Brookland-Cayce bowed out of the Class 3A boys playoffs with a 64-62 loss to defending champion Daniel on Tuesday night.
That brought to a close the career of Jonathan Rumph, one of the most decorated athletes in Bearcats history. But he has one more order of business before his prep career is complete.
The 6-foot-4 guard was selected to participate in the North Carolina-South Carolina All Star basketball challenge that pits the top high school players in the two states against each other. The contest will take place in Myrtle Beach on March 19.
“I think it shows that hard work and dedication pays off,” Rumph said. “We weren’t as successful as a team as we wanted to be but it’s an honor to be selected to play with the best players from the state.”
That honor capped a stellar senior season for the four-year starter. He averaged 17 points, nine rebounds and five assists per game for Brookland-Cayce coach Ricky Bouknight.
“He’s been nothing but a pleasure to coach,” Bouknight said. “Jonathan will be the first to tell you that when he got to us a freshman, he was a little immature, but that has gotten better every year. Our team was not successful, but he was head and shoulders above most of the competition, so he was deserving of this honor, and I’m as happy as I could be for him.”
Bouknight wishes the Bearcats (7-15) would have achieved more success while Rumph was there. Bouknight believes his star would have gotten more recognition with more team success.
“He can get to the rim with the best of them and he has an outside shot that you have to respect,” Bouknight said. “He’s a natural leader, and by the time he was a senior he was like having another coach on the floor for us. He’s going to be greatly missed around here.”
Rumph was a standout for the Bearcats in football as well, and he was selected to play in the North-South All Star football game in December.
Bouknight remembers as soon as Rumph ended the football season on a Friday, he was in the gym on Sunday ready to go for basketball practice.
“I think that shows the dedication he had,” Bouknight said. “We didn’t ask him to do that, but he wanted to.”
Rumph said he never considered not showing up at practice that Sunday.
“Honestly, not having a break to me was OK with me,” Rumph said. “Playing is fun and there is nothing else I would rather be doing.”
Rumph now must turn his attention to college. He has some academic work to handle and he has to decide where to pursue a basketball or football career.
In football, Rumph accounted for 1,728 yards of offense playing quarterback. He is projected to play wide receiver on the next level.
“I love both sports,” Rumph said. “I have a few options in both sports so I’m still trying to figure out what I want to do.”
Benedict football coach Stan Connor and basketball coach Fred Watson are closely monitoring his situation. Prep school or junior college is another option.
“I feel he can be a standout in football or basketball on the next level,” Bouknight said. “He’s as good an athlete as we’ve ever had here and whatever he puts his mind to, he can accomplish.”