity to have a season.
PHR: How have you elevated your game on the court?
Noland: I’ve been steady working. I get shots up in the gym every morning on the shooting machine and then go lift weights during lunchtime, and after school, I get some ball-handling and finishing drills done with my trainer.
PHR: Has anything been changing with your recruitment since we last talked? What new schools have been entering the picture?
Noland: A couple of new schools have shown some interest like Princeton, Dartmouth, UCF, and Texas A&M Corpus Christi to name a few. I’ve also been thinking about the possibility of doing a prep year to let things blow over with COVID. I still like the schools I have right now a lot but I want to keep my options open with the recruiting calendar and all the rule changes.
PHR: What have those new schools been saying to you?
Noland: Most of them have said they are waiting to see what spots they will have available depending on which seniors choose to stay or leave but I know some of them like the idea of me doing a year of prep.
PHR: You hold a few offers already. What have they been saying to you? Have any really been standing out in your eyes?
Noland: I like Navy and West Point, and I have a strong relationship with both of the staff. I would say those two believe in me a lot. I like EKU as well and they play a fun style of basketball.
PHR: What are some of your expectations this year for you and your team at Apex Friendship?
Noland: I honestly feel like we have a good chance to be really successful. The goal I want our guys to focus on is to win out our conference and get a conference championship and go from there.
PHR: What is your excitement with this group of guys you have so far since you have been able to play with most of them this summer. What is the breakdown of your squad this year in your eyes?
Noland: I think we all compliment each other nicely. I feel like my role is to score, distribute the ball, and play tough defense. We have guys that can really shoot eh ball like Luke Proctor and Gabe Proctor, who I think are two of the best shooters in the state. We also have guys like Cole Ganim, who is athletic and long and can do all the little things that really help us win. We also have a big man, Will Asken, who is already good but getting better every day. And guys like Liam Schmit and Trey Sheckler, who play good defense and play a big role in our team’s success. Our juniors are all eager to play as well and play with a lot of effort, and we just got a transfer in Isaac Holmes, so I really like our chances of going into this year as a team all-around. I love playing with Apex Friendship because of the team mindset and selflessness that we all play with, which helps us win.