Gabriel Turns It Up

On a talented team like Kings Mountain (NC) Hope Christian it's possible for talented prospects to get lost in the shuffle and with guys like Laron Dendy and J.T. Thompson getting most of the attention - Kenny Gabriel has quietly turned himself into a player.

This past weekend Gabriel broke from his teammates shadows and put Hope Christian on his back going for 22 points, 11 rebounds and 8 blocked shots against Charis Prep.

"Saturday was the best game he's played all year," Hope Christian coach Shaun Wiseman said. "That was a quality opponent, Charis Prep is pretty good and he really played well."

"He sees where he can get his points in transition and he gets out and spreads the floor. He beats other big men down the floor to get easy buckets and he's also comfortable with his back to the basket scoring and also catching and hitting the 15-20 foot jump shots."

Gabriel, who is characterized as a face up four, stands 6-foot-8, 197-pounds and is starting to develop wing skills, but lacks the handles to make a full time switch.

"We are just going to keep working on his ball handling and getting it to wear he can create from 20 feet out. I think he's really developed and I think he's going to continue to develop. He just continues to progress."

Gabriel's recruitment has been steady as Wake Forest, Clemson, UNC-Charlotte, East Carolina and Winthrop have the shown the most interest. Skip Prosser was the latest head coach to check him out and he certainly watched him on a good night.

"Jeff Battle has been doing the main load of [his recruiting]," Wiseman said. "Skip was at the game Saturday and I'd like to think that Coach Prosser went away with a pretty positive feeling about the kid."

The Tigers, who already have a commitment from Hope Christian standout, Laron Dendy, are also recruiting Gabriel. According to Coach Wiseman, Clemson has taken in a few games and are in the process of evaluating Gabriel.

"Shaka Smart is doing the recruiting there and they really like him. They think he could fit into their up-tempo style of play and really be a factor. I think they're intrigued by him."

So far Gabriel's taken visits to each of the five schools on his list, but only East Carolina has put forth a scholarship offer.

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