In the present time, the state of Georgia is thriving on the basketball scene. Not only are there big-time players in the state, but there are also some elite programs that are helping prospective student-athletes get the best basketball instruction.
One program that is growing in the Peach State is Lincoln Academy, which is based out of Atlanta, Georgia. As of late, they have been traveling around the country and showcasing their talents around the nation in front of college coaches. The program has been in existence since 2017 and has been thriving as of late.
“We’re in the second year of the program, trying to build a great program, top of the nation, not only in basketball, in the school area, educating kids in the right way. So, we’re trying to do things the right way in order to build a powerhouse. For it being the second year of the program, I think it’s very good,” said head coach Omar Gonzalez.
The program offers high-level completion as it has played in various events such as the Phenom National Showcase (Greensboro, North Carolina), Governor’s Challenge (Salisbury, Maryland), Tarkanian Classic (Las Vegas, Nevada) and the Big North Shootout (Brooklyn, New York).
When asked about the high-level competition it offers, Gonzalez replied, “I mean, it’s high-level, we’ve got kids from Africa, Puerto Rico, all over. Right now, we’re a pretty young team, we only got four seniors. We have no juniors, all of the other kids are sophomores, so we’re trying to build a powerhouse for the future. Not only one team, we’re trying to build a postgrad program. We’re just trying to build a great school, in all areas. So you’ll hear about Lincoln Academy for a lot of years.”
So far, this year’s roster has a good group of talent, with two seniors who are signed to Division I colleges in 6-foot-8 forward Elias King (Mississippi State) and 6-foot-10 forward Moulaye Sissoko (Dayton). Other talented seniors on the team include 6-foot-2 point guard Mikale Stephens and 6-foot-1 point guard Harold Bennett.
There are also some special young talents in the Class of 2021 in 6-foot-11 center Frankie Anselem, 6-foot-11 forward Bretner Mutombo and 6-foot-5 shooting guard Rafael Pinzon. Another gem is 6-foot-5 freshman guard Jalen Carruth. All four are being looked at by Division I schools at the present time and may have a boatload of offers coming in by next year.
When asked about King and what he brings to the program, Gonzalez replied, “Leadership, his game, he’s a tough scorer, we’re trying to work with him on his defense a bit, his body, but he’s getting better every day. He’s a great scorer, he’s been a pure scorer since he was a kid.”
When asked if he thought that Lincoln could eventually get to the level of other prep programs such as Oak Hill Academy, Brewster Academy and IMG Academy, Gonzalez added: “Lincoln? Oh, yeah, not only to that level, but we’re trying to get better. It’s very important that we don’t get used to being like others, so we’re trying to do things our own way and try to do it the right way, so we can be the best in the country.”
With the growing talent, there’s plenty of optimism around the program. Earlier this season, Lincoln played in a local battle against Holy Spirit, which features McDonald’s All-American Anthony Edwards, the No. 5 recruit in the Class of 2019, and beat them, 67-59.
This season, they are 18-5, and have played against schools such as Huntington Prep (WV), Legacy Charter (SC), Hillcrest Prep (AZ), Word of God (NC), Our Savior New American (NY) and Our Saviour Lutheran (NY). As the program continues to grow, you can expect to see more from them very, very soon.
“The future is big, [we plan to] keep working every day, get bigger as a program, try to build more teams and keep working with the kids, not only with basketball, but in life and school, so we’re trying to work with the kids so we can give them a better future,” said Gonzalez.