At L.C. Bird High School, only a few recruits have garnered more attention than Jamon Battle.
At one point, the guard had collected more than 30 offers from his great play on the AAU and high school levels.
Battle’s college search recently came to an end when he selected UNC
Asheville, a Division I school competing in the Big South Conference.
“When I went there they made me feel close to home,” Battle said. “It’s not quite the city of Richmond, but the people are welcoming and I could tell they weren’t just trying to sell me anything. They really wanted me to be a part of the family there.”
Battle started at MeadowbrookHigh for two years before transferring to L.C. Bird. He said he knew at that point that he was a good player, but had a long way to go.
“At L.C. Bird, they worked on the little things first to improve my game,” he said. “It elevated my game so much, and I’m getting it to where I want to be.”
Battle was a key piece to the Skyhawks’ 20-6 season, averaging 12.4 points and 4.6 rebounds per game in a balanced attack.
UNC Asheville struggled in the 2018-2019 season, but won the Big South in 2016, making the NCAA tournament. In 2011 and 2012, they made back-to-back NCAA tournaments and also were in a play-in game in 2003.
Also committing for the Skyhawks recently was 6-foot 4-inch, 170-pound guard Lance Monteiro Jr. He’s headed to the University of South Carolina at Aiken.
Monteiro was one of L.C. Bird’s top options, averaging 13.9 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game.
After a slow start to his recruiting process and no offers by his junior year, interest started to pick up a little during AAU season. Monteiro received offers from Bluefield State, an NAIA school, and Chestnut Hill, a Division II school.
Then came a growth spurt, and more teams showed interest, including the USC Aiken Pacers.
“I loved the feeling of family I felt when I met coach (Mark) Vanderslice,” Monteiro said.
USC Aiken plays at the Division II level, but is perennially nationally ranked.
This past season, they finished 27-6 and were ranked No. 17 in Division II.
Both Battle and Monteiro are part of a revelation at L.C. Bird, where 19 graduates have played college basketball since Troy Manns took over as coach in 2011.