At the beginning of each new year, Phenom Hoops works to assemble a series of articles centered around unsigned senior prospects. Last season, hundreds of players from North Carolina went on to play at the Division I, II, III or NAIA levels, and that number looks likely to continue increasing with the current senior class. Typically, we take a closer look at guys who are overlooked and underrated, and today’s edition will highlight Gage Lattimore of Ben L. Smith High School.

We’ve seen Lattimore throughout his high school journey, recently stating, “Though several guys stood out for the highly balanced Golden Eagles, Lattimore simply makes a lasting impression through his leadership. He provides a steady, calm demeanor as a focal point, displaying patience, communication, and a reliable defensive presence. Lattimore is a terrific shooting threat who causes problems for opponents without needing the ball in his hands. It’s easy to see why he has a variety of suitors at the next level.” Later followed by, It doesn’t take long when watching the Golden Eagles to notice Lattimore’s significance and overall involvement as a leader. Widely known for his lethal three-point shooting, the 6-foot-3 guard does legitimately everything for this group. Sure, he still applies constant pressure as a marksman from beyond the arc, but his defense, rebounding, playmaking, and steady two-way presence is what makes him so valuable as a focal point. Lattimore mixes it up as a scorer from all levels, but really prioritizes setting the tone and doing whatever it takes to propel his team towards winning basketball. Scholarship-level programs should be in pursuit.”

The Golden Eagles have been excellent this season, and Lattimore is a major reason why. Widely known for his shooting ability, he’s shown the combination of IQ, leadership, and all-around ability to properly set the tone for this group. Lattimore runs the offense and sets up others while applying steady, efficient scoring pressure within the flow of the action. He understands how to make an impact with or without the ball in his hands, yet displays patience and the ability to seek out the best available option. Lattimore is a reliable defender with the blend of toughness, positioning, and overall instincts to cause problems for opponents. He’s also a useful rebounder for his size/position. Given everything he brings to a team, Lattimore should be a difference-maker at the next level.