Kyle Phillips, the center for the White Knoll Timberwolves, signed recently to play basketball for the Belmont Abbey College Crusaders, and it was a good deal for both parties.
"He’s 6-foot-8, left-handed and he’s got a lot of skills," said Timberwolves coach Bret Jones. "I think he can come in and help Belmont."
Phillips picked the Belmont, N.C., school over Newberry because he believes he can get playing time as a freshman for a program on the upswing. But he also just plain liked the place.
"It was very nice," said Phillips of the small town 15 miles west of Charlotte. "It was a pretty place, in a very nice part of North Carolina. "I liked the coaching staff, and they have some good players."
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Jones said his big man has the skills that the Division 2 school can use.
"Kyle can do both, inside and out," said Jones. "He’s got good moves with his back to the basket and he can shoot the 3. For a big guy, he can go away from the basket, which is an asset."
Under first-year coach Stephen Miss, The Abbey posted a 16-12 record (14-6 in Conference Carolinas games), the Crusaders first winning season since 2003-04.
"What caught our eye is the skill he has. Very few young men have the abilities he has, the versatility and skill he has, at his height," said Miss. "We anticipate him making an impact from Day 1."
“He was very coachable," said Jones. "It’s a good level for him, and I think he can contribute right away."
Reach McLaurin at (803) 240-3514.