It's time for a new player to enjoy some shine at Roselle Catholic High School.
When it comes to high school basketball, Isaiah Briscoe has dominated the conversation at Roselle Catholic High School and in the state of the New Jersey for the last two years. The talented point guard earned that respect with his exceptional play that had observers comparing him to Kyrie Irving and Deron Williams. Briscoe was thought to be the best point guard in his class (and next year he hopes to prove that while playing at the University of Kentucky).
With Briscoe officially graduating this spring, the focus will now to move to the next prospect scouts believe worthy of that hype.
Luckily for scouts, that next gem may have been in front of them this entire year in the form of an imposing 15-year old center. With three more years of high school ball in front of him, Roselle Catholic's Naz Reid is already beginning to garner the most attention and excitement on the east coast.
I reached out to Reid's head coach, Dave Boff, for more on the rising phenom.
This past season, the 15-year-old big acted as valuable contributor on a Roselle Catholic team that took home its second state championship in three years. In the championship game, Reid scored 12 key points to help Roselle Catholic defeat Pope John XXIII, 57-45.
On the court, Reid possesses a unique skill set of a player way beyond his years.
At his height, Reid not only has the size to bang in the post, but also has the skill set to flourish on the perimeter. He has the shot and the handles of a talented guard.
"Not only is he 6'10 as a kid who just turned 15, which is attractive in itself... I think the thing the really has people excited is at that his coordination and skill level is that of a somebody who would be closer to 5'9," said Roselle Catholic head coach Dave Boff to the Rumble.
Reid's unique skill set has people already comparing him to another skilled big man from New Jersey, Karl Anthony Towns. Prior to starring at Kentucky, Towns was recognized as a perimeter player with an effective jumper, but learned to be more paint-oriented at Kentucky.
Similarly, Naz Reid has the ability to be a presence in the paint, but according to his coach, Reid prefers to play on the perimeter and possesses the talented to do so.
"He wants to be a perimeter player," Boff said. "He can go down in the post. He has a great feel for low post and has good back to the basket moves. His future is as a wing player though."
At the mere age of 15, the game is still new to Reid and he still is growing in height and skill level. This summer Reid will look to bulk up in the gym and improve on his already advanced jump shot. In addition, he will look to improve on his already impressive ball handling skills.
Playing for Sports U on the AAU circuit this summer will give Reid a great opportunity to further polish his game.
After his first year on the varsity level, Reid has already received extensive interest from top college programs. UConn, Virginia, N.C. State, Maryland and Iowa State have all extended offers to the talented neophyte.
John Calipari has also shown interest in Reid, who projects to be one of the top rated players in his class.
According to Coach Boff, St. John's is in the mix too, with Boff noting that "Coach Mullin offered him on the second day he had the job."
It is still too early to pinpoint where this young man will end up. For now all coaches can do is watch Reid continue to reach his potential.
"The game is still new to him. He was a football player before he grew," Boff said. "I think his potential is limitless at this point. I don't think anybody knows just how good he can be."
Standing at 6'10" and weighing in at 230 pounds, Reid does not resemble your typical high school freshman. The Asbury Park native already possesses the strength and toughness that allowed him to flourish on the varsity level. College basketball coaches will be watching him closely... and waiting to offer scholarships.