Dec 24, 2013
When Hammond School makes the 200-mile trek up U.S. 1 from Columbia, S.C., for this year’s Holiday Invitational, they’ll do so with one of the top sophomores in the country, ESPN’s No. 5-ranked point guard, Seventh Woods.
“He’s my coach on the floor, in relation to running plays and setting the tempo,” Skyhawks coach Mark McClam, who played at College of Charleston, said. “He’s my coach on the floor, in relation to running plays and setting the tempo.”
“He’s a scorer and a facilitator. He’s a great defensive player as well. He kind of runs the show; he’s the key to everything we do.”
McClam said Hammond, which is making its first appearance in the Invitational, is a smaller private school and will be paced by several three-sport athletes.
“We only 250-300 kids in the high school,” he said. “We don’t have tons of year-round basketball players … but we’ll be athletic, pretty tall and long.”
He added he expects to be able to go nine or 10 players deep, with a good interior presence.
“We’ve got really good size,” McClam said of his five players standing over 6-foot, 4-inches.
While Woods is the most highly recruited player on McClams’ squad, he added junior Xavier McDaniel is a player who will have a big impact on his team’s success throughout this week.
“His dad was the X-Man (Xavier McDaniel), who played for the Seattle Supersonics in the NBA for 12 years,” McClam said. “He’s a phenomenal athlete who can get to the rim. He’s a Division 1 prospect for sure.”
He added Spencer Carlson, one of the team’s three captains, along with McDaniel and Woods, is a key contributor.
“He’s a very smooth, fundamentally sound player,” McClam said of Carlson. “He’s got great post moves as well as nice outside jump shot.”
Additionally, Davis King, a left-handed quarterback on the Hammond football team and grandson of University of South Carolina football coach Steven Spurrier, as well as Cannon Smith, who has signed play tight end at Clemson next year, are on the team.
McClam said the opportunity to play in front of so many basketball fans and college coaches is one of the greatest benefits of being invited to participate in this year’s Holiday Invitational.
“We’ll have our hands full,” he said of the competition Hammond will face during the three-day event. “It’s an upward move for us, to play this high caliber of talent.
“We’re looking forward to the challenge before we start region play. I do love the fact that (the HSOT) is centered around teams that are being recruited by the Dukes and North Carolinas.”
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