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December 18, 2012
The state's premier basketball event is back! The Fifth Annual VirginiaPreps.com Classic Presented by Cox 11 Sports returns with nine tantalizing matchups in January sure to have fans on the edge of their seats.
All the action gets underway on Saturday, January 5th at Virginia Wesleyan College in Norfolk, VA, beginning at 9 AM with the final game set to tip at 9 PM. Many of the top teams and players from around the Tidewater area and all across the state will be featured.
In years past, the event has drawn large crowds, reaching maximum capacity on a couple of occasions.
With an estimated 25 Division I prospects participating, three of the state's top private schools and 11 public school programs that have appeared in the VirginiaPreps AAA State Top 25, this season's edition of the Classic is sure to be another hot ticket.
"We're extremely excited about this year's lineup as the field consists of quality programs all across the board that have won consistently in the past and many of them are still continuing to have great success. It's a nice variety, which should make for some fun and competitive matchups," stated Event Organizer Matthew Hatfield.
"It's pretty neat the number of prospects people will get to check out that will be playing Division I College Basketball next year or some that will playing at the Division II, Division III or JUCO level. We're really blessed to have some fine people involved, and I think the fans will enjoy seeing some of the best teams and players the state has to offer in the type of setting we like to look at as a preview to the postseason tournaments."
A portion of the proceeds from the event will go towards cancer research.
Below is a schedule with information on some of the teams and players that will be in the VirginiaPreps.com Classic.
9:00 AM: Granby
General Admission Day of Event: $10
General Admission Day of Event for Children Ages 18 & Under: $5
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One would be hard-pressed to find more prospects on the floor in a game this year between Virginia teams than when Cape Henry takes on Miller School in a late afternoon showdown. Cape Henry, reigning State Champions on the private school level, has least five Division I prospects, headlined by UVA commit Devon Hall at point guard. The 6-foot-5 Hall checks in as a four-star prospect according to Rivals.com and #77 in the country in the Class of 2013.
To go with Hall, Cape Henry has two talented wings in Jimmy Paige and Ayron Hutton. Hutton, a dead-eye shooter, holds offers from Mount St. Mary's, High Point, Drexel and Robert Morris, while Paige has offers from Longwood, Norfolk State and High Point. In the Class of 2015, versatile guard Chris Clarke is targeted by several schools at the next level, and athletic forward Malik Gray, a transfer from Woodside, has a high ceiling as well.
Six-foot-9 power forward Isaac Copeland, a four-star prospect rated #45 in the nation for the Class of 2014, by Rivals.com, headlines a deep and talented roster for the Miller School Mavericks. So far, Copeland has been offered by such noteworthy schools as Boston College, St. Joseph's, Virginia and West Virginia, plus is being monitored by a number of others in the ACC and Big East.
Miller School 6-foot-9 power forward Aram Martin holds 13 offers, including South Florida and Drexel, and he's joined in the front-court by 6-foot-10 center Tony Washington, who's being courted by such schools as Auburn and La Salle. On the perimeter, Class of 2013 shooting guard Travis Hester recently picked up an offer from Hofstra. Class of 2014 guard Cameron Smith, a transfer from Osbourn Park, holds an offer from Boston University and is getting recruited by a host of others.
In the nightcap, Green Run takes on perennial Central Region contender Petersburg, which made it to the Group AAA State Championship game last year for the second time in three seasons. Petersburg, led by 6-foot-2 junior guard Gevon Arrington, has made it to the State Tournament five times in the last six seasons.
Green Run, considered among the top challengers in the Eastern Region, has one of the state's top backcourts with senior point guard Lequan Thomas and junior shooting guard Tyler Blount as well as junior wing Keon Buchanan, a potential D-1 prospect. The Stallions also feature a highly regarded freshman in 6-foot-4 forward Sterling Carrington.
