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NORTH LITTLE ROCK BOYS BASKETBALL | Summer a light one for state champ Wildcats

Coming off a state championship, the North Little Rock Charging Wildcats are back to business as usual on the basketball floor. They just aren’t doing much as a team.

Head coach Johnny Rice will take his club to Hendrix College for a team camp next week, but as far as any other team activities, the summer schedule is virtually vacant.

“We’ll go to Hendrix on Tuesday and Wednesday of next week,” Rice said. “But after that, not much is planned.”

That’s because his club is scattered among three AAU teams that are busy with their own schedule. Four Charging Wildcats will play for the Arkansas Soldiers.

Rice loses seven players from his state title team, but says the young players he has should be very talented.

“”We’ve got a good sophomore class coming in,” Rice said. “Some of them will have a chance to step in and compete.”

Another newcomer that Rice didn’t necessarily count on a few weeks ago is that of Antoine Beard, who has transferred back to North Little Rock from Parkview.

“He’s an elite player,” Rice said. “He’s a North Little Rock kid, and we are happy to have him back.”

Rice said it was important to him to keep as many kids that live in North Little Rock in the school system.

“We want to keep these kids here,” Rice said. “We see them in middle school and junior high and we want them to play for us. Aaron Ross was a North Little Rock kid.”

The success of the Charging Wildcats should help in that. North Little Rock won a state title beating Fayetteville capping a season where North Little Rock only lost one game all year to Charleston, Mo. on Thanksgiving weekend.

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