Tyger Campbell - Christ Presbyterian Academy (Nashville, TN)
Drew Maddux has elevated basketball at Christ Presbyterian Academy (Nashville, Tenn.) to national prominence, winning an average of 30 games per season over the past eight years and capturing state titles in 2012 and 2013.
A former standout player at Vanderbilt, Maddux is a star on the rise in the coaching world and was a serious candidate for the job at Division I Lipscomb last year.
So what's an established power like CPA doing starting an eighth-grader at point guard this season?
Photo by Wayne Litmer
Tyger Campbell, CPA
That eighth-grader happens to be middle school phenom Tyger Campbell, who isn't merely starting at CPA, but starring — averaging 18 points and 6.8 assists through six games. The Lions are 5-1.
According to Maddux, Campbell is equipped to handle the attention his play will bring.
"We don't worry about it," Maddux said of the early spotlight. "He is built to handle it and really mature beyond his age."
Campbell and Christ Presbyterian Academy took on national No. 4 La Lumiere (LaPorte, Ind.) over the weekend at the famed Marshall County Hoopfest in Kentucky. The Indiana squad is unbeaten on the season and loaded with perhaps as many as 10 future Division I players.
Missing four football players busy with a state championship game, it was a rough outing for Christ Presbyterian Academy. But Campbell made a big impression at one of the most high-profile high school showcases of the season.
"For him to go out against a nationally-ranked team and older kids and do what he did, he just showed an unbelievable competitive spirit," La Lumiere head coach Shane Heirman said of the matchup in Kentucky. "We watched a lot of film on them and came away saying the key to the game was stopping his dribble penetration kickouts. He still went out and put up 18 against us."
Maddux has had two other eighth-graders play for him at Christ Presbyterian Academy, but they didn't contribute on the level that Campbell will.
"It wasn't a new experience. We have a very vertically-integrated program with our middle school and high school and we try to make it feel like one big family," Maddux said. "He was embraced from the very first day."
Campbell and Christ Presbyterian Academy have a couple of big opportunities ahead. The Lions will participate in the King of the Bluegrass Holiday Classic in Fairdale, Ky., beginning Dec. 19 and also meet nationally-ranked Southwind (Memphis, Tenn.) at the Penny Hardaway Hoopfest in January.Photo by Wayne Litmer
Tyger Campbell operates against La Lumiere at the Marshall County Hoopfest.