Neither of the two players representing the Lowcountry as the top high school basketball players for the 2014-15 season were heavily recruited. Both, however, were vital to their respective teams’ success this past season.
James Island’s steady point guard Brady Schuck is the All-Lowcountry boys player of the year, while Palmetto Christian’s scoring machine Corey Caulder is the girls player of the year.
Joining Caulder on the girls first team are Erika Martin, Northwood Academy; Rhetta Moore, Bishop England; Mariah Linney, Goose Creek; and Ashley Green, Summerville.
Schuck is joined on the boys first team by Terrelle Bowens, Summerville; Adonicas Sanders, Burke; Matt Pegram, Wando; and Jamal Edmonson, Northwood Academy.
Bishop England’s Paul Runey and Northwood Academy’s Presley Singleton are the girls co-coaches of the year after each led their respective programs to state championships this season. Burke High’s Deon Richardson is the boys coach of the year after guiding the Bulldogs to their first state title in 31 years.
Both Schuck and Caulder will continue their careers at Division III programs while earning quality educations.
Schuck is headed to Brandeis University in Massachusetts in the fall, hoping to earn a degree in education and pursue a career as a college basketball coach. He had walk-on opportunities at Furman and was recruited by several Division II programs, but chose to make the trip to the Boston area for the next four years.
“It’s a really good fit for me in every aspect and I really felt like they wanted me and would care for me,” says Schuck, who averaged 13.7 points and 3.6 assists per game while leading the Trojans to the Class AAAA Lower State finals. “This is a great opportunity to continue playing for a good program and to get a great education. That’s all I could have hoped for.”
Schuck was a steady, consistent player and leader for coach Stan Wilkins. He essentially was a four-year starter, though he came off the bench as a freshman. The 6-1, 160-pounder averaged in double figures in four consecutive seasons, finishing with a 13.4 scoring average for his career.
“I scored when I needed to score for us to win but my main focus has always been getting everyone involved and doing whatever we needed to do as a team to win games,” he said. “I scored more in past seasons but together, as a team, we had our best season. For me it has always been about winning.”
Caulder has yet to make a final college choice but has narrowed it down to a pair of Division III programs — Suwanee University in Tennessee or Wheaton College in Illinois. She will make her decision in the next week or two and will play basketball at whichever school she chooses to attend.
“I could not be in a better position, to have a chance to play basketball and to get a great education at two great schools,” said Caulder.
Caulder is not only the best basketball player to ever play at Palmetto Christian, she also rates as one of the school’s top athletes, excelling in tennis and golf as well.
This season, the 5-7 guard averaged 27.1 points and 8.6 rebounds per game. She was a unanimous choice as the player of the year in SCISA 2-AAA — a league that included heavy hitters such as Northwood Academy, First Baptist, Porter-Gaud and Pinewood Prep.
Caulder, a five-year starter, was named region player of the year in three different conferences during her career. She ends her career with 2,525 points, 922 rebounds, 554 assists and 546 steals.
However, her proudest accomplishment, she says, is helping lead the PCA program to the state finals in her final season. Though the Eagles lost in the AA title game to Hilton Head Christian, Caulder has no regrets.
“We’ve been to the final four every year but making it to the championship game was easily the highlight of all my years at PCA,” she said. “It was a great experience to share with my teammates. Our goal was always to get there and have a chance to win. We came up short but it was so much fun.”