2019-2020 High School Men’s Basketball Preview – Independence Patriots

Guard Anthony Allen in action. (Ron Morris)
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Independence Coach Preston Davis during State Championship season. (Ron Morris)

Head Coach: Preston Davis (2017-2018 4A State Championship Season) 

Returning Players: 

5’8 PG Tachai Miller – 1.3ppg, 1rpg, 1apg, 1spg

6’2 G Camren Little – 1ppg, 1rpg

6’7 F Omarion Bodrick – 4.3ppg, 4.1rpg, 1apg, 1spg, 1.6bpg

6’5 G/F Jakeem “Nygell” Verdier – 2.6ppg, 1.1rpg, 1spg

6’0 G Anthony Allen – 8.7ppg, 1.3rpg, 1.3apg, 1.4spg

Key Contributors: 

6’0 Divine Allah

6’2 Deon Hankerson

6’3 Reginald Smith


5’8 PG Jalen Hinton (transfer from Butler High School)

6’5 F De’Drick Givens (transfer from North Mecklenburg, High School)

Player Tidbits:

Anthony Allen holds offers from Lees-McRae, Mount Olive, Mars Hill, & Rider

Omarion Bodrick holds offers from NC A&T, USC Upstate, Rider, & Winthrop


We are the defending Southwestern 4A Conference Regular Season & Conference Tournament Champions for the past 2 seasons.

1. How does the team look for the upcoming 2019-2020 season?

Our team this season is young, quick, & athletic. Very hard working and unselfish group.

2. How would you rank the team in the Southwestern 4A conference?

We believe we will finish in the Top 4 of our Conference this season. 

3. What are your realistic expectations this season? 

We believe we can compete for the Conference Championship and make the NCHSAA Playoffs.

4. Who are your starting five as of today?

Anthony Allen, Jakeem Verdier, Jalen Hinton, Omarion Bodrick, De’Drick Givens

5. What are your team strengths?

Defensively we should give teams trouble. And our perimeter shooting has been solid thus far.

6. What areas will need improvement?

We need to improve our collective rebounding efforts.

7.How is your bench strength? Who do you expect to make a contribution off the bench? 

The key contributors mentioned above off the bench who are expected to make an important contribution include Divine Allah, Deon Hankerson, Reginald Smith, and returning players Cameron Little and Jakeem Nygell who understand the system and our high level of commitment to achievement.

8.  What are the most important character building qualities to teach your players?

Some of the characteristics we preach constantly are teamwork, hard work, communication, & unselfishness.

9. Each team is different, how can you motivate your players on this team?  This team is motivated to create their own legacy in our rich basketball tradition here at Independence.

10. How can you improve teamwork and the attitudes of each player?

We try to incorporate different team building activities for our guys to bond and become better teammates.

Overall, basketball is a simple game in many ways, from a tactical point of view, how can we get more shots, improve our team’s shooting percentage, reduce our opponents shooting percentage and get to the foul line more often than our opponents will be key to this teams success.  Our goal this season is to play Aggressive & Fast.

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