While Coach Dinkins has been at the helm, Northside Christian played in three straight NCISAA 2A Championship games, winning the state championship in 2012 and 2013. When watching Northside Christian over the years, you will be impressed with the execution and overall teamwork. The team is extremely well-coached and is methodical on offense. He has an unbelievable 96% winning percentage over his career.

This past Labor Day, Phenom Hoops travelled down to the Queen City to check out Northside Christian. After covering open gym last year, we had an idea of what to expect. This time of year is the “Quiet Period” for high school coaches to interact with their team, however that is seldom the case for Head Coach Byron Dinkins and assistant coach Joe Badgett. Like every year, Coach Dinkins and his staff has delegated responsibility to his seniors. It is their responsibility to “lead” and “take charge” during open gyms and they take this responsibility very serious.

Coach Dinkins is a very quiet person by nature and is a man of few words. He has a quiet demeanor and has always led by his actions. When he does speak, he quickly gets the attention of his team. Leading the way for Northside Christian was 6’2 senior Colton Cashaw. Cashaw was the coach on the floor today. It was his responsibility leading the team through stations. He was directing and his senior leadership will be important this season.

After a year of adversity in 2014 where he loss key players to graduation and to transfers, Coach Dinkins is more in a rebuilding year compared to years where he simply reloaded. That’s the scary part because he has added some key pieces to the team this season. On paper, they won’t be as talented or deep, but don’t be surprised to see Northside Christian competing for another NCISAA 2A Championship.

As open gym started, Colton Cashaw led the team in various drills and station work, it was time to scrimmage. Naturally, the first game is always a “no dribble” scrimmage. It may seem somewhat easy for a team to conduct a “no dribble” scrimmage in the half court, but Coach Byron Dinkins has his team scrimmage full court with the “no dribble” rule. Players were passing and cutting without the ball which is exactly the purpose of the drill.

Senior Leadership

6’2 Colton Cashaw is without question the team’s senior leader. He currently does possess any D1 offers but is getting interest from various D1 schools. We were impressed with his vocal leadership displayed on the court. He plays smart and has excellent basketball IQ. While he doesn’t have great athleticism, it is his intangibles that makes him so important to the team’s success this season.

Top Newcomer

6’5 sophomore Nate Hinton already possesses a college ready frame. He has a strong, sturdy frame with long arms. He’s extremely explosive in the open court and has improved his perimeter shooting although he will need to show consistency throughout the season. More importantly, Hinton is a high academic student. He sports an impressive 3.7 GPA and is so well grounded. In speaking with him during breaks, he is a very polite and humble young man. Hinton will give you great eye contact and will always respond with a “yes sir” and “thank you” response. While he doesn’t have a list of offers yet, Virginia, Clemson and Appalachian State have shown the most interest.

The Sparkplug

5’9 junior Chris Martin is also a newcomer to Northside Christian. He has excellent quickness and has some flash to his game. We were impressed with his overall court vision and passing ability. He’s extremely talented in making the “pitch ahead” pass and making long distance bounce passes off the dribble. In addition, Martin has a good shooting touch from the perimeter.

Freshman on the Rise

6’2 freshman Donovan Gregory may be difficult to keep out of the starting lineup this season. He has an unbelievable motor and his athleticism is his strongest attribute at the current moment. That being said, Gregory is a tough hard nosed defender. As he grows and matures, he has a chance to be a really good player and a hot collegiate prospect.

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