Thursday, August 8, 2013

Suddenly, Charlotte (49ers) starting to look like good spot to Charlotte basketball recruits

I've covered high school basketball in Charlotte for 25 years and seen nearly all of the state's best players who have come through here. And many of them, when they thought about college, never gave the Charlotte 49ers much consideration.

Sometimes they would tell me it was the conference the 49ers were playing in. Charlotte, which is home to more than 26,000 students, wasn't on television enough. They would say the 49ers didn't have enough big rivals.

Some just plain didn't want to stay at home for college.

Whatever it was, it always seemed that the best talents were often trying to go elsewhere.

All of sudden, that seems to be changing.

Thursday afternoon, Northside Christian's Keyshawn Woods committed to Charlotte, choosing the 49ers among 36 Division I offers he had. Woods is ranked No. 9 among N.C. seniors. He ranks among the nation's top 80 players overall.

Already, the 49ers have two home-grown kids on the roster: former Charlotte Christian guard Mitch Warner, a sophomore guard, and former West Mecklenburg standout Terrence Williams, a junior guard.

Another local talent, Shawn Lester of Mooresville, sat out last year due to academics, but hopes to rejoin that team.

Lester and Williams were former All-Observer basketball players in high school, the kind of kids that would often eschew Charlotte in the past. The 49ers have still had some top talent, like former Independence High star Jobey Thomas or former North Meck star DeMarco Johnson. But I always thought that Charlotte should get more.

Charlotte is a great school on a beautiful campus. It offers 92 bachelor degrees, 59 master's and 20 doctoral programs. It has the guts to be special athletically, too.

And now, I sense something different coming, at least in basketball.

Former United Faith star Braxton Ogbueze, a two-time Observer first team talent, was a top 40 national player who went to Florida. His senior year he was considered one of the five best point guards in the country. He's transferred to Charlotte. He has to sit out this season, but will play in 2014-15.

Ditto Bernard Sullivan, a three-time All-Observer pick, who started his career at Clemson. He'll sit out this season and play next.

Former Myers Park guard Ben Cherry has transferred in. He started some games at Tulane previously.

Charlotte's new football team is attracting lots of local talent. Twenty-one players on the 49ers first team are from Mecklenburg County. Another 23 are from neighboring counties in the Charlotte area.

Now, I'm seeing the same local push in basketball.

This is some of the area's top players either choosing to go to Charlotte or coming back, no matter the reason.

Over the next few years, the Charlotte area is going to see an infusion of talent like I've never seen in my time here. The kids in middle school and some in elementary school that I've seen are simply amazing. I think more than a few will be major, major college talents.

This "new" Charlotte will be in position to grab a few, and once the "stars" start going, the 49ers become a destination.




24 comments:

Anonymous said...

Williams is a scrub and all the people you mentioned "coming home" from other schools is because they flamed out somewhere else. In other words, Charlotte has become a last-place destination, or backup-place. Anything but first.

Anonymous said...

You nailed it Langston. Landing Woods is huge and look at all of those Charlotte hometown guys. Bigtime players. There's enough talent in Charlotte to be a top 20 team. Times are changing and football is here.

Anonymous said...

8:47 anon, keep crying. Your tears sustain me.

Anonymous said...

For the record, the 49ers have landed quite a few good players from the Charlotte area throughout the years.

Anonymous said...

8:47 Troll: Your anguish is so sweet to the ears of NINER NATION. So, yes, keep crying and complaining because we LOVE making you and other haters so mad/sad. AHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Anonymous said...

Don't forget Mullins first class when he landed Dink. And, if Kenny Wylie didn't blow out his knee, twice, he would have been special. Football makes it all real with a great salesman in Lambert. Major is just lucky he is here.

Anonymous said...

Great addition to an already strong roster. Charlotte basketball is going to be dancing the next few years

Anonymous said...

The 'new' Charlotte huh??? -- it better learn how to coach, or it doesn't matter who they sign. Best thing that happened was they left the power A-10 conference for a weaker hoops league. The 'new' Charlotte best player is still an 'old' Charlotte recruit.

Anonymous said...

Of course they should get Woods, his HS coach is a former 49er great. At least 1 Northside kid would eventually sign/commit to them. Not a surprise Langston, but also throw in the 'new' Charlotte record... 15-33 conference record for 3 seasons!

Anonymous said...

That right HATERS! Keep on HATING!!!
HAHAHAHAHAHAHA
Alan has learnd how to coach and will take us dancen in the next few years! Just wait till the 2014-2015 season!! We finale getting good recruits that UNCC aint got in a loooooong time. If you dont like it you can go on ahead and root for UNC or NCSU! We dont need you as fans!!!

HATERS!!!

Anonymous said...

Nice article, but you could have mentioned that Keyshawn is coached by another Charlotte kid that made his name for the 49ers, Byron Dinkins.

Anonymous said...

Lutz is 10 times the coach that major is today. None of these guys could hold Jobey or Curtis's jock.

Anonymous said...

9:05 anon, the only one holding anything is Lutz holding a clipboard for Gottfried.

Anonymous said...

Great info Langston. Charlotte deserves to be big time. The momentum here is exciting.

Anonymous said...

Lutz is holding another $500,000 check from Judy Rose for this season too.

Anonymous said...

Good stuff! I'm proud to be a Charlotte 49er! We are on the upside indeed...

Anonymous said...

10/13/21!!
Just wait till next year!
Dancing in 2015 baby!

Anonymous said...

Other than the typical hater comments here, the key is that ALL things at Charlotte are trending at a good rate in the right direction - Charlotte is a GREAT University with great athletic facilities and pretty darn good athletic programs - Rome wasn't buildt in a day.

GO NINERS!!!

Anonymous said...

Take a look Langston at the current and past 49er men's soccer roster and you will probably see to your surprise that the local soccer talent has already realized this. Furthermore I challege you to come out and catch a game and heaven forbid perhaps write about one of the local soccer players on a time and again top 20 program that competed for a National Championship less than 2 years ago. Go 9ers.

Anonymous said...

The Football Team will continue to help immensley with Basketball recruiting and vice versa. The recruiting cycles enable both sports to leverage games to get recruits and parents on campus. The facilities are incredible on campus and if you get kids there it is a slam dunk....pun intended..

Anonymous said...

Is the NIT still considered dancing?

Walter said...

Anon---ala TC---just can't get past his hate. But it is so sad that it consumes his life. Maybe he should get outside and enjoy the family more.

Tim Collie said...

Hello my Darlings and NNN moms basement dwellers who obsess about me. But I haven't commented on any Niner stuff in months. So whoever u are screaming at about above re family and hate yada yada....it wasnt me. I've lost interest in hoops at Uncc. It's boring, he is boring, and we will stink again and next yr u guys will be saying "next year"

The real metro. Love ya mean it

Cris Mic said...

Joe Montana, Steve young, Jerry Rice are widely considered the best players at their positions and the greatest 49ers ever. San Francisco is proud of them. They really play amazingly, no one can beat them.