Carlos Peralta's at it again with another group of players. The coach at Charis Prep is as dedicated as they come when dealing with his players. Over the years, we've been to a dozen of his workouts and if he schedules 2 hours on the court, he's using every minute. Peralta demands his guys to get after it.
"I think this is the hardest working group we've had," Peralta said. "They came in prepared." For that Peralta's grateful especially when he's got a lot of firepower to replace. Gone are Justin Safford, Darryl Partin and Darius Sellers.
With Peralta's teams, there no doubt he's in control but on the court he's got to cede power and this year he's handing the reigns over to a young man already committed to Liberty. Mike Lewis, a 5-foot-7 jitterbug, is the guy with the ball.
"He will run the point and it'll be his team," Peralta said. "We've got a long way to go but I like where we are after one week of practice." Sam Grooms, a Greensboro native and recent transfer is going to see plenty of action alongside Lewis. Leadership will also be a priority for guard Rob Phillips, a Goldsboro native.
Liberty Landed Lewis
Darryl Cowan, a Richmond recruit, wasn't there for the workout but he'll be asked to score. So will Dami Sapara, a Staten Island native who looks as much like a Jets wide receiver as he does a wing for Charis.
Rae-Vonn Banks, a 6-foot-6, is one of the more skilled bigs in the program. The North Carolina native has some small forward to his game but there will be a natural calling to the paint for anyone who has his height. "We're going to have to make do with some real agile post players and because of that right now I'm just working on making sure they stay in the paint," Peralta said. "I don't want them floating around, that'll come later."
When it comes to athletes, Dario Hunt is Peralta's best weapon. The 6-7 power forward can leap, sky and play in attack mode. He's also the kid receiving the most attention. Last weekend, Hunt visited Harvard. Tulsa, Santa Clara, Radford, Air Force, Bucknell, Wyoming and Nevada have expressed interest.
"A lot of schools that have seen him like him a lot with his upside and his athleticism. He's a great young man and a good student." Hunt could have enrolled this fall but thought a spin through the prep ranks might enhance his profile. "I didn't get offers until late in the season and I thought I could higher schools," Hunt said. "I wanted to see what else I could get."
Nick Chasten wasn't supposed to be at Charis. Delaware State signed him but a few days before he was set to leave for the Dover campus he was told admissions denied him. He's a leaper from Raleigh who will be needed on the glass.
Paul Mills, a center, was coming to Charis but his father passed away and understandably his plans have been tabled.
Other team members include 2009 guard Marcello Bodkin, Willie Barnes, Jared Mabry, Nike Walter, Travis DeShazior, Rahaumus Wingard, Spencer Jones, Kevin Newton, Hector Hernandez, Cameron Keith, Reggie Groves and Omar Kore.