As the summer wears on, there may not be a hotter sports story in South Chesterfield than the collective heat that L.C. Bird boys’ basketball is generating on the recruiting trail.
In addition to Tyrek Williams, two other Skyhawks have picked up recent offers in Johquin “Pinky” Wiley and 5A State Player of the Year Charles Falden.
Wiley, a rising senior, has been the recipient of two mid-major offers and added Campbell University of the Big South Conference to his tally this past week. Previous offers came in from Longwood and James Madison.
L.C. Bird’s point guard, Wiley plays his AAU ball for Team Loaded. His third offer comes on the strength of his academics, but also his leadership and knowledge of the game on the floor.
“Pinky’s basketball acumen is what makes him fit with other guards,” Bird head coach Troy Manns said. “He’s super smart and knows how to run a team, also putting his teammates in the best position to be successful.”
In a pressure situation for L.C. Bird, Wiley appears to keep his cool and focus, remaining relatively unfazed. In addition to setting up teammates, he has the ability to take the ball off the dribble or hit a jumper to give his team a first-person offensive boost.
“As a point guard he does whatever it takes for our team to be successful,” said Manns. “He has excellent timing and is not afraid of the big moment.”
Wiley has drawn interest from several other schools, including Virginia Commonwealth University and other mid-major programs. Statistically speaking, Wiley averaged 10.5 points per contest, third on the team to go with a team-leading 5.2 assists per game for the 5A state runner-ups.
Falden, L.C. Bird’s leading scorer on what is a balanced attack has seen an uptick in interest over the past week.
While Falden is committed to prep school according to River City Reign coach Chris Herron, reports that schools have been lining up for the guard’s services since he gained eligibility in June. Campbell University (Buies Creek, N.C.) Virginia Military Institute, and Division II Lincoln Memorial University (Harrogate, Tenn.) also came calling.
Prior to the recent flurry of action, Division II schools Virginia Union and Mount Olive, N.C. extended offers the combo guard’s way.
One of the smoothest scorers in the area, Falden has shown an ability to penetrate, consistently taking opposing players off the dribble. Perhaps his deadline move is a pull-up mid-range jumper. His outside shooting has developed as well. Simply put, Falden has a track record of scoring the basketball.
Falden led L.C. Bird in scoring at 16.4 points per game and exploded for 35 points in the 5A state title game, including 19 in the fourth quarter and 12 points in a span of 57 seconds of game clock. To help display and hone his skills even further, he will attend the Nike Victor Oladipo Skills Academy, along with Hanover’s Jason Wade.
Prince George’s Cory Hill will join Falden as a local at Massanutten Military, the same prep school that Petersburg alum Frank Mason attended. Mason is entering his senior season as the starting point guard at Kansas.