April 25, 2010

Lincoln Star on the Rise

Kevin McCarthy
 

Victor Dean certainly received numerous accolades this basketball season at Lincoln High in San Diego as did leading scorer Norman Powell. Dean is heading off to Fresno State on a football scholarship while Powell’s senior season awaits him. Freshman twins Tyree Robinson and Tyrell Robinson also garnered exposure due to their visible promise. However, there is a fifth player on the Hornets squad who is receiving less media attention than his teammates -- this despite his possibly possessing the highest ceiling of the trio. His name is Nate Maxey.

photo of Nate Maxey Maxey is a darkhorse

Lincoln High finished 29-2 this recently concluded season, winning the Division II state championship rather handily against St. Francis (Mountain View) 74-59. Coach Jason Bryant’s crew started out the season at 5-2 (losses to Crenshaw and Compton Centennial) before reeling off 24 consecutive wins and finishing out with triumphs over Summit, Pasadena, Compton and the aforementioned domination of its brethren from the north.

All during this magical season, the 6-foot-10 Maxey, stood tall in the paint. If any opponent on the court challenged him, it usually resulted in a shot rejection to the tune of 4.4 a game or, at the very least, an altered attempt. He also shot 53% on the year while grabbing just over six boards a contest.

And Maxey is just 17, proverbially ’growing into his body’ which isn’t done inching upward.

"He’s probably the best shotblocker in the country," Bryant said, adding "Nate and Angelo Chol [the 6-foot-8 junior at Hoover High] are the best at defending the goal."

"He’s probably the best shotblocker in the country," Bryant said, adding "Nate and Angelo Chol [the 6-foot-8 junior at Hoover High] are the best at defending the goal."

Coming from Texas for his senior season, Maxey does have some academic goals to meet before his college eligibility can be established. "Nate needs to earn a 3.3 grade point average by June and also take the SAT next time," according to Bryant.

On the court, the ‘big’ continues to work on his skill development and polish his rawness. Glen Worley, who assists Bryant on the Lincoln coaching staff, works with Maxey individually. The 6-foot-8 Worley is a former Iowa Mr. Basketball who played four seasons for Coach Steve Alford at the University of Iowa.

Plus, Bryant’s and Worley’s man in the middle isn’t done with his growth chart. "Nate shot up one and a half inches last year and he’s not done growing."

You can bet a number of college coaches have early June highlighted on their respective calendars.