Senior season push propels Minlend

At the NCISAA championships last weekend, Charles Minlend led Concord (N.C.) First Assembly to the independent schools state title.

In the process, the 6-3 senior guard captured first team all-state honors after turning a sensational 2014-15 campaign.

With a championship trophy in one hand, Charles Minlend now is in the process of filling the other with scholarship offers.

”In the past three months, Rutgers, Charlotte and Toledo have offered,” Minlend said. “Ohio has been recruiting me some, Butler got in touch this past month, and also Wichita State and Miami-Ohio.

Despite the burgeoning offers and interest, however, Minlend’s recruitment overall has been surprisingly quiet given his talent and presence on a championship team.

And it’s not like there’s an intangibles issue holding him back. Minlend almost sheepishly noted that he carries at 4.4 (out of 4.5) GPA, so obviously his academics are worthy of any school that would recruit him.

He’s also very young for the senior class. He turned 17-years-old in December, meaning he’ll still be 17 when the college season begins next fall.

His bloodlines suggest he’ll stand up to the challenge. Minlend actually is a “Jr.”, the son of former St. John’s star Charles Minlend Sr., who competed for the Red Storm in the 1990s. A 6-7 power forward who later played overseas professionally, the elder Minlend has some inches on his son but actually isn’t as gifted a scorer.

Putting the ball through the net is what Minlend does best. He’s a very good shooter but more of a natural scorer than someone who specializes from long-range. He’s dangerous from the middle areas and excels knocking down contested shots, and certainly he can drill threes. (If you haven’t already, be sure to watch the video clips atop this story from this past weekend.)

Minlend also is strong and an above-average athlete with long arms and an aggressive style. His ballhandling is just average, but with one or two dribbles he’s very comfortable establishing a rhythm for his jump shot.

”I’m an aggressive playmaker,” Minlend said. “I’ve been working on my back to the basket game and also take pride in my defense.”

Looking ahead, Minlend hasn’t yet taken any official visits and thus will enjoy maximum flexibility in choosing his options for spring trips. He projects as a potential surprise freshman at the school of his choice with room to grow into an even more effective player as he begins to close the functional age gap with his peers.

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