Henderson Collegiate “A Story book beginning
Just three years ago, Henderson Collegiate began as a small NCHSAA 1A Charter School located in rural Henderson, North Carolina. With coach George Marshall in command, what he has accomplished in these three years is simply short of remarkable, amazing and news worthy. In 2017, Henderson Collegiate began their first year of having a varsity high school boys basketball team. The 2017-18 basketball season was their first year in existent and they finished with an impressive 13-13 record.
Last year, Henderson Collegiate went 31-3 and loss in the NCHSAA 1A State Championship game 55-54 to Bishop McGuinness on a last second shot. With the majority of players returning, coach George Marshall was geared for another title run. Coming into the 2019-20, coach Marshall challenged his team with a tough and brutal schedule. Coach George Marshall saw the big picture and wanted to put his team on the big stage. He wanted to play some of the best teams in the state in the best events. Taking his lumps early, it was a learning curve as his Henderson Collegiate team started the season with an 0-4 record, losing to teams like Piedmont Classical, Moravian Prep, Greenfield, and Combine Academy. Losing can take its toll on any team, no matter the lessons learned, but coach George Marshall and his team stayed the course and finished the season winning 14 straight games and advancing to the NCHSAA 1A state championship game, the second straight year and twice in its first three years in existence.
Now, with the uncertainty of the COVID-19 virus, the state championship is on hold and may never take place. Either way, the NCHSAA may cancel the balance of the season and may just crown both teams Co-Champs. With that being said, in only three years, Henderson Collegiate has gone from an infant and unheard-of program to a household name with the likes of all the big-time names in the state. Henderson Collegiate is for real and what they’ve accomplished in this short period of time is like a made for TV show. While coach George Marshall is happy with the success the team has enjoyed on the basketball court, he is more concerned about them as young men and giving them an opportunity to get a college education and when 6’4 senior Kalib Matthews was awarded the first ever college scholarship by Queens University, it was all icing on the cake.
We had a chance to speak with coach George Marshall about his team and we wanted to take the time to give our readers his team goals and rundown on all the players off the Henderson Collegiate team.
Overall Season Review
Henderson Collegiate had three major goals for the upcoming season. First, Coach Marshall wanted his team to achieve a 3.0+ GPA. While basketball is a priority for the head coach, he also wants his players to achieve academic success in the classroom. Next, he wanted to see his senior obtain scholarship opportunities, which was achieved when 6’4 senior Kalib Mathews earned a scholarship opportunity to play at Queens University. Next up, like every team, they wanted to play and win a state championship.
Coach Marshall prioritized an ELITE out of conference schedule during the regular season. Henderson Collegiate played against Piedmont Classical, Moravian Prep, Combine Academy, Wesleyan Christian, Greenfield , Mt. Zion, Teays Valley Prep, Independence, and Liberty Heights. This tough and challenging schedule prepared Henderson Collegiate in their path to the state championship which included games against Pender, East Carteret, John A. Holmes, and North Edgecombe. (All top 12 NCHSAA 1A schools per Max Preps )
Henderson Collegiate won their second straight NCHSAA 1A East Regional Championship against North Edgecombe by the score of 68-48. Coming in to the game, North Edgecombe came into the game averaging 79 PPG and to take it a step further, Henderson Collegiate held opponents in the state playoffs to an average of 48 PPG and had an average margin of victory of 30 during the state playoffs.
6’4 2020 Kalib Mathews
The Queens University commit had an outstanding senior season. Mathews averaged 19 PPG, 5 RPG , 5 APG, making a total of 82 3-pointers on 40% shooting. Mathews is the complete player and was named NCAC Conference POY and was selected to the NCBCA District 6 All Conference Second Team.
6’2 2020 Charles Kiah
Kiah is the ultimate team glue guy and hustle player. He has a non-stop motor and plays with a full throttle approach to the game. He had multiple strong performances at Phenom camps and had his top performance against North Edgecombe HS in the state playoffs.
6’3 2021 Javonte Waverly
Javonte Waverly is one of the top players in the state for his class and one of the elite level point guards. He averaged 22 PPG, 7 RPG, 2 SPG, and shot 46% from the 3-point line. Currently, sporting offers from Elon and UNC-Greensboro, look for Waverly’s stock continue to rise. In the NCHSAA 1A East Regional Championship game, Waverly had a monster double double for a point guard. He finished with 27 points and collected 12 rebounds. In addition, Waverly is a willing and consistent defender.
State playoff averages 22 PPG/7 RPG/2 SPG/46% 3FG
6’4 2021 AK Holden
Holden is an elite level and explosive athlete and will be a scholarship level worthy prospect. During the state playoffs, Holden averaged 12 PPG, 9 RPG, 2 BPG, and 2 SPG, and shot 56% from the floor. More importantly, Holden plays much bigger than his listed height. He has impeccable rebounding instincts and his quick and explosive leaping ability allows him to get rebounds, not to mention alter and block shots. In the Elite 8 matchup against John A. Holmes HS, Holden had 26 points and eight rebounds.
6’3 2021 Nick Green
Green is an excellent 3-pointer, strong communicator on defense and a sneaky rebounder. He is second on the team in rebounds bending AK Holden. During the state playoff run, Green averaged 12 PPG, 5 RPG and made 12 3-pointers, while his top performances came against Pender HS where he scored 19 points including three 3-pointers, and followed up with 20 points against East Carteret including five 3-pointers.
6’1 2021 JaQuaveon Venable
Venable is the team capture and ultimate glue guy. In addition, Venable is a fearless defender and will do whatever it takes for his team to win. His stats may not jump out at you, but he will make all the hustle and winning plays that may not show up in the box score. In the game against East Carteret, he had a superb all-around game where he had six points and assists, while collecting seven rebounds. Against John A. Holmes HS, he had 11 points, four assists and rebounds and in the East Regional Championship game, Venable had a double double of 10 points, 11 rebounds and dished out four assists.
6’4 2021 Davon Allen
Allen is a strong rebounder for his size, willing passer, and a tough finisher on contact in the paint. He had multiple big performance in the state playoffs, notably against Pender and North Edgecombe.
5’9 2021 Khris Franklin
Franklin is an excellent on ball defender and team defender, not to mention great constant verbal communications. He knows and understands his role extremely well and plays well within himself. When his number is called…he delivers. Example: Tie game at end of first quarter at John A. Holmes (19-19), gets rebound off excellent box out, comes down and in rhythm catches and swishes a 3 at the buzzer to give HC the lead
6’1 2021 Omahj Evans
Evans is a fearless defender and rebounder and plays with passion and purpose. Had two games during the season with 10+ rebounds with a season high 14 against East Wake Academy. Started the state playoffs with a 15 points and four rebounds against River Mill Academy.
6’1 2021 Kaleb Royster
Royster may be one of the more slept on players on the team. He plays above the rim and is quick and explosive leaping ability allows him to play much bigger. Royster brings energy, passion, and support to the team whether he is on or off the court.
6’5 2021 Jashea Hart
Hart is an emerging post prospect and one to carefully monitor moving forward. He’s excellent supporting teammates off the bench, consistently bringing energy that makes those around him better.