Posted On: 12/31/17 1:19 PM
For the past decade or so now, Kellam High’s head coach Norman Hassell has had a lot of underrated players come through, and junior Josh Talbert is just the latest in a long line of different kind of players he’s had to help him win. The 6’3” guard has helped Kellam get out to an 8-1 start this season, and it’s his confidence after starting as a sophomore that’s done a lot to help his game this year.
“I have a lot more experience now,” he said. “There was definitely a lot more goosebumps before games last year, but now that I played a whole season last year, I feel a lot more comfortable in the offense and defense and everything. We’ve got a lot of young guys that we’re trying to incorporate in our team and we’re just trying to work really hard out there.”
Talbert’s confidence has helped him grow into a leader for this young Kellam team. The junior is one of the more experienced players that they have, and he’s having to learn to lead by example on the fly, and it all starts with energy for him. When asked how he would describe his game, that was the first word that he used.
“A lot of energy,” Talbert said with no hesitation. “I try and help my team out, encourage them by communicating a lot and bringing a lot of energy, just things like dunking balls can bring a lot of energy to a team.”
Last season, Talbert showed that he can shoot the basketball from deep, but this year he’s ready to show that he’s much more than just a shooter. He’s handling the ball a lot more, he’s playing more uptempo style and making an impact on both ends of the floor. He may look like the stereotypical shooter, but he’s an all around player that has a lot of underrated aspects to his game.
“Teams definitely seem to think I’m going to be unathletic, and another underrated thing about my game is my ball handling. Teams think they can press up on me and I’ll get scared and lose the ball, but I can blow past people without a lot of dribbles so that’s good.”
Although his junior season just began, Talbert’s already hearing from the best division three schools in the state, including Virginia Wesleyan, CNU and Randolph-Macon. That isn’t common for division three schools to be recruiting a kid a class early, but they potentially see him as an immediate impact player at their level, if he doesn’t go higher.
As for why college coaches should recruit him, Talbert says it’s because he’s got the total package.
“My athleticism, ability to shoot the ball and being able to beat defenders off the bounce and finish at the hole.”
In an area dominated by athletes, Talbert is going to fly under the radar until coaches come to see him. However, I’d expect to see more coaches get on board, especially if he can help lead Kellam to a deep run in the playoffs this season.