Prospect Profile – Charles Hinkle | Wednesday, January 3rd, 2007

Prospect Profile – Charles Hinkle

Every year in November when most college coaches have made the rounds to open gyms and seen all of the players listed on websites and in recruiting reports everyone starts looking for a “sleeper”. This year was no different as countless college coaches started looking for the diamond in the rough. At some point word began to leak that there may be a very talented player at Hebron Academy in Maine. But the rumor was hard to investigate as Hebron didn’t hold any open gyms in the pre-season leaving coaches and fans to wait and wonder.

By the time the prep school season began very few people on the east coast had ever even heard the name Charles Hinkle. But almost two months into the season this is a name that is getting repeated quite often, especially in the division I coaching ranks.

Hinkle is a 6’6” lefty swingman who is doing a post-graduate year after a successful high school career in at Los Alamitos High School in California. He first came into the limelight on the east coast during the Pitt II session of Five Star Basketball Camp this summer where he was named to the All-Star team along with other New England prep products Bill Clark from Worcester Academy and Deonte Roberts from Notre Dame Prep. Last year at Los Alamitos Hinkle teamed with current Stanford freshman Landry Field and 6’10” junior transfer Clint Amberry to lead the team to the first CIF championship in school history and the California state semi-finals.

“My role on that team was to play defense,” said Hinkle. “I guarded the other team’s top scorer every night and had to sacrifice some of my own offense, but it was worth it because we won.”

This year at Hebron Academy his role has changed, although his unselfish attitude remains. During a semi-final game at the Kingswood Oxford Holiday tournament last month Hinkle put on a show scoring 14 points in the second quarter of a semi-final win against St. Luke’s. During that 8 minute span he was virtually unstoppable with one dribble pull-ups, step back jumpers, and three-pointers falling from all over the court.
What may have been even more impressive was the unselfishness Hinkle showed in the second half when he moved the ball in the offense and didn’t force his own offense despite the fact that he was capable of getting his shot off whenever he wanted.

Hinkle might even be too unselfish at times. The next day in the finals of the tournament he scored only six points when two division I programs were looking on. His low output was not because he wasn’t making shots, but because he was worrying more about getting shots for his teammates than he was himself.

With his combination of scoring, distributing, and pressure defense Hinkle is a very complete and versatile player. What is surprising is that as impressive as he has been over the course of the season he is still a little bit of an unknown to many college coaches.

“So far Virginia Tech, New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island, and Portland have shown a lot of interest”, he said. “But Kansas State, Kansas, and Maryland have all asked for tapes.”

“I’m really just looking for the best fit. I wouldn’t mind staying on the east coast. The lifestyle is a lot different but its fine.”

Hinkle, who has already been through the NCAA Clearinghouse, also says he is in no hurry to commit and is leaning towards playing on the April AAU circuit with Team Maine so he can continue to be seen by more coaches.

One thing is for sure if you are a fan of high school basketball in New England you should remember the name Charles Hinkle, because you can bet that college coaches will.