In just four years, the Pride of Henderson Collegiate has gone from unknown to one of the premier programs within North Carolina. Their pathway has been somewhat uncharacteristic, especially for a 1A team, but hasn’t prohibited them from establishing a winning culture. Despite a ton of talent over the years, Coach George Marshall is arguably the most significant reason for their overall success. He’s been the coach since their discovery and has consistently improved with each passing season. 

Steady improvements aren’t necessarily indicative of wins and losses. The Pride went 31-3 in the 2018-19 season, followed by a 26-10 finish last season. On the outside looking in, one would think they were better in 2018-19—which is simply not the case. Between culture, player development, and strength of schedule, they were undoubtedly at their peak during the most recent season. Although Marshall has been a major component throughout their ascension, their roster construct must also receive a lot of credit. 

It all started and ended with Kalib Matthews, who was an incredible leader, offensive focal point, and overall steal for Queens. In hindsight, Matthews probably could’ve gone (at least) another level higher but will still have an incredible career with the Royals. Javonte Waverly is their top returning player in addition to being one of the toughest defenders and most dynamic playmakers in the state. The Pride is now his team and their success will certainly ride on his shoulders. However, Waverly won’t be alone. Nick Green is a phenomenal spot-up threat and among the best three-point shooters around. AK Holden is quietly one of the better utility players throughout North Carolina, and has proven to be a major x-factor on this team. Add in Davon Allen and Jaquaveon Venable, and this team should be prepared to return to the state championship.