USC Recruiting

USC signee Trae Hannibal shares a message with in-state target Christian Brown

Watch: Christian Brown, Juwan Gary return to Columbia at Bojangles’ Bash

Columbia natives Christian Brown and Juwan Gary returned to their hometown with their new school at the Bojangles' Bash high school basketball showcase.
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Columbia natives Christian Brown and Juwan Gary returned to their hometown with their new school at the Bojangles' Bash high school basketball showcase.

Christian Brown got a glimpse of the current and future state of the South Carolina basketball program on his unofficial visit over the weekend.

The Columbia native, who currently is playing his senior season at Oak Hill in Virginia, took in Saturday’s Gamecocks and Arkansas game. He watched the impact freshmen could have as A.J Lawson and Keyshawn Bryant shined in the 77-65 victory over the Razorbacks.

After the game, he hung out with Class of 2019 signee Trae Hannibal for about two hours, and the two got some shots up at Colonial Life Arena. Hannibal posted on his Twitter page a play in which he threw an ally-oop to Brown for a slam dunk.

“I have known Trae for some time. It was good to hang out with him while I am home during my break this weekend,” Brown said.

Hannibal didn’t put a full recruiting press on Brown but would sure like to have him be part of this year’s class. The Gamecocks currently don’t have a scholarship open for 2019 after signing Hannibal, Trey Anderson and Wildens Leveque, but that could change with any player attrition after the season.

“It was great man, for him to be home and actually with me half the day was very fun,” Hannibal said. “I just told him I wasn’t gone pressure him about a decision but we would make a lot of noise not only in the state but the country.”

The Gamecocks have been on Brown’s radar for several years and they offered him when he was a sophomore at A.C. Flora. His last unofficial visit to USC came on April 19.

Brown played last season at Lower Richland before going out of state to nationally-ranked Oak Hill where he has been healthy and shined playing along with top recruits Cole Anthony, Cam Thomas and one-time South Carolina target Kofi Cockburn.

Brown is averaging 13 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game this season for the Warriors.

“I am looking forward to connecting more with coach Martin and developing a relationship with coaches and players,” Brown said of South Carolina. “Coach likes how I am playing at Oak Hill and intends to become more active in the recruiting process. The message I am getting is how young the team is and how they are only going to get better and how I can be a part of that.”

Brown had an in-home visit with South Carolina head coach Frank Martin and assistant coach Perry Clark on Sunday and Gamecocks coaches are expected to be at Oak Hill’s game Thursday at the Jordan Brand Invitational game against West Charlotte at Johnson C. Smith.

Brown will likely make his decision sometime later in the spring after Oak Hill’s season has ended. He is unsure of how many more visits he will take the next month or so because of Oak Hill’s busy travel schedule

The 6-foot-7 small forward has taken official visits to Clemson, Georgia and UNLV and an unofficial visit to North Carolina State.

Pittsburgh and Illinois also have shown interest and were at HoopHall when Oak Hill played IMG Academy in Springfield, Massachusetts. Brown had 22 points, six rebounds and two steals in that nationally-televised game.

Lou Bezjak is the High School Sports Prep Coordinator for The State and Island Packet. He has covered high school sports in South Carolina for 16 years and is a two-time South Carolina Sports Writer of the Year by the National Sports Media Association.


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