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Hoop Bites : Asheville's Best

8, Nov 2021

Hoop Bites : Asheville's Best

Justin Byerly's Hoop Bites 

In this new column, we take a look at some of the top prospects through North Carolina and South Carolina and also take a dive at where to get your grub on the way to watch. 

Asheville’s Best  

Making your way into Asheville, North Carolina you will come up either I-40 or I-26 and start to see the mountains in the distance, a backdrop for one of the Southeast’s premier travel destinations and also home to some pretty darn good basketball talent. 

Deante Green

Swannanoa, NC

Class
2022
|
Position
PF
|
Height
6' 8"
|
National
94
National Pos. Rank
19
State
3
State Pos. Rank
2

De’ante Green, Asheville Christian Academy - The Florida State commit has long been the top guy in the mountains. He spent the first two years of his prep career at Christ School before transferring over to Swannanoa to finish out his last two seasons. He helped lead the Lions to the NCISAA 3-A state title last season and is looking to do more of the same this season. The 6-foot-8 forward can score from the perimeter and can take defenders off the dribble while getting to the rim. He is a versatile prospect that can defend and alter shots. 

Food Stop : For this one, I would head down Highway 70 to Swannanoa and take a pit-stop at Okie Dokies Smokehouse. The BBQ is smoked for 18 hours. You can’t go wrong with a pulled pork plate, BBQ ribs and you must try their mouth-watering fried pickles. This is a family-owned joint and has been slamming out quality BBQ and delectable sides since 2007. I’m a fan of tomato based sauce for the Q and this spot has a good one. 

Rakease Passmore

Asheville, NC

Class
2024
|
Position
SG
|
Height
6' 5"
|
School Team
National
24
National Pos. Rank
4
State
1
State Pos. Rank
1

Rakease Passmore, Reynolds HS - We have talked a lot about Passmore over the past few months as he was probably the top prospect we saw at our HoopSeen Preview Camp series. He has size at 6-foot-4 and is one of the most athletic players that we have covered this season. Passmore, a 2024 prospect currently holds offers from Murray State, Western Carolina and Wake Forest. He is the type of player that I always say I would want on my team, a Florida athlete that is North Carolina coached.

Food Stop : Heading east from Asheville to Reynolds High School, I would leave a little early and go on down Charlotte Highway to The Local Joint. I have always been a fan of places to eat inside of a gas station and this one is just that. Breakfast all the way to dinner time. Nothing off the top menu wise, just really good food. You cannot go wrong with the Eggs Benedict for breakfast and then for dinner I would get the shrimp and grits option. Nice Beer selection along with live music some nights. 

Emanuel Richards

Asheville, NC

Class
2023
|
Position
CG
|
Height
6' 4"
|
School Team
National
NR
National Pos. Rank
NR
State
14
State Pos. Rank
3

Emanuel Richardson, Christ School - The big and burly guard originally from South Carolina has seen his recruitment take off over the past few months since the June scholastic events and the travel season. Richardson is a physical guard with a lot of athleticism, he can muscle his way into the paint and can score from the perimeter. He is going to be a big piece for Christ School this season under new head coach Josh Coley. 

Food Stop : The best way to get to Christ School from Asheville is to head down I-26 towards the airport, on the way I would recommend stopping at Nine Mile South on Hendersonville Rd. The third installment of the Nine Mile story is a lot the same as the other locations but with the slightly more upscale South Asheville vibe. The other two locations are in Historic Montfort and West Asheville. To eat, you can't go wrong with anything on the menu. I recommend starting out with a side of The Natty Bread, a garlic-butter basted local baked bread that has you salivating for more. For the main course I would go with Marley’s Magic. A dish made with a white wine sauce topped with vegetables and Carolina mountain trout. This is one of my favorite restaurants in Asheville. 

Derin Saran

Asheville, NC

Class
2023
|
Position
PG
|
Height
6' 4"
|
School Team
National
NR
National Pos. Rank
NR
State
6
State Pos. Rank
1

Darin Seran, Asheville School - The 2023 prospect is one of the best guards in the state for the 2023 class. The native of Turkey, who also spent time with the Turkish National team is a guard that can play at the next level. He is skilled and can score from all spots on the floor. He is able to get into the lane and make plays. He was recently offered by Radford and also holds a Stony Brook offer. 


Food Stop : Heading from Asheville up Patton Avenue, the only stop I would even consider is Rocky’s Hot Chicken Shack. The spot is about a mile south from Asheville School and has been one of my go to’s for a while. Sides are mac and cheese, perfectly seasoned collard greens, cornbread, green beans, corn pudding, fried okra, you get the picture. The main options are Chicken Pot Pie, 3 wing dinners, 3 tender dinners, and more and more. What makes it so good is the rub and level of heat you want to go with. I always go with Hot. I always feel the burn with each bite. But dang, it is tasty. They have been giving Asheville the bird for almost 15 years now and I like to get it whenever I am feeling the need for the burn.


Justin Byerly
State Editor

Justin Byerly has spent the past 15 years covering North Carolina prep and grassroots basketball. He has previously worked with The Recruit Scoop and Rivals.com. In addition to that he has contributed to The USA Today, Charlotte Observer, The Asheville Citizen-Times and The Sun News. He has held The Justin Byerly Upstate/WNC Showcase the past two years and has helped student-athletes from North Carolina and South Carolina receive college scholarships. He owns The Byerly Report scouting service that has over 100 college subscriptions. Justin resides in Asheville, North Carolina with his wife Danielle and four children. 

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