It’s been stated before, but the high school basketball scene has transformed into something comparable to NBA free agency. On one hand, the kneejerk reaction is to pose an argument for why/how transferring or reclassifying could have a positive effect on said player. The other side of the token typically points to the lack of loyalty, structure, or overall negative effects that could potentially arise. However, the reality is somewhere in the middle. Public school coaches are never going to voluntarily offer up their players for private school programs to poach. There are various examples of players transferring from public schools to other public schools but it’s certainly uncommon. Despite being largely painted out as the villains in this comparison, private school coaches are expected to perform a job, which unfortunately requires them to seek out talent from all possible avenues.
Although this is not going to be a “Preview of the Triad High School Basketball Landscape” article, the introduction paragraph is still completely necessary. It might rub some the wrong way, but everything Padgett has done thus far is completely within his rights as a private school coach. Last season, he took over the basketball program at Lake Norman Christian and wasted no time at getting things in motion. Padgett led a first-year team to a 31-2 record, which is pretty impressive regardless of competition level. Now, his sights are set on building something extremely enticing for year two.
Lake Norman Christian has already received multiple prospects transferring in and reclassifying, but should still have numerous contributors from the previous roster. The incoming trio of Hunter Sloop, AJ Allenspach, and Jonathan Kurtas already gives this team elite frontcourt size. Despite possessing an excellent skillset and overall identity, Sloop reclassified to the Class of 2022 and should ultimately bolster his recruitment in the process. At 6-foot-8, he’s tremendously skilled as a creator, shooter, and versatile scorer with quality instincts as a defender and rebounder. Meanwhile, Allenspach (also 6-foot-8) actually came in from South Carolina and has a blue-collrar/high-motor identity that seems to mesh well with any collection of teammates. He’s a workhorse on the glass, runs the floor properly in transition, and scores the ball with efficiency from midrange-in. Last but not least of their size, 6-foot-10 Jonathan Kurtas has a chance to dominate as much as anyone on this roster. He just began scratching the surface last season but was consistently better as the year went along. Kurtas has touch, strength, poise, and an understanding of how to anchor the paint on both ends of the floor.
Additionally, guys like Clay Robinson and Jalen Chambers should find themselves in contributing roles. Lake Norman Christian also recently added Caleb Senyo, a young, steadily improving point guard from Veritas Christian. This team is truly just getting started and have the chance to develop into a special program over the foreseeable future.