Phenom Hoops went out on the road again, just checking in on another open gym. Always an exciting time for us, as we get to see what teams are shaping up to look like heading into the season but also learn a few new names. Lake Norman Christian has been a HOT name over the last few months and Head Coach Mason Padgett has a ton of talent for him on the floor.
They brought in a lot of Division I talent and will be the talk of the state for many, as they will be playing a national-level schedule. Let’s dive into what we saw on the court with this program though.
2023 Mikey Williams
Williams will be the highlight reel waiting to happen, as he certainly backs up his high ranking with his game. He brings such a tremendous scoring ability with a blend of strength and skill, but also showed an incredible knack in finding teammates on the court, something you don’t always hear with how he can score the ball. However, you can’t look past with how he can be an absolute monster on the court, finishing at the rim and through traffic, and showing great body control. The last aspect of his game that impressed me was how strong he plays on the defensive end. With his body, there aren’t many guards that can go through him and he can really get after it and create havoc. Williams will be the flashy name that everyone will want to see but there certainly is a lot to his game you have to appreciate.
2022 Shane Fernald
Fernald may have been the one that caught our eyes the most during practice. He continues to be a prospect that is growing and expanding his game, but it was the leadership and being vocal that immediately stood out and continued all through practice. Fernald looks to be the one who pushes and leads on and off the court, something coaches will absolutely love at the next level. As far as his game, he attacks down low, uses his body well, and can step out with his jumper. Expecting some big things for this forward.
2021 Jonathan Kurtas
Kurtas is a strong, athletic forward that continues to grow with his game. He is incredibly mobile, runs the floor well, and is skilled down low in the post. He also has a nice blend of bounce and power to his game that should be a big-time presence down low for this team. Kurtas had a tremendous summer and should only continue to raise his game with the talent around him.
2023 Riley Allenspach
A younger prospect but one that already has good size early on at 6’9. Riley shows good early footwork and solid fundamentals but is one that is also continuing to grow his game. He has a soft touch around the rim and should provide depth for this program.
2022 JP Haggarty
The wing prospect provides a nice blend of shot-making ability from outside and the corner but also one that can score off the dribble. Haggarty brings experience, IQ, and a smooth feel to the floor, while also being a solid defender. Haggarty’s strong build allows him to attack in multiple ways but with his ability to stretch the defense with his ability to knock down shots, he will be a key part in opening defenses up.
2023 Trey Green
Have a strong feeling that Green is only going to continue what he showed all summer long. Green brings a true point guard that plays with a unique blend of skill, a tremendous pace and feel, play-making/scoring ability, and toughness on both ends. He has such a smooth scoring ability from all levels but also looks to get his teammates involved. Think he is going to be a key piece for this team.
2022 Joyful Hawkins
A new name in North Carolina, Hawkins brings a tremendous ability to impact the floor on the boards, finishing all around the rim, and running the floor. One of the more impressive factors of his game that we noticed was his rim-to-rim running, showing tremendous speed as a forward. But he also has big-time length that he uses well when rising and finishing at the rim. Was really impressed getting our first view of him.
Lake Norman will also have 2021 AJ Allenspach coming back on the court (currently sidelined with an injury), while 2023 Josh Bullock will play a key part in handling the ball and a scoring option as a guard, 2021 Demitri McCall brings versatility and good size to his position, and 2026 Ashton Pierce is going to be a name to watch for.