It is unlikely that Greenbrier product Connor Sigrist will earn headlines this season. The 6-8 freshman is gaining valuable experience, however. It began last week when the Oglethorpe University basketball team spent several days in Philadelphia.
The team was there to play its first two games of the year in the Equinox Classic. There are 19 players on this year’s Oglethorpe roster, and despite being a true freshman, Sigrist was among the 12 players to make the travel roster. Oglethorpe picked up two wins, but Sigrist played only a total of 5 minutes. However, he still gained valuable experience.
As I have stated in a previous column, Oglethorpe coach Philip Ponder and I were college teammates for two seasons, and he has blossomed into a tremendous basketball coach. One of the qualities I like most about Ponder is the way he uses basketball to create experiences for his players.
First, Oglethorpe plays all over the country and even travels overseas in the off-season.
Ponder does a wonderful job of planning an itinerary on road trips that includes far more than basketball. The Philadelphia trip was a great example. The Stormy Petrel squad visited the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and took in a St. Joseph’s-Creighton basketball game, which featured All-American Doug McDermott of Creighton. Couple the landmark visits with being able to learn from the players ahead of him on the depth charts, and Sigrist is getting valuable experience.
Ponder is high on Sigrist, and while this year may not bring a lot of playing time, Sigrist oozes potential and, in my opinion, he is on the perfect team to see his potential realized.
Reid Turning Heads
Harlem standout Reggie Reid broke a few hearts when he transferred to ELEV8 Sports Institute in Delray Beach, Fla.
The move was designed to allow Reid to play against tougher competition. Prior to his departure, www.hoopseen.com had just released its list of top prospects for 2015 and had Reid ranked the No. 8 junior in Georgia. Roberto Alfonso of Hoop Seen thought Reid might get lost in the shuffle playing with so many good players at the upstart program. Well, far from it.
Earlier this month, Reid was listed as a player to watch following his performance in the Fall Festival in Florida. The event features 32 teams and the top players in Florida and South Georgia. Reid drew rave reviews for his defensive ability and hustle.
His wish to play against stiffer competition was realized in ELEV8’s first game. They took on Arlington Country Day School of Jacksonville.
Arlington came into the game ranked 13th in the nation. The squad features 6-4 shooting guard Brandone Francis (committed to Florida), 6-6 power forward Dante Buford (committed to Oklahoma), 6-1 point guard Nate Mason (committed to Minnesota), and 6-9 Jose Campo, who has several Division I offers. ELEV8 did not back down one bit in losing a hard-fought game 67-64. Reid went toe-to-toe with future Minnesota Golden Gopher Mason, and more than held his own.