Arden Christ School combo guard Jalen Lecque said he doesn’t play big for the coaches in attendance. He plays for the crowd.
Lecque had both watching as he led the Greenies to a 66-60 win over Greene Central in the David West bracket of the John Wall Holiday Invitational on Wednesday. Lecque scored 19 points to lead all scorers.
Lecque (6-4, 175 pounds), who’s being recruited by N.C. State, is a five-star guard and the No. 1 player in the state in the Class of 2019, according to 247Sports.
He got his official offer from the Wolfpack on Sept. 14, and first-year Wolfpack coach Kevin Keatts was at Holiday Gym on Wednesday to watch him play.
“He is the best athlete I’ve ever coached,” Christ School head coach Jeff Depelteau said about Lecque. “He’s been a triple-double machine for us this year. He’s really dynamic. He can make plays and he’s doing a lot of little things to improve his game.”
Lecque added eight rebounds and three assist in 29 minutes. Greene Central, one of the best 2A teams in the state, made the game interesting, leading by seven late in the third. That’s when Lecque, a leader on a team that doesn’t have any seniors, asserted his will.
“In the fourth quarter I just couldn’t lose,” Lecque said. “Knowing that I could see a chance at victory I had to push through.”
Lecque noticed Keatts on the sidelines, but stated “coaches don’t get me excited or nervous, the crowds do.”
Lecque, who said his favorite NBA player is Russell Westbrook, had two Westbrook-like dunks in the second half to get the crowd on his side.
Since relocating to North Carolina from New York, Lecque has seen the coaches from N.C. State at more of his games. He said that makes him feel like a “priority” and that the staff compares him to Dennis Smith, Jr., the former Wolfpack point guard who is now a rookie with the Dallas Mavericks.
“But I’m trying not to focus on that right now because I’m still early in my (recruiting) stage,” Lecque said.