Playing alongside Division I recruits like Joseph Uchebo, Bishop Daniels, Torian Graham, and T.J. Warren, Newkirk was the distributor from his point guard position. However, he has been flashing his scoring abilities on the AAU circuit and the stellar play has given him additional confidence.
"The way I have been playing has helped my confidence a lot," said Newkirk. "I've been playing my game and with each tournament I get more confident. I'm playing with a chip on my shoulder."
This fall only Newkirk and Warren will be back at Word of God, and he believes it will give him a chance to show what he can do.
"I'm going to have to be more of a scorer and facilitator," said Newkirk. "I'm going to have to take over the team. We have T.J. coming back, and we're going to have to carry the team. The team will go as we go."
Newkirk, who landed early scholarship offers from Arizona, Indiana, and App. State, has already fielded calls within the past week from Tennessee, Georgetown, NC State, Wake Forest, UNC, Arizona, Indiana, and VCU. He also added a scholarship offer from the NC State Wolfpack.
"That offer means a lot because they are right in my backyard," said Newkirk. "My mom went there, and it would be a good school to go to. I'd be the hometown favorite."
Despite living minutes away from NC State's campus, Newkirk had yet to visit the new coaching staff. However, that recently changed as he has been in constant contact with the coaches since picking up the offer.
"I'm not going to write them off," he said. "I've been talking to the coaches lately, probably three of the last four days, and we've got a good relationship now. They are straight up with me and real cool. They tell me how it would be when I got there."
NC State still has a lot of ground to make up if they want to sign Newkirk. Currently two other programs lead, and one of them has yet to offer a scholarship.
"I would probably say [North] Carolina and Arizona are in the lead," he said. "It's the style of play. Arizona puts out a lot of great point guards, is a great school.
"UNC is a hometown school. Their offense is real good, and it fits how I play. They haven't offered me yet because coach Roy [Williams] hasn't seen me play. McGrath has been recruiting me and as soon as coach Roy sees me play he is going to decide about an offer in the July period."
Newkirk will be playing in the Peach State Showcase and tournaments in Las Vegas and Anaheim with D-1 Sports this summer.