Another Title for Wall

Raleigh (NC) Word of God Christian Academy capped a stellar season by capturing the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association 1A Title with a victory over United Faith.

Leading the way for Word of God was junior point guard John Wall. Wall and the Holy Rams won their second-straight 1A Title, a feat he's certainly proud of.

"Our season just ended this weekend when we won the state championship," said Wall. "I think we finished the year 30-3 and we beat United Faith for the title. Our only losses were to Charis Prep, Wheeler, and Mt. Zion.

"I think winning our second-straight championship says a lot about our program. It shows that we can play with anybody."

Wall made strides in his overall game. A dynamic talent, he took his game to another level as he did a great job of keeping his teammates involved and being a leader on the floor.

"I played well this year," he said. "The main thing is I improved was my overall game as a point guard. That's what I wanted to do. I became a better leader, and I feel I helped my teammates get better."

Wall and Word of God played one of the toughest schedules in the country, facing a host of nationally-ranked programs. Who was the toughest player he faced this year?

"The toughest player I played against was Tyreke Evans," said Wall. "He can get to the basket whenever he wants, he's strong, he uses his body well, and he can set you up for all of his moves. [Laughing] We beat them though."

Just a junior, Wall has one more season left at Word of God. Next year he'll team up with NC State commitment C.J. Leslie again, and the Holy Rams should be the favorites to defend their title.

Wall will also have the chance to continue improving at the point guard position, as he will no longer be splitting time with graduating senior Lance Beckwith.

"I think we're going to be a pretty good team next year," said Wall. "I think we had one of the best one-two combos in the state with me and C.J., and we'll be back. We're starting to come together well. He's helping me develop my game at the point guard spot and I'm helping him improve.

"I'll play the point fulltime next year because Lance is heading to college. We talked about it this year and he was recruited to play point guard so a lot of times he would start the game there. Coach wanted to me to get going from the wing and attacking from out there early, and then late in games I would slide over to point guard and do my thing. I understand what he wanted us to do, and it worked because we won a championship."

Next up for Wall will be the AAU circuit, and he'll be running the show for D-One Sports. Joining Wall on the team should be local standout Ryan Kelly and promising 2010 guard J.T. Terrell.

"My goal for the summer is to stay hungry and play hard in every tournament," said Wall. "I want to win a lot of our tournaments, and I want to keep getting better. I want my teammates to keep getting better."

Wall's recruitment seems to be on the backburner for now. He has one unofficial visit currently scheduled and has already attended a few games this year.

"March 8th I'm going out west to Oregon," he said. "I'm going to watch Oregon against Arizona, and I think I'm going to take some more visits after that one.

"I visited Oklahoma State and Oklahoma, and I've been to games at [NC] State, Duke, and [North] Carolina."

Wall states that he remains wide open, but he feels that NC State, Virginia, Miami, and Memphis among others are recruiting him the hardest.

What is he looking for in a school?

"First of all, I want to see how the academics are," he stated. "After that I want to see how the players get along with the coaches. When I go on these visits, I try to talk to some of the players and see how the coach deals with him. I want to see how the players are being coached."

The five-star point guard remains a major target for NC State. Wolfpack coaches have attended several of his games, and he has made the short, short drive to the NC State campus for a few visits as well. What does he like about the Wolfpack?

"State... they are recruiting me hard," he said. "I like the coaches at State. They come see me play a lot, and what really helps them is the players come and watch me play. Some of the players want me to come play with them... they are telling me that.

"It's hard to see how they want to play because they really don't have a point guard who can run what they want to run. I'm going to keep watching them."

Previously Wall stated that he will likely wait until the spring of his senior season before making a decision. While that still could happen, he did leave the door open for an earlier decision.

"I feel like if I find the right school before the end of my season I'll make the decision early," he said. "It's going to be when I'm ready though. I think it will probably be either during my season or right after it because I want to take some official visits.

"One thing I've been trying to do is watch as many teams as I can so I can get a feel for how they play. I've been recording games and just watching how the coaches and players interact."

"I'm still wide open," he added. "I don't have to rush or anything like that."

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