About 40-50 minutes outside of Charlotte, Kings Mountain high school sits and has been one of the premier programs in western North Carolina for some time now. Last year, the Mountaineers finished 21-7 under head coach Grayson Pierce. This year though, Pierce has several underclassmen that are looking to make a big splash this season, as they look to continue their winning traditions.
With Patrick O’Brien sitting on the sidelines, here is what we saw at the open gym.
2022 5’11 Isaiah Tate: As a freshman, Tate showcased what he is capable of doing early on, including a 39-point performance vs. Crest last year. Now, he looks to be one of the go-to players for the Mountaineers. When watching the young but talented guard, one can easily see that he can get his shot off any time he wants to and he will let it fly. But don’t let that fool you, he shows quick reaction and hesitation, allowing him to get to the lane and score. He is wired to put points on the board and that he will do this year.
2021 6’3 Coby Paysour: Regarded as a big-time receiver on the football field, Paysour brings that athleticism and size to the court. What is great about his game is his ability to lead the offense or play off the ball, but also his ability to be a slasher and get to the rim, or knock down the open jumper. He averaged 13 points last year and should see an increase once again as a junior.
2021 5’11 Marcus Odoms: Odoms is a bulldog-type player on the court, just someone that does all the little things for his team on both ends. He takes pride in being a lockdown defender but he also can shoot the ball really well from behind the arc.
2021 6’3 LT Thomas: Thomas is a transfer from North Gaston high school and is looking to find his way into what he can provide to this team. What he does bring though is athleticism, as he has a great build and can certainly get up to throw it down along with taking contact. Thomas also showed that he can knock down mid-range jumpers at times, but still is an area that he could work on.
2021 5’9 Westin Hughes: Hughes was one of the leading scorers on the JV team last year, averaging over 20 points per game. Now, Kings Mountain hopes to bring that same mentality to this year’s team. He has an incredible first step on offense and is decisive with his moves to attack the paint. Hughes’ competitive nature will take him far this year, as he finished strong around the rim, battled for loose balls, and plays hard all the time. He also knocked down a few jumpers with a smooth release.
2021 6’3 Orlando Odoms: Another football prospect on the basketball court, Odoms will be one of the forces down low this year for the Mountaineers. Though he is only 6’3, he does create some issues with his speed, creating mismatches against bigger, slower defenders. He also is highly underrated on the block on offense as well.
2020 6’5 Silas Price: Price is another post player for this team and is one that accepts his role. He is one of the leaders for this group with his experience, being very vocal all over the court. He also looks to man the paint and rebound for this team.
2020 5’7 Rasheem Hughes: Another senior guard that played in 19 games last year. Hughes is one that can initiate the offense, push the ball in transition, and score when the opportunity is there. Expect him to be another senior leader for this team this season.