Before that matchup, it'll be L.C. Bird, which is just two seasons removed from winning a Central Region title and making it to the State Championship game, taking on a Kecoughtan team that was runner-up in the Eastern Region and appeared in the AAA State Tournament semifinals before falling to Petersburg. Senior guard Javonte Reddick is a dangerous weapon from the outside for the Skyhawks, and Class of 2015 guard Kenny Williams is part of a stellar sophomore crop at Bird.
Kecoughtan has a pair of Division I signees in multi-skilled forward Rajay Bullock and sharp shooting swingman Greg Alexander. A three-star prospect, Bullock has signed with Providence, and Alexander is headed to East Carolina. Sophomore point guard Marcell Haskett and senior forward Kaelin Poe are drawing interest from some programs at the next level as well.
At 6:00 P.M., it will be Maury, one of the favorites from the always tough Eastern District, taking on Northern Region power T.C. Williams. Under the direction of Coach Jack Baker, who has won over 650 games in his career, the Commodores have a good mixture of inside and outside with junior forward Jaleel Ferguson a threat to go for a double-double any night, posting 15 points and 12 boards in last year's event. T.C. Williams, which won a State Championship in 2008 and been to the State Tournament four times in the last six years, is anchored by 6-foot-5 forward Landon Moss.
Stonewall Jackson, one of the favorites in the Northwest Region this year, takes on Landstown in a battle between high-octane offense and in-your-face, pressure defense. Leading the way for Stonewall Jackson is J.R. Washington, a multi-sport senior shooting guard who ranks among the top scorers in the state. Landstown counters with more size than they've had in years past with their front-line highlighted by 6-foot-8 sophomore center Darius Bolstad.
Prior to Stonewall Jackson and Landstown, it'll be Kellam versus Battlefield in what will also be an Eastern Region team facing a Northwest Region squad. Four-year Ramone Snowden, a prime candidate for Beach District and Eastern Region Player of the Year honors, is Kellam's standout. The 6-foot-5 wing is committed to play his College Basketball close to home at nearby Old Dominion. Battlefield brings a balanced attack with three starters back from last season in 6-foot-1 senior guard Roman Hall, 6-foot-4 seinor wing Terrell Walker and 6-foot-3 junior shooting guard Trevor Blondin.
At noon, Phoebus plays Christchurch in a battle showcasing talent at the public school level versus the private school sector. Phoebus has three dynamic senior scoring options in guard James Daniel III, Khaaliq Fletcher and bouncy wing Josh Davis. Daniel has signed to play his College Basketball at Howard University. The Phantoms are only two seasons removed from reaching the State Playoffs.
Rated #96 in the country in the Class of 2014 by Rivals.com with offers from Auburn, Connecticut, Rutgers and Virginia Tech, 6-foot-6 wing Devin Robinson leads the way for Christchurch in its matchup against Phoebus. The Seahorses also boast a couple other D-1 prospects in point guard Nick Douglas and guard Julian Reed, being recruited by George Mason and Navy respectively.
At 10:30 A.M., reigning Southeastern District regular season Champion Great Bridge goes up against a Tallwood team that has made it to the Eastern Region Tournament eight times in the past nine years. Drawing looks from in-state colleges Old Dominion and Liberty, Class of 2014 guard Marcus Evans leads the Wildcats and is in the Player of the Year discussion. Tallwood counters with senior guard Tommie Flournoy, a prolific scorer.
The opener of the Classic pits Granby versus Salem, a re-match from a 2010 won by Salem. Two-sport standout Bucky Hodges, who will play his College Football at Virginia Tech in the ACC, is the go-to guy for Salem. Hodges had 16 rebounds in last year's event. Meanwhile, Granby relies heavily inside on the play of 6-foot-5 forward Aaron Meredith, who is drawing attention from the likes of Army and The Citadel.
*** Special Thanks to some of our supporters and sponsors such as Shula's 347 Grill, Future Flooring, Freedom Ford, Best of the 757, Boo Williams Basketball, ESPN Radio 94.1 and Cox 11 TV. For those interested in sponsoring or advertising with the VirginiaPreps.com Basketball Classic, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org OR call 757-420-5577. ***
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