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Posted On: 10/11/18 10:53 AM
One of the hardest, but most fulfilling, things to do in this business is find a small school kid that’s under the radar and get his name out there for college coaches. After attending the Ben Moore Fall League at Boo Williams last week, one of the guys I came away with was Surry County senior wing Zhamare Slade.
Slade has great physical tools at 6’5″, and while most kids with his size at a small school would play strictly in the post Surry Head Coach James Pope doesn’t limit Slade to just that. He’s an inside-out guy who can guard multiple positions and plays really well in transition.
Despite showing a wide array of skills and scoring 28 points when I saw him against Tallwood, Slade was quick to give credit to his teammates and coaches for his success.
“I put in the work everyday,” Slade said. “I’ve got a great coach and great teammates that can set me up well. There’s not much more I can say about it.”
Slade’s ability at Surry should make him a nightmare to match up with this year for opponents in the Tri-Rivers District and across Class 1. He’s big and strong enough to score in the paint and protect the rim, he moves well enough to get out in transition and switch on guards and he’s shown the ability to shoot the ball from deep as well.
With all that being said and a big senior year looming, Slade is still working on improving his perimeter skill set for the next level.
“I’d say my biggest strengths are probably my shooting and power in the paint,” he said. “I need to work on my ball handling because I’m only 6’5″, and in college there’s going to be guys that are 6’9″ and 6’10”, so I’m going to have to be a guard so I’m working on that.”
With college right around the corner, some prospects are looking ahead and focusing on making a decision, but Slade says there’s only one thing on his mind.
“I’m just focused on winning a state championship this year and everything else should fall in place. Hard work and no excuses, that’s what my coach preaches and that’s what we’re going to follow through with”
Despite being an under the radar guy, there are small college coaches across the state that are actively recruiting him including Bridgewater, Randolph Macon and Bryant & Stratton College.
It wouldn’t surprise me to see more D2s, D3s and JUCOs get involved with Slade as the season progresses, and he could end up being a steal at the next level if he continues to work hard and improve and dominate this season.