Andrew Bess was asked recently to assess his overall display this past season on the Memphis’ tradition-rich basketball circuit.
While the Craigmont High sophomore swingman was pleased with the strides he made for the perennial power Chiefs, he is quick acknowledge that his best and brighter days are well ahead of him.
After all, Bess knows full well that he’s undoubtedly faced with a golden opportunity of making a favorable impression on college scouts and recruiters, in large part because:
No. 1: He plays for one Shelby-Metro’s finest and most successful head coaches in Craigmont’s David Taylor and,
No. 2: He still has two full seasons of major varsity basketball ahead on him, meaning if the 6-foot-5 1/2, 159-pounder can continue to be the coacheable, talented kid for which he’s widely known, then the possibility exist that he could find himself signing a much-anticipated National Letter of Intent before his prep career ends, something his mother, Melissa Bess — his grandest supporter — has envisioned for quite some time for her son.
“I don’t have any (letters) from any colleges yet,” Andrew Bess told Sports Journalist Andre Johnson during a recent interview.
Because he is expected to be amongst Craigmont’s key contributors next season, that could all change if Andrew Bess proves he’s as good as advertised.
To his credit, he will certainly be afforded the opportunity to demonstrate that he boasts the skills and poise to handle major high school basketball.
For starters, after a brief stint for nearly Marion (Arkansas) High, Taylor were among those who never took Andrew Bess’ skills for granted, a discovery that ultimately gave way to the swingman’s family having transferred him roughly 10 miles across the Mississippi bridge to nearby Craigmont.
Fortunately for Andrew Bess, it appeared to have been a transition worth making, in large part because Taylor and his staff allowed him the chance to put his mechanic and fundamentals on display for a program that customarily has been one of the area’s finest in recent years.
Craigmont ended the 2015-16 season with a 22-10 mark, capped by a No. 45 overall ranking in Tennessee, according to a season-ending poll released by Maxpreps.com.
In helping the Chiefs enjoy a winning campaign, Andrew Bess didn’t witness varsity action until the latter stages of the season, or during a time when players — most notably underclassmen — show could very well be a sign of things to come.
That’s exactly what Andrew Bess had done and, to his credit, his contributions have caused Taylor to serious consider installing him in the starting rotation next season.
What a difference a change in scenery has made.
“My biggest strength is height, and my ability to get rebounds,” Andrew Bess said. “My weaknesses are that I can’t handle the ball as well as I should and that I don’t have the best of jump shots.”
He plans to fine-tuned those mechanics this summer while putting his skills on display on the always-competitive Mid-South-area AAU circuit.
Looking ahead, Andrew Bess reiterated that his primary focuses are to do whatever is necessary to help Craigmont remain relevant program and to lure the attention of scouts and recruiters.
“I would like the recruiters to know that I have a high motor and that I have the potential to become a great athlete,” Andrew Bess said. “I do push-ups every other day and I run and play basketball around the neighborhood.”
Effective trends he hopes would ultimately give way to his landing a free education in the coming years.
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Andre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.