Shining Light Academy Basketball:SLA hosting the Triad Blue Chips Basketball League this weekend(Coach Harold Cone now at SLA)

Posted by Andy Durham on September 18, 2020 at 3:04 pm under High School, Photos | Comments are off for this article

Coach Harold Cone has taken over the Shining Light Academy boys basketball program.

SLA is playing in the Triad Blue Chips league and SLA beat Northwest Guilford last weekend, looking at a score of somewhere in the neighborhood of, 63-60.

Shining Light Academy will play East Forsyth this weekend.

The Blue Chips East Basketball League is playing in the Shining Light Academy gym on West Wendover Avenue…..

Northwest Guilford(Connor Ballou, Drew Watkins, Jackson Hartzell and others), Northern Guilford(Nolan Hodge, Jackson Helms and others) Thomasville, Eastern Guilford(Kamell Smith), East Forsyth, Page(Jaden Ellis, Josh Scovens and others) and a Select team in the East Division play at the SLA gym.
(Add Bishop McGuinness and Burlington Christian to the list of teams at SLA, playing in the Triad Blue Chips East.)

The Select team has KJ Garrett(High Point Christian Academy), Kayden Dawkins(Eastern Guilford HS), Jamari Thomas(The Burlington School), & Ethan Pegram…..The select team is very talented….

Info courtesy of Danny Robinson, Athletic Director at Shining Light Academy, names and numbers coming in from our editors, at GreensboroSports.com…..

from Jeff Bendel with the Phenom Hoops Report:

Highlights from Triad Blue Chips East Fall League: Shining Light Academy Starting from Ground Zero
by Jeff Bendel

This past weekend, Phenom Hoops took the opportunity to maximize our downtime and continue providing coverage throughout the region. While the event in Rock Hill drew a ton of attention, prospects could be found playing in numerous locations—including at the Triad Blue Chips East Fall League in Greensboro. We traveled out to Shining Light Academy and caught most of the action, and this article will take a closer look at some standouts and the coinciding storylines from the evening…

6’0 ’22 Nasir Gibbs (Shining Light Academy)

Despite playing alongside a relatively new collection of teammates, it was pretty easy to see Gibbs emerge as a leader for Shining Light Academy. His ability to dictate the offensive action is certainly useful and even impressive at times, but more emphasis needs to be placed on turning those flashes into extended stretches. Gibbs displayed a clear knack for scoring the ball and would seize critical opportunities whenever available. He attacked the basket, knocked down perimeter jumpers, created for others, and generally made smart decisions with the ball in his hands. Additionally, Gibbs possesses a quality frame along with defensive prowess and solid rebounding instincts. He’s one of many useful prospects on this team, so it’ll be interesting to see how Shining Light Academy grows with Gibbs at the helm.

Shining Light Academy Starting from Ground Zero

With new programs emerging seemingly every day, Harold Cone and Shining Light Academy should be one of the more unique situations to arise. After announcing his acceptance of the head coaching position, Cone immediately worked to piece together a competitive roster for the upcoming season. Given their first victory at Triad Blue Chips Fall League, it could easily be the start of something successful if they maintain their current trajectory. Though the aforementioned Gibbs shined as a leader, this roster has numerous capable contributors (and multiple who were sidelined with injury)—which offers even more optimism about the overall situation. It truly is just the beginning for Cone and company, so expect to hear about this squad making noise going forward.

Highlights from Triad Blue Chips East Fall League: Northern Guilford Forming Their Best Squad in Recent History
by Jeff Bendel

This past weekend, Phenom Hoops took the opportunity to maximize our downtime and continue providing coverage throughout the region. While the event in Rock Hill drew a ton of attention, prospects could be found playing in numerous locations—including at the Triad Blue Chips East Fall League in Greensboro. We traveled out to Shining Light Academy and caught most of the action, and this article will take a closer look at some standouts and the coinciding storylines from the evening…

6’6 ’22 Nolan Hodge (Northern Guilford)

After repeatedly vocalizing how underrated and under-recruited Hodge has been throughout the years, Duquesne deserves a ton of credit for being the first program to extend an offer. So many folks were on the fence or struggled to really buy-in and embrace the idea of what he could become. Now, anyone who doubted Hodge’s ability looks foolish. Everything that’s been said has held up nicely against the test of time. In fact, Hodge is still not even close to his ceiling despite already shining as a dominant force. At 6-foot-6 with IQ and true guard skills, he’s a legitimate matchup problem for pretty much any type of opponent. Hodge is a high-level offensive talent with blossoming physicality/athleticism and the tools to be an excellent defender. It’s still just the beginning for Hodge, who should collect at least another dozen offers by this time next year.

Northern Guilford Forming Their Best Squad in Recent History

Though we’ve written at length about Hodge as their leader, the Nighthawks’ appeal goes far beyond just one prospect. Adonijah Whitley is as valuable as anyone on the roster, but his subtle, unselfish, fill-in-the-gaps often doesn’t receive the proper recognition. His ability to naturally impact the game should have a ton of programs stepping forward to get involved with his recruitment. Whitley is smart, tough, well-rounded, and can essentially carve out a role with any collection of surrounding talent. Jackson Helms has probably improved more than anyone on the roster, but still looks likely to continue developing. He’s a pretty useful all-around floor general but consistently stands out with his grit, motor, and toughness. Helms is a quality defender with physicality and the ability to draw multiple charges in a given game. Meanwhile, Manny Elliott is the newest addition to this roster and could easily give them a reliable two-way presence. He’s known for his ability as a crafty scorer but also has the tools to find his place defensively and as a secondary creator. Aside from the main core, Owen Griffith brings motor, defense, and toughness while playing steady and hitting the open shot offensively. Sam Emerick also plays a nice role as one of their main interior players, displaying hustle, motor, and rebounding instincts. It seems like all the stars are aligning for this group to make a deep run in the playoffs and potentially throw their hat in the ring for a state title.

