This past weekend, Phenom Hoops took the opportunity to maximize our downtime and continue providing coverage throughout the region. While the event in Rock Hill drew a ton of attention, prospects could be found playing in numerous locations—including at the Triad Blue Chips East Fall League in Greensboro. We traveled out to Shining Light Academy and caught most of the action, and this article will take a closer look at some standouts and the coinciding storylines from the evening…
5’8 ’23 Jahnari Luckey (Thomasville)
Despite a productive, successful freshman season, not enough folks are talking about Luckey and his high-level abilities as a floor general. Anyone who would’ve watched him over the last year could easily identify the talent oozing through the seams. It truly all starts with his extremely impressive IQ and overall understanding of the game. Luckey is calm, poised, and polished with each decision. He’s terrific at getting wherever he wants on the court while constantly surveying and waiting to setup others or harness scoring opportunities. Luckey showed the ability to score from multiple levels with efficiency, yet maintained unselfishness and genuinely looked to make the smartest possible decision on each possession. He’s a steady, fundamental ball-handler but also knows how to breakdown his assignment with relative ease. On the other end, Luckey proved to be a pest at the point of attack. He might be slightly undersized but it didn’t seem to prevent him from forcing turnovers, creating for others, scoring with regularity, or leading on either side of the ball. It’s early, but he’s already shaping up to be a very useful college prospect and could be someone for coaches to watch closely going forward.
Thomasville Still Trending Upward
After the departure of Cameron Whiteside, Thomasville had no obvious path towards success. However, the hiring of Antonio Threadgill immediately turned the Bulldogs into a fairly competitive group. He took over a team of athletes and converted them into basketball players within his first season. By year two, Threadgill designed a squad led by Tyree Barnes and the aforementioned Luckey to reach an improved record. They did an excellent job of highlighting their strengths (effort, defense, toughness) while masking their weaknesses (perimeter shooting, lack of elite size). After a 16-10 record in his second season, Threadgill sent his first player to the next level (Barnes; Pfeiffer) and now looks towards the future. Luckey will shine as the clear leader and primary decision-maker for this group, but guys like Malcolm Knight and CJ Dickerson (among others) will be absolutely vital to this operation. Only time will tell but based on all the context, one can only expect Threadgill and his squad to continue prevailing.