2016 Intro: Isaiah Whaley

Although his Gastonia (N.C.) Ashbrook squad fell short in the Class 3A state championship last weekend, Whaley will be a high-major evaluation priority over the next six months.

Although the state of North Carolina already features an established hierarchy of celebrated juniors prospects, including national No. 1 Harry Giles and top-10 point guard Dennis Smith, among others, Isaiah Whaley has begun to crack into the upper tier.

A slender 6-9 big man, the junior recently won conference player of the year honors while leading Ashbrook to a 23-4 record and state finals appearance. On the season, Whaley averaged 18 points, nine rebounds and five blocks per game.

He’s fundamentally a finesse big man who boasts impressive skill. Whaley possesses nice perimeter shooting touch despite a low release point, and he also runs the court very well. He possesses long arms and gets his hands on a lot of offensive rebounds, and he can finish above the rim or cleverly off the backboard.

According to the Gaston Gazette, Whaley holds scholarship offers from Virginia Tech, Georgia, Charlotte, Appalachian State and Western Carolina, and that list is likely to expand significantly as time wears on.

The key for Whaley now is to garner exposure. He simply doesn’t hold the name recognition that his talent warrants, and his accomplishments this season were formidable. He’ll need to become much, much stronger — and that strength ideally will enable him to become more explosive as well — but his coordination and blossoming skills make him a solid candidate for the major conference level.

Whaley reportedly will play for Team Loaded during the travel season.

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