It’s been stated before, but the high school basketball scene has transformed into something comparable to NBA free agency. On one hand, the kneejerk reaction is to pose an argument for why/how transferring or reclassifying could have a positive effect on said player. The other side of the token typically points to the lack of loyalty, structure, or overall negative effects that could potentially arise. However, the reality is somewhere in the middle. Public school coaches are never going to voluntarily offer up their players for private school programs to poach. There are various examples of players transferring from public schools to other public schools but it’s certainly uncommon. Despite being largely painted out as the villains in this comparison, private school coaches are expected to perform a job, which unfortunately requires them to seek out talent from all possible avenues.
That being said, covering the greater Greensboro area over the last four years has brought a lot of enjoyment. This upcoming season will likely be more unpredictable than ever before, as there will be an extremely unique collection of talent for public and private schools. This series will be ongoing and broken down into numerous parts, so be conscientious of that if your team doesn’t appear…
Last Season: 22-5 (Lost to Cox Mill in Second Round)
The Parkland Mustangs have quietly been among the best teams in the area for the last three years. However, the end of an era is rapidly approaching. Camian Shell has exceeded any possible expectations as a high school player, given the way he came in as a freshman, asserted himself as a leader, and effortlessly dominated a vast majority of opponents. It’s actually shocking and somewhat unsettling how many college coaches have actually watched/evaluated Shell without extending an offer. He’s one of the only sub-six-foot guards in the state that commonly instills fear in opponents. Shell has elite IQ, leadership qualities, and genuinely does just about everything at a high level. The second side of this two-headed dragon comes in the form of Omari Bolden, who has noticeably progressed over the last calendar year. Already a smooth scorer with range and consistency, Bolden worked to get stronger, more efficient, and truly looks likely to continue improving. The duo combined to average nearly 40 PPG and 10 RPG (Shell: 21.4/5.1/5.1/5.4; Bolden: 18.2/4.8/1.9/1.6) during the season while regularly thwarting some of the best teams around. Although these two deserve a lot of credit, none of this would be even remotely possible without having some of the top coaches on their bench. Travis Holcomb-Faye and Whit Holcomb-Faye are certainly in the upper echelon of high school coaches in North Carolina, and it’s evident within their mentality, game plan, and overall style. They might not receive as much credit as some big-name programs but they’ve proven capable of going toe-to-toe with anyone. It’s difficult to imagine this group taking a step backwards from last season to the upcoming one, but they will lose guys like Denoris Wardlow and Chase Rorie among various others. Somehow this group always figures out a way to shore up their depth and allow the next man to simply step up and contribute. This season should be no different. Shell and Bolden should be comfortable carrying the lion’s share of responsibility, which will naturally lead to a lot of wins and a chance to compete for a state championship.