On Tuesday, Phenom Hoops traveled to Concord to watch the defending NCISAA 3A State Champions, Concord Academy (formerly Concord First Assembly). Coach Frank Cantadore has done a remarkable job over the past nine years building Concord Academy into a perennial NCISAA power. In nine seasons, their overall record is 220-65 and they’ve won over 22 games per year for eight straight seasons. Concord Academy has gone undefeated in conference play, winning the MAC Conference regular season and tournament each of the past two years. More importantly, during Coach Cantadore’s tenure as head coach, 35 players have gone on to receive college scholarships.

Coming off a 35-3 record in 2019-20 and losing three starters in Garrett Hien (Furman), Cheick Traore (Youngstown State), and Isaac Boothe, the Eagles show no signs of slowing down. They return leading scorer and Lipscomb commit, Trae Benham, who averaged 19.2 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 2 assists per game last season. Benham is known for his shooting ability. He plays with great confidence and has tremendous range. He doesn’t need much space at all to get his shot off. Not only does he shoot the ball at a high level, he is a strong, physical driver. More importantly, he is a tough competitor and great leader.

The addition of transfer Logan Threatt (2022) will add a new dynamic to the backcourt. He and Benham will compliment one another very well. This will be one of the toughest backcourts in the state. Last season, Threatt averaged 21.2 points, 4.3 assists, and 4.9 rebounds per game at South Point High School. He followed up a standout high school season with a great summer for Team Curry. Threatt is a high IQ point guard who has a really good feel on the court. His composure and ability to play at his own pace is something that stands out. He plays under control, and I love how he plays off two feet on drives. That is something simple, but will translate nicely at the next level. He has shown the ability to make shots from all levels and can create for himself and others. In addition, he will provide great leadership and another solid defensive presence. He is very vocal on the defensive end, and does a great job with both on-ball defense and understanding team defensive concepts.

Other players who will contribute to the success of Concord Academy will be Javian Cannady (2021), Tyler Fearne (2021), KJ Perry (2021), Tucker Johnson (2022), Sergej Cvetkovic (2023), and Nikola Mircic (2023). Javian Cannady is a quick, explosive guard who excels in the open court and attacking the basket. He finishes well at the rim with either hand. His improved perimeter shooting will open up opportunities to set up his drives. Tyler Fearne shoots the ball at a high level. Son of Charlotte 49ers Assistant Coach Aaron Fearne, it’s easy to see how Tyler makes the right basketball play and has a high IQ. KJ Perry is another athletic guard who has the ability to make shots. Tucker Johnson is another transfer student-athlete who will provide physicality and athleticism in the post. Sergej Cvetkovic is a young international prospect from Serbia who has nice length to go along with his shooting ability. Nikola Mircic is another Serbian student-athlete who will provide an inside scoring presence.

Coach Cantadore reiterated, “We have been blessed with great kids that buy in.” It’s easy to see the culture that has been set in place at Concord Academy. The student-athletes buy into their team-first mentality, share the ball, and play for one another. Concord Academy has all the ingredients to make serious run at another State Championship.