Hometown heroes: Former Ashbrook standout helping UConn to fast start, local products help Lees-McRae in season openers

By Richard Walker

Former Ashbrook standout Isaiah Whaley (5) has been a standout for Connecticut this season. [uconnhuskies.com photo]
Former Ashbrook High standout Isaiah Whaley has helped Connecticut to a 7-1 overall record and 4-1 Big East Conference record entering Monday’s 5 p.m. home game against St. John’s.

Whaley, a senior forward, is averaging 9.1 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.4 blocks in eight starts for the Huskies.

Former Forestview and Gaston Day standout Nate Hinton has played in two games for the Dallas Mavericks this season, including the last 1:15 of Wednesday’s 104-93 win at Charlotte.

Hinton earlier this month became the sixth Gastonia product to play in the NBA, joining Thomas “Bubba” Wilson, James Worthy, Eric “Sleepy” Floyd, Darrell Armstrong and current Sacramento Kings’ center Hassan Whiteside.

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A quintet of former local products helped Lees-McRae win their women’s and men’s season-openers on Wednesday night as they prepare for Friday’s home doubleheader against Mount Olive that starts at 5 p.m.

The Bobcats’ women won as Destiny Johnson (2018 East Lincoln High graduate) had 14 points, five rebounds and six assists and Olivia King (Gaston Day 2019) had two points.

And the Lees-McRae men won as Quay Kimble (Shelby 2017) had 10 points, six rebounds and seven assists, Sidney Dollar (East Lincoln 2019) had four points, two rebounds and three assists and London England (Lincoln Charter 2018) had three points, two rebounds and two assists.

For Newberry, Logan Botts (Forestview 2020) has played in one game for the Wolves (3-2), who host Limestone on Wednesday at 8 p.m.