DOBSON — Once again, Surry Central High School will be hosting an exhibition game that will show off some of the best basketball players in the nation who aren’t yet playing college or professionally.
A week from today, Tuesday, Oct. 25 at 7 p.m., the Eagles’ gym will see Oak Hill Academy, last year’s Dick’s Sporting Goods High School national champions with a record last year of 42-1, take on Hargrave Military Academy, which won last yea’s national championship for prep schools with a record of 47-1.
The schools are noted for producing some of the best high school talent in the nation, a trend that is expected to continue both this year and for years to come. Six members of the Hargrave team, which is a “post-graduate” squad where players who have already completed high school, have already committed to NCAA Division I colleges for next season. The commitments include Brandon Knapper, a 6’1” shooting guard (West Virginia), Naji Marshall, a 6’7” power forward (Xavier), Jordan McKenzie, a 6’1” point guard (Stony Brook), Tanner Robinette, a 6’7” forward (Marshall), Braxton Beverly, a 6’0” guard (Ohio State) and Louis Djonkam, a 6’9” center (Duquesne).
Oak Hill, a boarding high school located only about 100 miles away in Mouth of Wilson, Va., has been known as a basketball factory for more than 30 years. The school’s first NBA draftee was Calvin Duncan, who played for the Warriors through 1981, and then was a second-round draft choice of the Chicago Bulls in 1985, following college. There have been 24 more former Oak Hill players drafted into the NBA since then, including All-Stars Carmelo Anthony, Rajon Rondo and Jerry Stackhouse. Oak Hill has been named the mythical national champion of high school basketball 10 times since the 1992-93 season.
“We are excited this year to play Hargrave Military in our annual scrimmage at Surry Central High School,” said OHA head coach Steve Smith. “I’m sure the basketball fans from Dobson will turn out and support this game. Both Oak Hill and Hargrave have long standing traditions in basketball and this scrimmage is always played at the highest level.”
Hargrave fields a high school team, but it is best known for its post-graduate team, which consists of players who are looking to improve their academic credentials and/or their game in order to get more attractive college scholarship offers. The school, located in Chatham, Va., has produced 23 NBA players since 1999, and was voted “Program of the Decade” by RealGM Basketball. Led by two-time National Coach of the Year A.W. Hamilton, the post-graduate team won its third National Championship in 2016.
During the 2016 NBA Playoffs, seven Hargrave alumni took the court —David West, Marreese Speights, Mike Scott, Lorenzo Brown, P.J. Hairston, Montrezl Harrell and Terry Rozier.
“We are extremely excited to play in a community with such great fans,” Hamilton said. “This matchup has been a tradition for both teams for many years, bringing it to Dobson will only add value.”
Central has hosted this game for a few years now, and Eagles athletic director/head boys’ basketball coach Myles Wilmoth was glad to keep the tradition going this year.
“We are so excited to bring two power house high school basketball programs like this to Dobson and our community. Surry Central always strives to provide excellence in our Athletics program; not only with the teams that we field but also with our facilities and the overall fan experience. This just enhances what we are trying to do at The Big SC.
“These two schools have produced countless Division 1 basketball players and more than 40 NBA players since 1990. There is a good chance you will see someone playing in our gym that will eventually be in the NBA. I guarantee you will see some of these guys playing on ESPN in the next few years. It is just a wonderful opportunity to see elite level basketball at Surry Central.
“As a basketball coach, I hope Surry Central players will watch these guys play and the intensity they bring to the court. I hope it will serve as a model for how we will play this coming season. I also hope our guys realize how much hard work and determination these players have put in to get to play at marquee programs like these. It will be an exciting night for Surry Central.”
Surry Central has established an online presence to allow people to purchase tickets to this and other future athletic events at the school. Tickets for the game are available at https://thebigscsports.ticketleap.com/oakhill-hargrave-basketball/. You can also order tickets by calling the school at (336) 386-8842.