Trent Forrest: Junior Primer

The Florida Panhandle doesn’t always attract massive amounts of grassroots media coverage, but thankfully for Trent Forrest he has received significant exposure.

How he got here

The 2014 travel season proved highly beneficial to Trent Forrest. The Chipley (Fla.) High product played up an age group with the Alabama Challenge, and he proved one of the more productive junior wing scorers on the EYBL circuit.

Forrest showcased his strength, athleticism and attacking style to post a solid 14 points per game. He also averaged more than four rebounds per game. Standing 6-4, 180 pounds, he carries a frame upon which to build into a power wing at the college level.

Forrest stares down challenges and pushes head on

He finished up the summer and attended the Nike Team Florida Workout last fall. There, he continued to impress with his ability to create his own shot and willingness to make plays at the basket.

His recruitment is humming along as well. Forrest told me this past January that Florida State and Florida were pursuing him most avidly, with many believing that the Seminoles may hold an edge.

Forrest recently led Chipley to a sectionals playoff victory by scoring 40 points. It’s small school basketball and doesn’t feature many players within his ability range, but nevertheless that’s an impressive tally in a tournament scenario.

To 2015. …

This spring and summer will give Forrest an opportunity to prove he can become a shooter in addition to being a slasher. He converted only 3-15 three-point attempts last year for the Challenge — in 16 games — so clearly he wasn’t comfortable with his perimeter marksmanship. He also converted just 69 percent from the foul line.

Elsewhere, most young wings could stand to improve their ballhandling, and Forrest is no exception in that regard. Fortunately for him, however, he’s tall and strong enough at 6-4 to play wing forward in college, where we currently project him. Yet he also maintains the defensive versatility to guard either wing spot, making him a valuable player for coaches to plug into a large variety of situations.

Forrest’s production generally has been overlooked. The Challenge were not a glamour EYBL team and it was easy to miss them, and frankly I didn’t watch them to see him specifically, either. He just happened to catch my eye last April, and from there I’ve observed him put up consistently good numbers despite not always generating a great deal of buzz.

He combines strength, athleticism and confidence to compete against heralded older opponents, and athletes such as him tend to work out well as they progress. By no means finished improving, our No. 70 junior appears destined for another productive year on the road.

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