As a star at Gaffney I can remember watching Reid play and after just one game thinking to myself that he plays the game the right way and he made it look so effortless. Efficient is a word that comes to mind when I think about the times I was able to watch Reid put in work on the hardwood. He made very few mistakes and capitalized on every opportunity which is rare to see in a sixteen or seventeen year old player. At 6'5 Reid played down low for the Indians and he simply outworked and willed the Indians to back to back state championships.
Reid is now a junior at the small school in North Carolina. His High Point Panthers currently have a record of 19-8 on the season and much of their success is due to the outstanding season Reid is enjoying.
In their latest victory the Panthers were behind for a great deal of the second half against the UNC Asheville Bulldogs. Reid and his squad were down by as many as 13 points in the second half but once again Reid put his team on his back and brought them right back into the game. In fact "AZ" nailed two clutch free throws to put High Point up 63-61 with just under three minutes to play. The Bulldogs nailed two quick baskets and regained the lead at 67-63 but Reid stepped up once again and calmly knocked down a three pointer to make it 67-66 with a shade over 30 seconds left in the game.
From there UNC Asheville failed to capitalize on their opportunites on the offensive end and Eugene Harris was able to nail a three pointer with 5 seconds remaining to lift the Panthers to a 69-67 victory. The Bulldog defense keyed on Reid and allowed the open look for Harris' game winning shot.
On the night "AZ" finished with 26 points, 11 rebounds, 2 steals, and 2 assists. For the season Reid is averaging 21.2 ppg, 9.2 rpg, and 1.9 apg all while shooting almost 52% from the field. Barring a meltdown by 1st place Winthrop (12-0 in conference play, 22-4 overall) it would appear the Panthers will finish 2nd in the Big South Conference. Reid and High Point almost pulled the upset victory over Winthrop earlier in the season at home but now will get their second shot at the conference leaders next Tuesday at the home of the Eagles.
As a freshman Reid earned Big South All Freshman Team honors. Then in his sophomore season Reid began to assert himself and led the team in both scoring and rebounding en route to earning First Team All-Big South Conference honors. So far this season Reid has hit for a season high 32 points on 3 separate occasions.
"AZ" has already had a spectacular career for the Panthers and a few pro scouts in the region have already noticed the former Gaffney star's talent. One scout who wanted to remain anonymous for an NBA team in the southeast region told us, "At his size (6'5 205) he's unbelievable. He plays so much larger than he actually is. I really enjoy watching him play. I think if he was 2 or 3 inches taller he'd have a great shot at the NBA. He's a lock to go overseas though and make a very solid living over there with so many foreign teams wanting talented American players on their teams. You never know though...he could get an invite to go to Portsmouth or Chicago and show the rest of the NBA scouts that he's got top level talent. He'd have to work on his ballhandling and perimeter game over the next season and a half."
For now though Reid will continue to impress the fans of the High Point Panthers along with their opposing teams and fans.
SCPrepNation.com will have more on former South Carolina high school standouts like Arizona "AZ" Reid.