When Alex Tabor was a freshman, he dreamed of being part of a graduating class that would change the basketball culture at Charlotte Country Day.
And, Tabor has basically shot the Bucs out of the basement of the conference standings.
After going 11-16 in the 2016-17 season, his first on varsity, Tabor helped lead the Bucs to a 19-14 record as a junior last season. That was Country Day’s first winning season since 2008.
This season, Country Day is 16-9, assured of back-to-back winning seasons, and Tabor is a big reason why.
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He leads the team in scoring (18 points per game) and is second in rebounding (4.0) and third in assists (2.5). Tabor’s become one of the area’s most potent shooters. Last season, he set school records for most 3-pointers in a game (nine, against national power Greensboro Day), 3-pointers in a season (98) and free-throw percentage (88.3).
This season, Tabor has made 87 3-point shots and has 227 makes in his career.
“I’ve grown to feel confident in my shot,” Tabor said, “so even if it’s not going in, that (I feel) it has a chance to go in. Also, our coach (Dwayne Cherry) and teammates do a good job of letting me know that even if I’m not on, to keep shooting.”
Tabor - who has accepted a preferred walk-on to Southern Methodist University in Texas - always keeps shooting. This season, he’s led his team to upset wins over Greensboro Day, the reigning N.C. Independent Schools 3A state champion, and 2016 state champion Providence Day. Country Day hadn’t beaten Providence Day in six years.
Tabor had 34 points, including four 3-pointers, in a win over Concord Cannon on Jan. 8.
“He’s an outstanding player,” Cherry said. “He’s the best shooter in the state as far as I’m concerned, and he’s the best shooter the school has seen. He’s very coachable. ...A lot of kids, during the season, may not put the same amount of time in on their craft. He never stops working. You can see it in his shot: the release mechanics, the repetition. It’s the same shot every time.”
Tabor, who carries a 4.38 grade-point average, is president of his school’s Buccaneer Investment Group, a three-year member of the Headmaster’s List and a member of the National Honor Society. He was awarded several academic scholarships at SMU.
He said he’s proud of those achievements, and he’s proud of what he’s helped Cherry build with the Bucs’ basketball program.
“I talk to some of the middle schoolers at Country Day who DM (direct message) me or text and I like being a guide to what they possibly can be and inspire them to play basketball. I know Country Day is not known to breed basketball players. I wasn’t born to be some special basketball player, but my hard work brought me to where I am today, and I see no difference between me and some random middle schooler who wants to be good at basketball.
“There’s no reason another grade can’t come and create a culture like we have.”