Phenom’s Open Gym Tour
Carmel Christian (Charlotte, NC)
By Rick Lewis
Phenom Hoop Report travelled to Charlotte to cover Carmel Christian. Last season, Carmel Christian finished 21-6 and lost in the NCISAA 2A championship to Village Christian. The quiet and reserved head coach Byron Dinkins has to be smiling on the inside about the upcoming 2017-18 season. First of all, he returns four key starters from last year’s team in Marten Maide, Myles Pierre, Donovan Gregory and Greg McDonald. In addition, Carmel Christian has added 6’3 point guard Josh Price, 6’2 Ford Cooper is now a rising sophomore, and 6’8 junior has blossomed into a legit D1 prospect.
One thing is for certain, Coach Dinkins has no shortage of shooters and could have one of the more lethal 3-point shooting teams in the state. More importantly, Carmel Christian will have solid depth across the roster and once again should challenge for the NCISAA 2A championship.
Now, let’s take a closer look at the standout players from open gym. There was plenty of talent on hand and look for each player to have a significant impact on the season.
6’3 ’19 Josh Price
First of all, Josh comes from a great basket family. His father Mark Price is now the head coach of the Charlotte 49ers and a former NBA player that spent 12 seasons in the NBA. Josh’s older brother Hudson is currently 6’7 and also plays for Charlotte. Josh has good length. He has extremely long arms and legs and looks like he could grow a few more inches. Back in our 2016 write up, we stated the following. “For Josh, it’s just a matter of time that his game will translate to the next level.” Well, his time has now arrived. While he may not have the quickness and athleticism others may have, overall court awareness, basketball IQ and feel for the game are strong attributes and intangibles you simply cannot teach. Not to mention, he looks like he will embrace the role of team leader and feels totally comfortable in the role of the team’s floor general and point guard. What make’s him especially tough is his ability to shoot the 3-pointer and midrange with high efficiency.
6’4 ’19 Martin Maide
In our opinion, he is one of the state’s best-kept secrets. He has clearly grown and gotten much stronger and it’s evident that Martin has spent a lot of time in the weight room. He is an outstanding perimeter shooter and has terrific range on his 3-point shot, but we were also impressed with his ball handling and ability to go left off the dribble. He’s crafty with the ball and finished extremely well at the rim (especially with his left hand). Martin plays with a quiet confidence and shows very little emotion on the court. He is poised and mature, but more importantly could be a star on the horizon.
6’2 ’19 Myles Pierre
Myles has a nice blend of athleticism and an advanced skill set that could make him Carmel’s most intriguing prospect. While Myles has always demonstrated elite level athleticism, we were equally impressed with his overall game at open gym. The strong combo guard scored from all three levels. He was knocking down 3-pointers, driving forcefully to the rim and showcased a superb all around game. He has strength and quickness, which will also allow him to become a high level defender and one of the area’s best two-way players. He can guard multiple positions and if yesterday was a good indication, his recruitment will look to explode.
6’3 ’18 Donovan Gregory
Gregory has excellent athleticism and uses his strength and lateral quickness extremely well. While his offensive game is still evolving, his defensive prowess will allow him to be one of the regions best on ball defenders. He’s especially tough driving to the rim where he is able to utilize his strength, quickness and athleticism to beat the majority of defenders off the dribble. He is constantly playing with a high motor and possesses a blue-collar workmanlike attitude.
6’7 ’19 Jake Boggs
Talk about a late bloomer! Get this; last year Jake Boggs was a skinny 6’2. While we can still use the word skinny, but let’s add five inches to his frame and it’s clear that he is not finished growing. His father and uncle are both 6’10 and the baby faced young man is as Coach Joe Badgett stated, “Jake is a 2019 kid that nobody knows about.” With Elon, Wofford, and Winthrop in the gym, look for his college interest to pick up sooner rather than later. First of all, Jake has uncanny 3-point range. He has a quick release and excellent shooting mechanics and form. In addition, since he was 6’2 a year ago, Jake has good ball handling skills and court vision. Our slogan that we often use is “it’s not where you start that’s important, but where you finish” and for Jake Boggs, he’s going to finish quite nicely. Simply put, you cannot teach his size and ability to shoot the ball.
Best of the rest
6’3 ’20 Ford Cooper
We’ve seen Ford for quite a while. He has attended our NC Jr. Phenom camp and his game keeps getting better and better. Ford has good length, athleticism and an advanced skill set. His time is definitely coming!
6’2 ’20 Kenny Gwynn
Kenny is a new addition to Carmel Christian. He started last year as a frosh at NW Cabarrus. He has a strong and sturdy frame and will become important utility guy this season.
6’7 ’18 Greg McDonald
Greg will anchor down the low post position. He has good footwork and passer friendly hands. He’s going to give you effort and production in terms of hustle and rebounds.