Cabarrus

At 7-foot-2, he's still growing into the sport

David Wishon has always had the height to play basketball. By kindergarten, he was 5 feet tall. By high school, he was 6-foot-8.

Wishon, 18, now stands at 7-foot-2, 270 pounds as he enters an extra year of preparation at Fork Union Military Academy. Wishon, who played his senior season of high school at First Assembly after three years at Concord High, is finally getting his talent to catch up with his height.

"It takes big kids a lot longer to grow into their bodies," said Hal Wishon, David's father. "David has made tremendous strides in the last two or three years. But I think his best basketball is still ahead of him."

Fork Union coach Fletcher Arritt, who is in his 45th year at the school while producing more than 250 Division I basketball players, said Wishon should have the opportunity to grow at the Virginia school.

"I think Fork Union is a great place for him. There will be plenty of opportunities for him to play in front of college coaches," said Arritt. "But it all depends on how hard he works, how much he wants it."

After struggling to fit into Concord's break-neck pace for his first three years of high school, Wishon flourished in a fast-paced, but more controlled tempo at First Assembly, where he averaged 16 points and 10 rebounds per game on a 29-2 Eagle squad.

First Assembly, who only lost once in the regular season, did not lose again until the state championship. Wishon, however, had one of his best games of the season, scoring 21 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.

"I really felt like I had a great senior season, made a lot of big improvements," said Wishon. "But I know I still have a lot to prove to people. I just have to focus on doing everything I can to become a better player."

But while Wishon's stock seemed to be rising, the offers from bigger schools didn't come.

Wishon was mainly receiving offers from Division II schools and smaller schools like Kennesaw State. He did have some interest from Ivy League schools like Dartmouth.Fork Union's - and Arritt's - reputation and influence have sparked more college interest in Wishon, as Florida State, Alabama-Birmingham, Boise State and Arkansas Little-Rock have expressed interest in Wishon.

Fork Union basketball assistant coach Brooks Berry thinks that just the beginning.

"I think David is going to be on a lot of people's minds in the near future," he said. "I think he has the potential to do really well at Fork Union and beyond.."

Wishon is looking forward to the opportunity.

"I look at this as a chance to live basketball every day and try to get as many looks as I can," he said.

"I love the sport and someday I would like to play pro ball, whether it's in the NBA or overseas. That is my goal."

First, Wishon will have to take the step of going to college, and Fork Union will prepare him for that.

"We believe David has great future ahead of him," said Arritt.

"But he is going to have to get stronger, tougher and faster. This (prep school ball) is a different game from high school ball, just like college basketball will be different from Fork Union.

"He's going to have to learn to step it up, and that is what we hope to help him do."

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