Brendan Rigsbee was an unknown prospect his first 2 years of high school, but opened some eyes in June of 2019. Fast forward to present day and he put together an exceptional junior campaign at North Gwinnett, helping them reach the GHSA 7A Elite 8. The lefty SG is an explosive athlete who can stretch the floor and plays fearlessly. He ended this HS season with a 21-point performance in a narrow OT loss to McEachern and is now looking ahead to this spring & summer. In this quick interview, he speaks about what got him to where he is as a player now, and what he is trying to improve on to help his recruitment. Rigsbee is on an upward trajectory and will be one to track with the Atlanta Timberwolves on the travel circuit.
Brendan Rigsbee Junior Highlights: https://www.hudl.com/video/3/12299201/5e7000a85b3c870ab84f24b3
You started to get some attention late last summer and then carried that over into this year and had a really good junior season, capped off by a great game against McEachern- What led to all that and how do you think you progressed as this season went on?
“Last summer I started getting in the gym with my trainer, which really helped my game. I knew we would have the pieces to be really good this year and I didn’t want to be a weaker link in the starting 5, so I made sure I was good enough to play with the best. Also, getting recognition for my work made me want to get better as the season went on.”
You guys had some ups & downs as a team throughout the year, but had a strong finish with wins over Archer & East Coweta, and then an OT loss to McEachern. What changed between the start and end of the year for you guys as a team and what allowed you to make that run in the playoffs?
“At the start of the year, we had no identity, offensively or defensively. We would play really well one game doing what we should be- moving the ball, playing unselfishly, boxing out, but then we would get away from it. Even when we went on that run in the region tourney where we beat every team by 20+ we still didn’t get respect, so a lot of it was putting respect on NG hoops.”
Going into this travel season, what are you hoping to show coaches? Are there any areas you’re focusing on & is there anything about your game that you think people don’t know about yet?
“Yes, I’m working on my handle, well I’m working on everything, but I feel the biggest thing holding me back is my handle. I had a lot of catch and shoot opportunities in high school, but in AAU there is a lot more of creating your own shot so I hope to improve in that regard.”
Looking ahead to next year, what do you think will need to happen for you to sustain this season’s success? You guys lose some seniors but still have good pieces coming back, what adjustments will have to be made?
“We will be more than capable of putting up a lot of points, but our defense and rebounding will be what hopefully sets us apart. We have a lot of shooters coming up in the program and some good pieces who are ready for their chance so it will be a lot of fun. But, we will have to guard because we no longer have a safety net in the middle without Jared Ivey.”