By Tamas Mondovics

As a relatively new school, Bell Creek Academy (BCA) a tuition-free public charter school, 13221 Boyette Rd. in Riverview has had its fair share of firsts over the past few years and enjoyed the spotlight thanks to the talents of its student-athletes.

The 2017-2018 season was no different as the school enjoyed the spotlight when one of the Panthers’ senior basketball players, James Gaddie broke the 1,000 point club, just four games into the season.

BCA athletic director and Gaddie’s head coach, Devin Irvin spoke highly of the young athlete’s accomplishment, suggesting a well-deserved recognition.

“This is a huge accomplishment as I believe there is a little more than 100 players who have been able to reach this point in the state of Florida,” Irwin said.

With nearly 20 games left in the season, Gaddie will likely reach another significant milestone as he is expected to reach close to 1,500 points.

Gaddie, a division one athlete and by reputation a great overall person, was first under Irwin’s supervision at Winthrop Charter. Irwin transferred to Bell Creek for the 2014-2015 year awaiting his young baller’s arrival.

“I am now his Athletic Director helping him get to a college to play ball and get a good education,” Irwin said. “As someone who has seen James grow over these past six years, it has been a true blessing to watch him develop. I could not be more proud of what James has accomplished.”

Aside from great coaching, Gaddie’s success has a lot to do with the young talented athlete’s own view of himself and his skills.

“I’m very versatile,” he said. “I can play all five positions, although I prefer point guard/shooting guard. I am trying to be a good teammate and team captain.

Gaddie has been MVP at Bell Creek Academy (BCA) for the past three seasons and said that his biggest strength is his leadership skills.

“I’m proud of my accomplishments at BCA,” he said. As the first person to score 1,000 points, I am also proud of putting BCA on the map.”

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