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Feeder Schools: Norcross High
by Andrew Force, Future150 (10:38 PM CT, Tue January 13, 2015)
Norcross feeds colleges
Norcross feeds colleges
Andrew Force
Andrew Force:

Future150 National Analyst. Covering High and Middle School basketball.

NORCROSS, GA (Future150) -- Outside of prep schools, there are not many talent-rich high basketball factories across the nation.  More that any point in this nation's hoops history athletes are hunting down exceptional players to team with.  Good players tend to seek out talented teammates and this works best for prep schools or private schools, who often have no recruiting restrictions.

Norcross High is a public school that continually produces college basketball players. 


According to Head Coach Jesse McMillan, over 45 alumni have gone on to play college basketball since 2002. 

Alumni Jeremy Lamb, Al-Farouq Aminu, Gani Lawal, Jodie Meeks all played or are playing in the NBA. 

Though the current edition is a younger squad there just might be a future college star amongst the ranks.

Next big thing

Class of 2017 forward, Rayshaun Hammonds is a star.  The 6’7” combo forward has tremendous feet.  He can handle like Tayshaun Prince, enabling him to adapt to either the SF or PF positions. 

Standing 6’7” he moves around the floor like a slinky wing.  He can obviously take long strides and reach higher than all peers.  What makes him truly special is his handle.  You expect the forward to live on the low block, but he has a very developed perimeter skill set. 

Can he defend the wing?  At 6'7" Hammonds could fall into the tweener category, if he were not so agile. 

He can easily defend a wing with his lateral movement.  Every minute he spends under the basket is purely for expediency.  Men will someday pay him to operate on the wing.  What a talent. 

Hammonds will be better in college than he is in high school. 

Hammonds has excellent touch around the rim.  He does not get frightened by blockers.  He catches the ball high and keeps it higher.  The technique is sound. 

Hammonds plays at the base of the Norcross team defense; essentially he stands underneath the basket and plays goalie.  He can jump to deter a shooter, land, and still block a dump off. 

The quick second leap is reflective of elite athleticism.  Hammonds is the kind of college prospect that widens the eyes of scouts.  He is just one of the excellent sophomores on Norcross.

The froncourt depth is strong with springy forwards Robert Sims and Lance Thomas.  And then there the guards.

Go-Go guards

With an arched back, Jordan Goldwire fearlessly leads Norcross into battle. 

The diminutive Goldwire is a real technician.  Listed 5’10” he has rail-thin arms and needs to bulk up going forward.  Despite this he projects as a college player. 

"He is a pass first point guard," said father Courtney Goldwire.  "Great defender."

Goldwire has elite handle and exceptional court vision.  Double teams and traps are wasted on him because Goldwire maneuvers out of all obstacles. 

Together with either Dalvin White or Zach Cooks he can break any press.  Turnovers were unpredictably low against a ferociously aggressive Lucy L. Laney squad. 

As he matures the team will want Goldwire to score more points. 

"He is working on becoming a better perimeter shooter, looking to improve," said Goldwire.

Not that he is incapable of scoring, rather he defers to upperclassmen right now like Ricky Madison (High Point signee) and Tim Cameron (unsigned).

Cooks sees big minutes too, so speedy and creative with the ball in his hands.  The first impression of most college recruiters will be, 'Is he too small for college?'

Second impressions will be a resounding no.  Cooks' father faced the same sort of questions from recruiters in his day.

"He has no fear at all," said Shon Cooks.  "Being his father I had to battle myself and I ended up playing D1 basketball for a year.  I was able to put up some good numbers.  He realizes that size does matter but it doesn’t matter if your heart is bigger."

Shon Cooks played for the Alabama State Hornets and competed against future pros.

"I played against Avery Johnson, Bobby Phills, Lindsey Hunter," said Cooks.  [Hunter] made the pros because he had a good Pre-Draft camp.  We stuck him in college, literally.  He can play, but we knew him so well.  We played them two times a year.  So we made him give up the basketball so we could beat him."

The best way to improve rapidly is to play against better, older opponents.  Since NHS Head Coach McMillan entrusted Cooks, Hammonds, and Goldwire with the great responsibilities they have delivered. 

And the great tradition of Norcross feeding college-ready talents to universities will endure.


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