Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Legendary Prep Coach Chaney Planted Seeds As Scotland Campus Sports Grows

During his storied stay at Laurinburg Prep (NC), Chris Chaney spearheaded a veritable prep "Dream Team."

No team has ever put together numbers quite like them. Few have even mirrored the sheer dominance of this iconic prep team, which routinely trounced the nation's most reputable programs.

 Chaney’s 40-0 Laurinburg team is recognized as the best prep program ever assembled. The 2005 national champions possessed a boatload of position-to-position power. Depth, pressure all across 94 feet of hardwood and a consistently souped-up attack enabled this team to win by an average of 40 points per game.

 Just five of their wins were by under 20 points, including convincing upsets of Notre Dame Prep, Oak Hill, Montrose Christian, and a variety of others.

They were never anticipated to register this level of unparalleled supremacy on the prep level. From the beginning of the season, Chaney’s Laurinburg team entertained the type of lofty aspirations and workaday commitments which only a special few can emulate.

The proof is in the production. They shot above 50 percent from the field and above 80 percent from the free throw line. Laurinburg minimized turnovers, committing under 10 a game. They came at foes in waves and waves, featuring 17 different leading scorers. This team, which boasted an unprecedented 15 Division-I signees, did everything to the maximum of their capabilities.


They arrived at practice limber from a five-mile run to the gym from campus, entering the season in prime shape. They continued to press and apply suffocating defense, even while holding leads of 20+ points.

The infectious passion for the game and collective love of hard, end-to-end basketball catapulted this team to an early national ranking. They earned plaudits from some of the best analysts and prognosticators of the prep game, with headlines in Sports Illustrated and SLAM Magazine.

Laurinburg posted a 95-83 win over Hargrave Military Academy in Wayne Otto’s U.S. prep national championship. Championship MVP Antonio Anderson and Shawne Williams, both of whom wound up at Memphis under then-head coach John Calipari, were the mainstays and bulwark of this gifted core.

Chaney, who has more wins than any high school or prep coach in his age group, is very much a throwback. The seasoned coach places major emphasis on discipline and team components. It’s a rarity in today’s prep atmosphere, where teams are coordinated very similar to AAU programs and 11th hour transfers break their way into the starting lineup in a moment’s notice.

 It’s only fitting that Scotland Campus Sports sits on a scenic, hill-dotted 167 acres in Franklin County. The team is run very much like a college program, with a library and gym and cafeteria all in walking distance.

 “Because of the environment, it wasn’t hard for me to buy in quickly,” said Chris Parker, who averaged 17.0 points and 4.1 assists to lead last year’s team, which registered a 23-7 mark.

 “I would definitely say the environment helped us all be where we needed to be. It was one of the most fun, most together teams that I’ve ever played on.”

While Chaney has been a key figure in the development of 17 NBA draft picks and coached countless professionals during his career, many arrived at his doorstep without the prototype five-star ranking. Many had notable holes in their game. Unfinished products, who would greatly benefit from an additional year of training and player development devotion, became primary targets for his methodical approach.
The reason Chaney’s system has worked is because he capitalizes on all of the critical aspects post-graduates and late-blooming recruits need to invest focus in. There’s emphasis on weight room work and getting stronger, which prepares prospects for the major conversion to the NCAA.

Chaney is known to enforce the speedball concept in disciplined fashion. In applying a lungs-burning transition game and constantly on the run, Chaney’s system prepares one for the increase in speed and power at the ensuing level.

With the gym accessible at all times, the program vows to help rectify weak spots that prevent a recruit from receiving the right amount of exposure and opportunity at the NCAA level. Through the work rate and the lofty standard Chaney’s programs are held to, the key is to expunge these weaknesses and spend enough time to eventually turn them into strengths.

 “Like any coach at a successful level, coach Chaney can be tough,” said Dylan Angel, who improved exponentially as a combination guard at SCS last season.

 “You need that to keep pushing forward and getting better. You definitely need to have thick skin, but it prepares you for the next level. He’s doing it for your own benefit, so he’s never going to hurt your confidence.

 Working under Coach Chaney, you have to absorb everything you can and just try to execute. That really comes with the territory of being a true competitor.”

 Angel, who recently accepted a scholarship to play at Centenary College of Louisiana, was one of several underrated recruits Chaney molded last season. Also among this group was Jalen Jordan, a bouncy 6-foot-3 combo guard with an enhanced backcourt skill-set. Jordan will play at Division-I St. Francis N.Y. this season.


This season, after learning the lay of the land and really planting the seeds, Chaney will have more Division-I talent to work with. SCS will feature a major rim protector with plenty of upside in 7-foot Bradley-commit Aristide “Ari” Boya. They are anticipating a multi-layered role from Joel Ntambwe, a versatile 6-foot-8 guard/forward now deciding between Providence, UNLV, Rhode Island, Wichita State and several others.

 Ntambwe transferred in from Forest Trails (N.C.) for his senior season. He said Chaney’s reputation as a program-builder and unique blend of state championships, national championships on the prep level, and international tournament titles overseas played a vital role in his decision.

“Coach Chaney has won at the highest level of prep basketball and has had a bunch of kids who have played at the high-major level and gotten better," Ntambwe said.

"We've talked to a lot of people and really nobody had the same experience in constantly getting under the radar recruits to sign with big time colleges like coach Chaney did. He's produced a lot of NBA players, which is my end goal after college. Given all that Chaney has attained and the countless college coaching connections he's established, Scotland Campus was the best choice for myself and my growth as a basketball player. He also has a staff of proven winners, so this would be the best fit for me in my last year of basketball at this level.”