It’s a date on the schedule that Deuce Dean has been looking forward to this season.
The former Dutch Fork guard will be back in the Midlands over the weekend when his new team, York Prep, plays Lakewood on Monday in the Crescent Construction MLK Bash at Eau Claire High School.
It will be his second time to play in the Midlands this year. York Prep, which is located in Rock Hill, won two games last month in the Chick-fil-A Classic.
“I can’t wait, because I don’t get to play home much,” Dean said. “My old friends and coach now can come see me play and how much I have developed.”
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Dean spent his first two years at Dutch Fork before transferring in the spring to York Prep. He said playing a national schedule and better competition was the biggest factorin leaving Dutch Fork.
Dean said being away from home has helped him mature off the court.
York Prep coach Frank Hamrick has been impressed with Dean’s play and his ability to take command of the team, which features college prospects D.J. Burns and Patricko Williams.
Dean, who is ranked in the top 150 in Rivals’ Class of 2019 rankings, is averaging 12 points, 3.5 assists and 2.4 steals per game. He has offers from Virginia Tech, Kansas State, Colorado State and is drawing interest from other Power 5 schools.
“You let Deuce walk into a room, and he is the leader,” Hamrick said.
Dean’s York Prep team is part of a talented field, which begins Saturday with the girls games and Monday with the boys.
Nine teams are ranked in the SC Basketball Coaches polls and each game features at least one or more Division I prospect. This is the third installment of the event, which was spearheaded by Carey Rich, a former South Carolina point guard.
“Columbia is a destination when it comes to basketball,” Rich said. “And this is an opportunity to celebrate not only basketball in Columbia but from around the state and give the boys and girls some exposure. And one of the main distinctions of our event is that it is all teams from South Carolina. We want to highlight kids and teams from our state.”
Rich said he has reached out to men’s and women’s college coaches throughout the state and expects many of them will be in attendance for the games both days.
MLK BASH SCHEDULE
At Eau Claire
Tickets are $8 (Children 5-under are free)
Cardinal Newman vs. Dreher, 11 a.m.
Swansea vs. Richland Northeast, 12:30 p.m.
Orangeburg-Wilkinson vs. Spring Valley, 2 p.m.
Lower Richland vs. Westwood, 3:30 p.m.
Wilson vs. Ridge View, 5 p.m.
Hartsville vs. Cardinal Newman, 11 a.m.
Sumter vs. Wilson, 12:30 p.m.
Hammond vs. Lower Richland, 2 p.m.
York Prep vs. Lakewood, 3:30 p.m.
Ridge View vs. Keenan, 5 p.m.