Highlights from Triad Blue Chips East Fall League: Eastern Guilford Will Retain Their Status as a Championship Contender
by Jeff Bendel

This past weekend, Phenom Hoops took the opportunity to maximize our downtime and continue providing coverage throughout the region. While the event in Rock Hill drew a ton of attention, prospects could be found playing in numerous locations—including at the Triad Blue Chips East Fall League in Greensboro. We traveled out to Shining Light Academy and caught most of the action, and this article will take a closer look at some standouts and the coinciding storylines from the evening…

5’9 ’21 Kadyn Dawkins (Eastern Guilford)

Another setting, another high-level showing from Dawkins as the leader of this Wildcats squad. He was the best player on the floor and, despite going against a quality matchup, got whatever and wherever he wanted on the court. Dawkins effortlessly dictated the action with the ball in his hands, displaying IQ and poise while offering his usual balance between playmaking and three-level scoring. He knocked down shots, worked to set up others, and applied constant downhill pressure as a penetrator. Dawkins continues to cause problems for opponents with his defensive prowess, given his combination of quickness, positioning, and anticipation. After securing his second offer from Mars Hill, college coaches should be well-aware of Dawkins going into his senior season.

Eastern Guilford Will Retain Their Status as a Championship Contender

Any team immediately vaults themselves into competitive territory with Dawkins at the helm. However, this Eastern Guilford squad certainly goes beyond their two-way leader. Kamell Smith is an excellent running mate alongside Dawkins, as they are nearly polar opposites. Smith is a strong, physical, athletic wing/forward with the necessary size and versatility to be an impact player against all types of opponents. He’s a great secondary scorer and rebounder with a willingness to make hustle plays on both ends of the floor. Smith welcomes anyone to stand in his path when attacking the rim, as he will finish over or through almost any amount of contact at the rim. In many ways, Jayron Rankin stands out as their toughest, grittiest, most defensive-oriented player on the roster. His high motor, defensive prowess, and overall intensity make him an absolute monster at the point of attack. Rankin’s effort and energy level naturally allows him to make an impact. He’s also a capable penetrator and understands how to find his offensive opportunities within the flow of the team structure. Beyond those three, everyone else places emphasis on doing the little things. As simple as it sounds, guys like Deandre McCollum along with their slew of role players make a major difference for the final product. Each player who logs minutes knows their role and identity within the bigger picture. It might not sound like a big deal, but their commitment to the team concept is certainly going to take this squad far during the upcoming season.

Highlights from Triad Blue Chips East Fall League: Northwest Guilford Changing Directions
by Jeff Bendel

This past weekend, Phenom Hoops took the opportunity to maximize our downtime and continue providing coverage throughout the region. While the event in Rock Hill drew a ton of attention, prospects could be found playing in numerous locations—including at the Triad Blue Chips East Fall League in Greensboro. We traveled out to Shining Light Academy and caught most of the action, and this article will take a closer look at some standouts and the coinciding storylines from the evening…

6’1 ’21 Jake Kawalec (Northwest Guilford)

Perhaps no one on this roster has bigger shoes to fill than Kawalec, largely due to being the only senior (who played varsity last year) on the entire roster. Not only that, but he’ll also be tasked with additional on-court responsibilities as a lead creator alongside Connor Ballou. Kawalec is a fairly heady guard with length, motor, and toughness. He’s a capable shooter but prefers to attack the basket and make plays. Kawalec is a reliable defender and rebounder with the necessary instincts to effectively push the break in transition. He does everything at a fairly solid rate and should have no issue asserting himself as a major contributor throughout the season. Kawalec has already proven to be a useful piece, but it’ll be especially interesting to see how he operates as the main veteran for this group.

Northwest Guilford Changing Directions

We’ve written at length about Ballou and his expected abilities/production as a leader for the new-look Northwest Vikings. Nothing has changed on that front, as he’s clearly still the most likely candidate on this roster for a breakout season. However, after being sidelined with an injury for majority of their contest on Saturday, the Vikings showed signs of vulnerability. After the departure of Christian Hampton and Dean Reiber, some struggles should’ve been anticipated. That being said, there were still many positive takeaways from this contest. Jackson Hartzell continues physically develop while still shooting the ball at a high level. Kawalec offers a nice complement to the smooth-shooting duo, given his heady downhill approach. He can run the team as needed or play alongside other primary ball-handlers with relative ease. Jaylen Cross is young but looks like an odds-on favorite to take the leadership reigns after the current junior class graduates. Additionally, Drew Watkins (DNP-injury) will play a major, and arguably the most vital, role for this team. Between size and ability, Watkins is going to be a strong interior presence with the versatility to naturally cause mismatches. All the aforementioned obstacles should make for an exciting year, as Lee Reavis maintains his status as a top-tier coach and is almost guaranteed to keep the Vikings relevant.


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