Head Coach Frank Cantadore is one of the most underrated coaches in the state, regardless of class or affiliation. Year after year, Coach Cantadore will play the toughest schedule, bar none! He isn’t afraid of the challenge and views the toughest teams as an opportunity for his team to improve and get better. Case and point, Concord Academy had a losing record heading into the NCISAA state playoffs. While we pegged them as the favorite to win the NCISAA 3A Championship even with a 14-16 record. Concord Academy went on to win three straight games winning the championship 70-66 over High Point Christian to finish with a 17-16 record.
This year will be no different. Coach Cantadore will sacrifice wins for his team to play the toughest and most challenging schedule. It’s in his DNA and what’s not to like about a coach that values competition more than wins and losses? While 6’9 ’24 Kany Tchanda transferred to Winston-Salem Christian, Coach Cantadore returns Winthrop commit 6’5 Noah Van Bibber, but also picked up valuable new faces in 6’8 Avion Pinner, 5’8 JJ Moore, and 6’1 Isaiah Tate. In addition, 6’10 Peter Asceric just arrived five days earlier from Serbia, who will add another impact player on this well-rounded team.
6’4 ’23 Noah Van Bibber
The Winthrop commit will be looked upon to bring senior leadership to this team. He’s a strong, sturdy, and reliable perimeter shooter who has a quick release with outstanding range. He’s one of the top 3-point shooters in the state and will bring instant offense from the perimeter. In addition, Noah is a high IQ and fundamentally sound player that picks his shots. He’s an efficient scorer and is also very unselfish and an excellent passer from the shooting guard position.
6’8 ’23 Avion Pinner
Avion transferred from The Burlington School and will provide an inside presence on both ends of the court. He plays with effort and energy at the open gym and showcased his ability to handle the ball extremely well in the open court. He’s best attacking the basket with straight-line drives and has the ability to finish with solid body control. The next step for Avion is to continue working on his perimeter shot to become a more rounded player. That being said, if he continues to play with effort, he will be an effective and consistent scorer for Concord Academy.
5’8 ’24 JJ Moore
In speaking with Coach Frank Cantador, Moore led the team in points and assists during the June Live period. Somewhat undersized, Moore uses his outstanding quickness and ball speed to negate any physical limitation to bigger guards. For most matchups, Moore will be one of, if not the quickest player on the court. He does an excellent job of pushing the ball in transition and does a terrific job of making the right reads and decisions. Look for Moore to have a breakout season for Concord Academy.
6’1 ’23 Isaiah Tate
Coach Cantadore is blessed to have two outstanding guards on the roster. Tate has the ability to play on or off the ball and can get it going from the perimeter. He’s a three-level scorer that has outstanding quickness and open-court speed. He’s a tough defender and the Moore-Tate will be one of the most exciting backcourts in the state. They will be fun to watch and was equally impressed with the continuity they displayed playing together.
6’10 ’23 Peter Asceric
Asceric just arrived within the past week and look for the skilled face-up big to be an important part of Concord Academy’s this season. Playing in one of his first open gyms in America, Asceri has soft “passer-friendly” hands and has the ability to finish over either shoulder. He has a soft shooting touch around the rim and once he gets into physical shape and conditioning, he should become a major scoring option. In addition, Asceric has a high basketball IQ and is a passer friendly big.
6’1 ’25 Jake Benham
The younger brother of former Concord Academy star, Trae Benham, Jake Benham looks like he is following his big brother’s footsteps. Jake is an outstanding perimeter shooter with terrific range beyond the 3-point line. With two speedy guards in the backcourt, Jake has the luxury of playing behind and in the shadows of Noah Van Bibber, not to mention putting Van Bibber and Benham on the court at the same time will create tremendous spacing that will elevate the play of the backcourt and the inside presence of Peter Asceric.