BANNER ELK — The Lees-McRae Bobcats wrapped up another terrific recruiting class, signing four freshman to continue building a program that has been on the rise the past two seasons.
Marcus Cassesa, Charles Dickson, Keith Heard II and Cedriontis Wilson have all signed their National Letter of Intent to play for the Bobcats this coming season.
“This group will be known as the ‘Four Horsemen’,” said head coach Steve Hardin.
Cassesa played at Taravella High School in Sunrise, Fla., where he averaged nearly 25 points per game while grabbing nine rebounds a game and dishing out over four assists per contest from his point guard position.
“Marcus is a long point guard with great athleticism, skill and basketball IQ. He has the build, tools and the drive to become the player Austin Anderson was as a point guard,” said Hardin.
Anderson wrapped up his tremendous LMC career being named the Conference Carolinas Player of the Year for the 2015-16 season.
“Marcus is a great character kid and was a perfect student in high school. He is a perfectionist and extremely detailed on becoming the best he can be on and off the court. That is what first caught my attention with Marcus,” added Coach Hardin.
Dickson spent his last two seasons of high school hoops at Lindblom Math and Science Academy in Chicago where he averaged 15.6 points and 8.8 rebounds per game as a senior.
“Charles is a tough, long, athletic guard from Chicago who can play multiple positions, which fits perfectly into our FIRE system. He is a great student with excellent drive, character and work ethic,” Hardin said. “Charles has the chance to become an impact player for us in 2016-17.”
Heard II played his high school basketball at Sandy Creek High School in Atlanta. He was ranked as the 63rd best player in the state of Georgia for the class of 2016.
“He (Heard II) is an extremely lanky and athletic post presence on the defensive end, but he can also put pressure on opposing teams with his athleticism on offense, and willingness to do whatever is necessary to help the team,” Hardin said.
Heard II was an all-county player and an all-region honorable mention player.
The final piece to the 2016 recruiting class comes to Lees-McRae by way of Blackman High School in Murfreesboro, Tenn.
“I am extremely excited about Ced Wilson. Ced can play multiple positions and is a perfect player for my FIRE system. He is a natural scorer but is not limited to scoring as he can do a little of everything on the court, especially defending,” said Coach Hardin. “Ced is the type of player that has the unique skill capability to take over a game.”
Wilson tallied 937 points, 203 rebounds, 131 assists and 127 steals during his high school career. He also set a school record for career free throw percentage at 76.6 percent and helped lead Blackman HS to the 2014 3A State Championship.
Overall, this class is certainly one for Coach Hardin, assistant coach Daniel Waln and assistant coach Keith Jennings to feel really proud of.
“This freshman class has the chance to be really special. We have signed four guys that were all top performers in their state and highly sought after recruits,” said Hardin. I feel we worked extremely hard to put together a great class that has a chance to be special and I want to think my staff, Coach Waln and Coach Jennings.”
Hardin was also impressed with the team-first attitude each of the four players had.
“They have had tons of success individually in high school, but the first statement out of each guy was ‘I want to help Lees-McRae win a championship’,” he said.
The Bobcats will open up the 2016-17 season in November.
Nathan Ham can be reached at 336-489-3062.