Although Moorestown junior David Gheysens currently leads the Burlington County Scholastic League in three-pointers — having drained 29 through the team’s first 14 games — it wasn’t long ago that his reputation on the court forced him to play as a big-man underneath the basket and not as a three-point shooter.
“I definitely wanted to fulfill that shooter’s role coming into this season; it’s just a lot of shooting outside of practice to make sure your shot is right,” Gheysens said. “Back in travel, I played more of a big man’s spot down low, and I was honestly never a fan of it, so I had to work on my jump shot to prove to my coaches that I could shoot.”
Having made the successful switch while going from his travel team to Moorestown High School, Gheysens’ unique mix of size and athleticism has made him a force to be reckoned with, as the junior has also shown a strong ability to drive the lane as of late as opponents pay more respect to his range from behind the three-point line.
Moorestown has scored a BCSL-high 807 points so far this season, as Gheysens leads the team with an average 12.1 points per game. As a team in its final league year before moving to the Olympic Conference next season, the Quakers want to leave a strong impression on the teams they’ll leave behind.
As always, Moorestown looks forward to potential South Jersey Group 3 sectional and Group 3 state titles, both of which the Quakers most recently achieved during the 2018-’19 season with a senior-heavy team. Gheysens is aware of what that takes and came into the season hoping to fill a leadership role that made it easiest for the team to come together down the stretch.
“I came into the season just wanting to be a scorer for the team and be a really good team leader that the younger guys can look up to, and that they can come to when they need help,” he said.
“As for the team, the goal is always states, but we’re taking it one step at a time, and that means focusing on the Liberty Division, then the BCSL and then states,” Gheysens added.
Coach Shawn Anstey was aware of Gheysens’ reputation as he entered the program and looked forward to seeing what the player could do on the court when given the chance. Having had to bide his time before this season, Gheysens has certainly excelled now that he’s been given the full opportunity.
“The guys know they’re going to wait their turn at the beginning, and getting to watch the older guys above them play helps them understand what we expect from them on the court,” Anstey said. “The last four or five years for us now has been a next-man-up mentality, and we’ve been fortunate that we haven’t really skipped a beat and guys are buying into the system and playing well.
“We knew of [Gheysens] coming in and he’s really stepped into that role,” the coach added. “He got his feet wet last year before really getting to work this offseason and then doing a really good job out there now this season. He’s been the guy to go to when we need a basket.”