Black, a rising sophomore at Concord High, was 6-foot-3 when his freshman year started last November. He was 6-4 when Concord played at the prestigious Hoodies House Of Hoops Christmas tournament at Ardrey Kell. By the end of this summer’s travel ball season – when he was a key player on NBA star Chris Paul’s “CP3” 15U team – Black was 6-6.
Playing point guard:
“You look at him,” said N.C. recruiting analyst Rick Lewis of Phenom Hoop Report, “and what you see is ‘long term.’ His potential is crazy good.”
After Concord played in a high school team camp at Charlotte this summer, 49ers coaches offered Black his first scholarship. The next day, Georgia Southern offered. Virginia Tech, Wake Forest and Western Carolina did the same within a few weeks, his parents said. Now, Black, who turned 16 this summer, is also getting serious recruiting interest from Kansas, Kansas State, Maryland, North Carolina and Tennessee.
Concord coach Jason Stowe said coaches from Charlotte, Clemson, Florida, Kansas, Kansas State, N.C. State, North Carolina and Wake Forest have called to let him know they will be on campus to watch Black during team workouts in early September.
“The coaches from UNCC came in and watched him (at team camp) and maybe 10 minutes after, they offered him a scholarship,” Stowe said. “That game, he only had like nine points, but he had 10 assists and a bunch of rebounds, and, remember, he’s 6-6. They were impressed with the way he kept his teammates in the game and with his basketball IQ.”
Stowe coached Black in AAU ball growing up on a team called the Concord Spiders. He always figured Black would be a college player – just not at the highest level.
Recruiting experts, such as Lewis, are comparing Black to incoming Duke freshman Brandon Ingram, a four-time state champion at Kinston High who became a McDonald’s All-American. Heading into his sophomore year, Ingram bore more than a passing resemblance physically to Concord’s Black – extremely tall and extremely skinny with extremely long arms and legs.
Only everyone always expected Ingram, who is now 6-foot-9, would be a giant. Black’s height has been a bit surprising. His father, Chon, is about 6-1. His mother, Carla, an award-winning principal at Concord, is about 5-11.
“The doctor told me when I was little I might get to 6-4,” Rechon Black said. “So I don’t know where all this is coming from. I hope I have another (growth) spurt. I want to get to 6-8 and still play point guard.”
Friends and family call Black, a B student, “Leaky.” His grandmother created the nickname as a play on his middle name, Malik. It helps differentiate Rechon Black from his father, who was a 1,000-point scorer at Concord High. After high school, Chon Black played at UNC Asheville and J.C. Smith. At both stops, Chon Black was teammates with Spiders coach Stowe, who was also a 1,000-point scorer at Concord.
Chon Black didn’t fight it too much when Leaky asked for a $5,000 vertical jump and speed machine called a Vertimax the summer after seventh grade. The machine sits in the family garage, and you can find Leaky on it about three times a day. That’s when you don’t find him running up a steep slope in front of the family’s suburban home.
“What’s so impressive is that I sit back and watch him from a distance, and he works just as hard by himself as he did when I was out there pushing him to the limit,” Chon Black said. “That’s a sign that, yeah, he wants to be good.”
Lewis, the recruiting expert, said that Black will be ranked No. 1 in the class of 2018 when his latest N.C. rankings debut in the next few weeks. He projects Black to be a top-50 national recruit as a senior – with a ceiling that could go much higher.
“Right now,” Lewis said, “you have someone who is 6-6, long, with a 6-9 wingspan. Someone who has the ability to put the ball down on the floor and be a point forward. He has advanced ball handling skills. His shot is good right now, not great.
“I remember seeing Brandon Ingram three years ago, and you looked at him and he was all arms and legs and you could see that once his skill set caught up with his body, he would be special. I see the same thing here. I’m not saying Leaky will be as good as Brandon Ingram, but he does have that upside.”
Concord was 17-8 last season, with Black starting at point guard. This season, the Spiders return the bulk of that team, including 6-3 senior wing Ray Kowalski, one of the area’s top scorers. Black is thinking state championship this year. And next year. And the year after that.
“I want to get a ring, every year, for the rest of my high school career,” he said. “It’s possible. It’s not just me, but it’s my teammates. We’ve got some good pieces coming in.”
And it appears, potentially, he has a bright future.
Date Posted: Tuesday, August 25th, 2015 , Total Page Views: 1258
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