22ft Academy team has talent, works on chemistry

The 22ft Academy of Shannon Forest Christian School basketball team is seven games into the season and still rounding into shape.

“We had a lot of seniors last year,” said Matt Schmidt, 22ft Academy’s associate head coach and director of basketball. “We’ve got a lot of new faces, and we’re building that chemistry up, and it’s going to take some time, but we’re getting there.”

No doubt the team, 5-2 heading into Monday’s Pete Hollis Holiday Invitational at Legacy Charter School, has marketable materials with which to build.

Sedee Keita, a 6-foot-11-inch power forward from Philadelphia, is No. 34 on ESPN’s list of the top 60 recruits in the Class of 2016.

“He’s so long, he runs the floor like a deer, he’s smart and he has a good motor — all those things that you can’t teach, he already has,” said Matt Schmidt, whose brother, Ryan, is the team’s head coach.

“He’s just right now working on his footwork in the low post, strengthening that side of his game. But for a junior big man, he’s already pretty far along.”

Keita also already has offers from Syracuse, Villanova, VCU, Memphis, Temple, Iowa and Iowa State.

Jojo Anderson, a 6-foot-3-inch senior point guard from Houston, Texas, has offers from Texas A&M, Nebraska, Creighton and Houston.

“The nice thing is the point guard class is pretty weak for 2015,” Matt Schmidt said, “so after a couple more games in the college season, some of these teams that start liking him will realize they need a point guard, so he’ll probably pick up some more interest from schools that aren’t on him at the moment, too.”

Luis Camara, a 6-foot-5-inch senior, was captain of Portugal’s U18 national team, and Malick Turenne, a 6-foot-5-inch junior, was selected by Canada Basketball to participate in an NBA Americas Team Camp in Toronto in August.

Tim Tijhuis, a 6-foot-6-inch senior guard from the Netherlands, is in his second year at 22ft Academy.

“He didn’t play a lot last year, but he improved a lot over the spring and summer, and he’s come in here just a completely different player,” Schmidt said. “We got him on the Upwards Stars AAU team, and getting more Americanized with the pace of the game has helped him make the transition, and his recruiting’s starting to pick up.”

The Pete Hollis Invitational begins with four games today at Legacy Charter School, the first scheduled for 3 p.m. Genesis Academy (Virginia) will play 22ft Academy at 6 p.m.

Courtside seating, which is limited, is $12 per day and $32 for a three-day pass. General admission seating is $8 per day and $20 for a three-day pass.




Game 1: Genesis Academy (Va.) vs. 22ft Academy, 6 p.m.

Game 2: West Oaks (Fla.) vs. National Prep (Ga.), 3 p.m.

Game 3: New Hope Christian (N.C.) vs. Bull City (N.C.), 4:30 p.m.

Game 4: Thomasville Prep (N.C.) vs. Legacy Charter, 7:30 p.m.


Game 5: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 3 p.m.

Game 6: Loser Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4, 4:30 p.m.

Game 7: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 6 p.m.

Game 8: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4, 7:30 p.m.


Game 9: Loser Game 5 vs. Loser Game 6, 10 a.m.

Game 10: Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6, 11:30 a.m.

Game 11: Loser Game 7 vs. Loser Game 8, 1:30 p.m.

Game 12: Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 8, 3:00 p.m.

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