There are numerous scenic spots in the state of North Carolina. As you wind up the hill leading to The Christ School's campus you catch a glimpse at one of them. The Blue Ridge Mountains are the backdrop for some of the school's athletic fields and the "Greenie Dome" is right across from a picturesque scene.
Arden, N.C., population 14,868. Not included in that number are three brothers from Indiana who tower across the landscape at 6-foot-8, 6-10 and 6-11. The Plumlee Boys – Miles, Mason and Marshall – are three of the prominent figures on the school's campus. With only 215 students, they're tough to miss.
So, how does a school 107 years young boost such frontcourt lineage? "I didn't do anything except answer the phone," Christ School coach David Gaines said. "It was luck meeting opportunity." Gaines, an alum, knew someone who attended the school and passed along the information to the Plumlee Family and the rest was history.
"This place keeps you focused," Mason Plumlee said. "It's no girls. You go to class and play basketball. It's nice. If you want the help it's always there because the teachers live on campus."
The Christ School isn't "Dead Poets Society" serious and the basketball team provides the students with an outlet to relieve their academic tensions. Plus, Gaines has more hoops talent to work with than Robin Williams did on the soccer pitch.
Having said that, the Christ School is not a basketball factory. It's a blend of boys, ball and books that works for kids who must study hard and participate in one sport per season.
"That's what we want people to know about us and our kids," Gaines said. "If you know this kid simply as a basketball player you don't know him. As a school kids won't come for basketball alone. We're not a basketball factory.
"We've been lucky. We have four kids right now playing Division I basketball and some more on the way. But, we never compromised the type of profile we look for in our students just because a kid can run, jump and dunk it."
He's not the point guard but make no mistake about it, this is Miles Plumlee's team. One of the top students on campus, the Stanford-bound Miles is Gaines' most productive player. He set the tone during the 1 ½ pick up session on Thursday. The drive for back-to-back titles begins with the development of Scout.com's 59th ranked player.
Last year's team photo gives Miles an inch edge over his younger brother Mason. Things changed in the last 12 months and now Mason sprouted an inch advantage over his sibling. He'll man the inside but with a solid touch he'll be a versatile piece of the puzzle.
While the older Plumlee's work over opponents on the varsity, 6-8 Marshall will begin his career as a floater between what is likely to be dominating JV outings mixed in with some varsity experience. There's no need to rush the youngster who already sports size 17 sneakers.
Right about now you may be thinking Christ School is going to be frontcourt heavy. You're probably correct but there's wing talent abound. Dee Giger, now 6-6 and sporting a sweet jump shot, is the designated perimeter marksman.
Giger is well aware of his job. "It's pretty much to do whatever I can do on defense and shoot the ball," Giger said. "That's it." So far Western Carolina has been the most aggressive school on his list and the first to offer. North Carolina State and Clemson are keeping tabs as is everyone in the region. Giger is an Asheville native.
Keeping the shooter company will be the slasher (Lakeem Jackson) and the point guard (Reggie King). Jackson transferred in from Charlotte Harding and is now in the Class of 2009. He's a burst of energy is a strong, athletic body.
The loquacious King, an import from Ohio, will be in the running to earn minutes at the point. Big, strong and eager to blend in, King's role will be to make nice-nice with the bigs inside and drive and kick to the trigger men outside. He's not a bad shooter himself and the 2009 prospect has Division I capabilities.
The rest of the minutes will be shared by senior guards Sean Scott and Aaron Ingle. Christian Rogers, a ruggedly built frontcourt man, will be the enforcer for the Plumlees should foul trouble find them.
Last year this club hung a banner. Gaines talks about the 2005 squad as the school's best. With 6 potential D-I signees on the roster, expectations aren't just for a repeat, they're sky high.
"We have the best team (we've had at Christ School) and we want to go undefeated," Giger said. "The 2005- team went 32-1."
In 2007-08, 36-0 would be the promised land.
To learn more about Christ School and its players, visit the school's official site. It's maintained by Burt Siders and the former marine takes great pride in keeping the site updated.