Thursday, December 3, 2009

Player Feature: Louisiana D-1 Ambassador and Beau Chene High's Joseph Charles

Player Feature: 5'10 Guard Joseph Charles of Beau Chene High School 

One of my top players from the summer with my Louisiana D-1 Ambassadors travel team, Joseph Charles of Beau Chene HS is averaging 21.2 ppg, 6 rpg, 5 apg and 4 steals early on in this 2009-10 high school season. Charles had an outstanding summer as he was named one of the top players from the Memphis River City Showdown Event and the Memphis Select Classic tournament as he led our team to a runner-up finish. In the two events Joe went head-to-head with some of the top players in the country. Some of the players include Joe Jackson, Chris Crawford and Tarik Black, all of who signed with Memphis. Mardracus Wade who signed with Arkansas. Casey Prather who signed with Florida, Austin Hollins who is headed to Minnesota, Will Triggs who is headed to Austin Peay and the list also includes a top 10 junior in the country in Adonis Thomas. Against this competition Joe averaged an outstanding 18.6 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 4.3 apg., 2.1 steals and an excellent stat of 1.2 turnovers while playing 28 min. a game out of 32.

A 5’10’’ point guard for the Louisiana D-1 Ambassadors, Charles can get it done in a variety of ways. Charles was most effective when driving to the basket, finishing with a lay-up, pull-up jumper, or a teardrop. Not limited to just driving and scoring, Charles also hit from outside and created opportunities for his teammates.-Clark Merriam ESPN's Memphis

Joe is in his first season as senior at Beau Chene after transferring from Acadiana Prep in Opelousas. Previously Joe played and started at Carencro as a freshman and sophomore before heading to Prep. This is also Joe's first season playing since his sophomore season. While attending Acadiana Prep last year, Joe was involved in a terrible car wreck in October of 2008 in which he broke his neck, I believe his 6th vertebrae. After the wreck Joe spent 6 months in a Halo in which his neck was stabalized with a screws in his forehead and neck and made immovable. After having the Halo removed in March, Joe was back to playing in May as he joined Coach Max Ivany's Texas D1 Ambassadors squad in Alabama for the Crush Elite Main Event tournament sponsored by Joe helped lead the team to a tournament title along with current Memphis frosh DJ Stephens and BRCC freshman William Nelson. Also on the team that weekend were San Fransico signee Cody Doolin, Northern Colorado signee Paul Garnica(San Antonio's soon to be all time leading scorer), and Lamar signee Demetris "Cleveland" Smith. In what was Joe's first time playing in a game since the wreck he showed a lot of rust but you could obviously see the talent that he had as he made several great passes, played very good defense and finished well attacking the rim.

After the event Joe really caught my eye. For the entire summer we went to work really hard on his game in June, July and August.  Four days a week we were in the weight room at 6 a.m. and hitting the gym for two 2 hour sessions working on ball handling, shooting, quickness, fundamentals, conditioning and just learning how to play the game the right way, also spending late nights playing pick-up sometime until 2 in the A.M. After 4 weeks of working with me we were off to Memphis for the two tournaments up there. In the first event, Memphis Select Classic, Joe played great defense getting several steals and rebounds along with good offense. In the pool play games in which we won by an average of 34 ppg, Joe avg. onl 8 ppg appx. Once the bracket play got started and the stage got bigger, the better Joe played. In our first bracket game against Team Joe finished with 28 points and six 3's as he willed us to the win over a team that featured 4 players 6'8" or better. As the bracket play continued, Joe continued his play at a high level as he finished the semi-final game with 18 and the finals with 23 and four 3's. It was definitely a feel good moment for me and Joe as well who came to me several times and said
"Coach, thanks for all your work you put in with us, I hate doing it, but it is obviously helping me for sure." Joe told me while sitting down at dinner one night.
I remember them words everyday. To think that this is a kid that just a few months ago was in a Halo and 8 months ago was in the bad car wreck. This kid has overcame so many obstacles and adversity that he deserves everything good that is coming his way.

In the past few months Joe has had to overcome a lot of personal problems outside of basketball. After dealing with these things and working hard in the classroom, Joe is on his way to getting what he wants, a Division 1 Scholarship to play basketball. Joe currently has close to a 3.0 GPA and is taking the ACT at the next testing date. While his team is only 3-4 at Beau Chene, those losses have come by an average of 4 points. On a team that didn't make the playoffs and won a handful of games last year, Joe has clearly made them a district contender this season. As the season continues, Joe will only get better and get more experience. As he does, watch out because he will be a player that will be a steal for any school that he signs with.

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