Thursday, June 29, 2017

Fast-Growing Quartlebaum To Assume Leadership Role in '17-18

In New York, the sight of a 10-year-old burying a barrage of 15-footers in succession and shooting grown men and high-profile athletes under the table might be the means for immediate hype.

 For Class of 2019's Trey Quartlebaum, who has shown a prodigious shooting ability since he was seven, it was simply another day plying his craft.

The youngster's early, advanced skill-set was no fluke.

 Raised partially in New York, where he rarely played age-appropriate and was molded into a natural gym rat, Quartlebaum has added on to the deft shooting touch over the years.

Now a sophomore at Lawrence High (KS), the point guard continues to find new, innovative ways to create his shot and find separation to let it fly.

A steady evolution remains for the sophomore, who was born in Indiana and spent much of his early childhood in North Carolina.

Now, after registering his presence as a crafty guard, Quartlebaum is reaping the results of playing against older competition and fighting to prove he belongs on the same courts as cats twice his age.

His stock is gaining interest on the Division-I market, where he intends to balloon following a fierce summer AAU schedule which includes stops all across the eastern seaboard.

After playing a supporting role on last year’s Lawrence High team, which earned a berth in the state championship game, the junior will inherit a leadership role. He'll take on the task of engineering the offense while simultaneously scoring the rock in a variety of ways.

With the roster thoroughly cleansed from last season, Lawrence is very much in rebuilding mode.

“I’m looking to focus more on getting to the basket, finishing and really just being more all-around efficient at the basket,” said Quartlebaum, who has generated interest from Denver, Elon, Florida Gulf Coast, and most recently Niagara.

“Instead of just shooting I’ll have my game more unpredictable and have a lot more moves in the arsenal.”

 With Quartlebaum displaying flashes on a deep team last season, he is bolstered by a desire to immediately fill the void and register his presence as one of the state’s best in the backcourt 2019.

He hears the voices saying that Lawrence won’t be the same team in 2018. He’s tuned into the floating murmurs about last year’s core leaving a significant gap.

It only sparks more motivation.

“A lot of teams are underestimating us,” Quartlebaum said.

 “What I don’t think they realize is how tough we are as a whole. We’re going to find ways to win and find ways to out-tough opponents.”

Ramping up Quartlebaum’s importance at the start of the season is an injury to Clarence King, a smooth left-handed 6-foot-3 guard and multi-sport athlete.

“I think he’ll miss about a month of the regular season but I’m not certain,” said Quartlebaum.

“It will be a huge plus when he gets healthy because Clarence can do a little bit of everything—scoring, defense, he’s a presence athletically with his ability to fly all over the court. We have a feel for each other’s games for sure.”

This summer, Quartlebaum is preparing for the next level. The Division-I interest has helped spark the incoming junior.  Preparing for the lofty expectations which now wait in the wings has equaled longer hours in the weight room.

“One thing my Dad said is that a lot of freshmen are not where they are supposed to be, strength-wise when they get to college,” Quartlebaum explained.
“So I’ve focused on getting in the weight room, getting my body right so that I’m strong enough to play with the other guys and the skill stuff will be there.”

His father, Freddy Quartlebaum, would know a thing or two about the transition to college basketball.

One of the reasons for Trey’s nomadic young lifestyle was that his father served as an assistant at North Carolina (where he helped solidify commitments from Raymond Felton and Sean May en route to a 2005 NCAA championship) and later St. John’s.

An accurate depiction of a workout fiend, pops’ work ethic appears to be instilled in his son. Above all, Trey Quartlebaum is looking to seize the leadership reins and ensure the gelling experiment works.

“Communicating more is going to be key,” he said.

“Being a leader, stepping into a communication role and all of that.”