Christian Life Academy Spotlight

Christian Life Academy, coached by Carlos Wilson, is one of the top basketball programs in the United States.

With the help of 2007 stars DeAndre Jordan and Olu Ashaolu, Christian Life Academy is a name to remember when it comes to basketball recruiting. Ashaolu had offers from all over the country before choosing Louisiana Tech and Jordan just completed a standout freshman season at Texas A&M. Jordan is likely to be one of the first 10 players chosen in this year's NBA draft.

Carlos Wilson to Christian Life after having similar success at Heritage Christian Acadmey in Cleveland, TX as an assistant. Von Wafer, from the small town of Lisbon, Louisiana, near Ruston, played at Heritage before moving on to Florida State and eventually the NBA. Wafer was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers and spent this past season with the Portland Trailblazers.

"Von put us on the map," Wilson said of the McDonald's All-American. "He gave us instant credibility." With Jordan in line to be a lottery pick, plan on Wilson having even more success at Christian Life.

A few Christian Life players recently teamed up for Grassroots Canada at the Ruston Showcase basketball tournament. Wilson and Ashaolu were both in attendance.

"I am real impressed with Louisiana Tech and how Olu has progressed here," said Wilson. "He has really developed his body. The Tech coaches know how to win and they are really changing the culture here."

Junior Cadougan and Kadeem Coleby were among Christian Life's current players who competed in the Ruston Showcase. Wilson has a good comparison for Cadougan. "A lot of people compare him to Khalid El-Amin, but I think he is more like Deron Williams. He is a very strong guard and knows how to use his body to his advantage. He is a balanced point guard and is able to score or distribute easily."

Cadougan has spent a lot of time with Coach Wilson. Wilson is from Palestine, TX and says that Cadougan thinks Ruston is a lot like Palestine. "Junior likes the laid back atmosphere here," Wilson explained. "Louisiana Tech, along with Louisville, Miami, and UNLV are showing the most interest in Junior."

"Kadeem is a natural four, but he can play the 5 as well," Wilson said about Coleby. "He is just as good or better athleticly as DeAndre. Kadeem uses his athleticism well, but he needs to learn to use his strength. He is very strong and he will be tough to contend with once he learns to use it."

"Things have really clicked for Kadeem this summer," Wilson added. "It was like a light bulb came on at the end of the season." Wilson said Coleby is getting the most interest from Nebraska, Pittsburgh, and Louisiana Tech.

Kendall Hosten, a 5'9" point guard, is also one to watch from the 2009 class. "Kendall is akind of a secret," said Wilson. "He got called up when Junior got hurt. He is a defensive minded point guard . He has a great on the ball presence and really plays the passing lanes well."

Wilson added that Hosten was a good scorer in Toronto, but adjusted his game in Houston to help the team. With teammates like Cadougan and Coleby, he becamse more of a pass first player.

Rovonn Russell, whose father is Grassroots Canada Head Coach Ro Russell, also plays for Christian Life. Coach Russell had great things to say about Christian Life Academy. "We have a great relationship with Christian Life. They take care of my guys, my son is there. I know they will get good exposure and development there."

Rovonn is a 6'1" shooting guard from the 2010 class. Wilson added that Rovonn gets better experience in practice than most players do in game situations. Going against the top players from Grassroots Canada and Christian Life has to help you get better for sure.

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