We'd heard some buzz about a sophomore in Virginia who'd been lighting up the scoreboard, and yet information on the young man was hard to come by. I guess it's still possible that hoop "sleepers" still exist in this day and age. In any event, Amelia Academy (Amelia Court House, Va.) wing guard Kevin Roland sounds like the real deal, and it appears word is beginning to get out about him. We spoke to AA Coach Quentin Aldridge about this blossoming talent.
"Kevin's from the Republic of Benin in West Africa, and he didn't arrive here until late October," said Aldridge. "I have some contacts internationally, and was told this kid could really play. Kevin got here just a few days before practice began, so not many people know about him to be honest. There is a YouTube video out on him though, and he's been putting up big numbers for us (29 points per game), so slowly but surely people are catching on.
"Maryland's already been down here to watch him practice, Louisville is coming in, and we've heard from a bunch of smaller schools too. The plan right now is for Kevin to play for Boo Williams in the Nike EYBL league, and that will give him the exposure he needs. I'd expect a lot of offers will be extended once the coaches see him in the Spring."
Aldridge went into detail about Roland's game.
"Kevin's 6-2 right now, 16 years old, and is still growing," said Aldridge. "He's got a 6-7 wingspan, probably has close to a 40-inch vertical, he can shoot, he can handle, and he's just a tremendous athlete. He plays a lot of point guard for us, but I think he'll grow into a full fledged 2G in time.
"Right now, I'd call him a combo guard, with the ability to play either guard position. And what's even better is that Kevin's truly a great young man, very humble, very respectful, and very coachable."
We asked Coach Aldridge a little bit about Maryland's involvement.
"It really came about because of my relationship with Darren Berkley (former Fredericksburg Christian Coach)," said Aldridge."I'm from Woodbridge, Va, and knew Darren from way back. He thought Kevin could really play, and subsequently talked to Seth Allen about him, and it got back to the Maryland staff. Coach (Scott) Spinelli was down here Monday night to watch practice and was very impressed with Kevin's ability.
"He invited us up to Maryland later this year when they play Virginia. We're about 40 minutes southwest from Richmond, so I think we're going to come up to that game. Kevin doesn't know a lot about American colleges, although he is familiar with North Carolina, but he'll want to go somewhere he can make an impact early in his career. From the coaches who have seen him, they all think he's going to be a high major kid."
We're looking forward to seeing Roland play this year, either in the VISSA playoffs in February, or on the NIKE EYBL circuit. He certainly sounds like a legit prospect, and one who very few people are aware of -- for now at least. He's definitely a sleeper that should be added to the list of possible 2016 prospects.
Virginia Wing Roland Starting to Emerge
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