Top 24 Rising Stars Basketball Combine offers opportunity

Top 24 Rising Stars Basketball Combine offers opportunity
March 05
00:00 2015
(Above: Photo by Charles E. Leftwich – West Forsyth’s Da’Sean Harrell in action)

The high school basketball playoffs are in full swing. Folks are spell-bound and excited about the state championship possibilities for the teams they follow.

But, it’s also that time of year when the aspiring playmaker-to-be begins to work on all parts of his game to get ready for the next season. It’s no secret that off-season diligence lays the foundation for up-and-coming athletes to grow and excel in their sport of choice.

The first annual Top 24 Rising Stars Basketball Combine provides an avenue for many of the area’s top non-varsity freshmen and sophomores to further refine their on-court skills. High school underclassmen received invitations to take part in the combine based on the recommendations of area coaches.

This year’s combine is set for March 13 at 6 p.m. at Woodland Gym, better known as the “Eagle’s Nest.” The gym is located at 200 Frampton St., adjacent to the old Woodland Baptist Church on Patterson Avenue.

“The Top 24 Combine’s primary purpose is to help every participant elevate his level of play in every facet of the game,” said Jamie Foster, combine director and JV basketball coach at Carver. “With the quality of instruction they receive, it gives the youngsters additional motivation to keep working hard, which will enable them to get the most out of their talents and skills. By taking part in this combine, players get a much better grasp of the specific areas they need to work on to improve.”

The combine will open with a skill development workout. Participants will take part in a variety of drills, which are designed to sharpen ball-handling, passing and shooting skills. Following that initial workout, a 90-minute NBA-style combine session will be conducted. Players will be measured for their vertical jump and evaluated for speed, lateral quickness and agility.

The centerpiece activity for the evening is the Top 24 “Showdown” game, which is set to begin around 8 p.m. The players at the combine will be divided into two teams. During halftime, there will be a 3-Point Shooting Contest and a Skills and Drills competition (similar to the competition held during NBA All-Star Weekend).

The Top 24 Rising Stars Basketball Combine is presented by Next Level Youth Development, a nonprofit organization based in Winston-Salem.

“Our focus is to help the youth understand their potential,” said Dale Guthrie, president of Next Level. “We develop a plan for them to manage their own growth and improvement and give them the coaching and opportunity to advance in the sport that they love. We offer programs for all levels of athletes and have programs for youth who cannot afford to pay for this level of coaching, but have the talent and desire to take their game to the next level.”

The combine will have a featured guest speaker, which will be announced next week. Disc jockey Waleed Coyote of 102 JAMZ will provide the music. Admission is $5. For more information, contact Coach Foster at 336-695-3212.

Player List – Top 24 Combine

Quinn Baker, Carver
Mason Matrey, West Forsyth
Josh Jenkins, Glenn
Kai Leslie, Mount Tabor
Caleb Burgess, Winston-Salem Prep
Malik Miles, Reagan
Kobe Young, Parkland
Xavier Coles, Reynolds
Curtis Coleman, Jr., East Forsyth
Russell Bradley, Carver
Denard Williams, Atkins
Ted Christakos, Mount Tabor
De’Sean Harrell, West Forsyth
Maverick LaRue, Reagan
Sherrod Wells, East Forsyth
Ian Henderson, Reynolds
James Etter, Atkins
Casey Wilkins, Parkland
Connor Sparrow, East Forsyth
Nigel Payne, Reagan
Brandon Palmer, Winston-Salem Prep
Marcus Harris, Glenn
Justin Carter, Winston-Salem Prep
T.J. Stevens, Mount Tabor

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Craig Greenlee

Craig Greenlee

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