Two of the nation’s top high school basketball programs will headline this year’s field for the Bojangles’ Bash.
Huntington Prep (W.V) and Miller Grove (Ga.) will make their first trips to the three-day event at Ridge View High on Dec. 8-10. Huntington Prep is regularly ranked in the USA Today’s Super 25, and features Florida commit Chase Johnson and transfer Keldon Johnson, who’s ranked No. 19 in 247Sports composite ranking for the Class of 2018.
Miller Grove has won the Georgia 5A state championship seven of the past eight years, and finished in the final four of the Dick’s Sporting Goods National Championship last year.
The other two out-of-state teams are Abraham Lincoln of Brooklyn, N.Y., and Fayetteville (N.C.) Christian, which features Division I prospect Joey Baker.
“The footprint of this event has grown every year,” Ridge View athletics director Brian Rosefield said. “We had two teams from Florida last year and one from New York this year. We even got a call from a team that wanted to be in it after hearing about it from one of the players in last year’s event.
“It’s a ton of work, but it brings great exposure for the kids and it is worthwhile being able to put on a quality event.”
This year’s field includes 20 teams, up from 16 last year, and 15 games will be played in the three-day span. Matchups for the event will be released at a later date. Last year’s event sold out the final two days despite going on the same weekend as South Carolina state football championships.
This year’s event also will be on the same weekend as the football championship after the season was extended because of Hurricane Matthew.
The field also features some of the Midlands’ top teams and top programs from around the state, including A.C. Flora and Gray Collegiate. A.C. Flora is the defending 3A state champion and features James Reese and Christian Brown. Gray has North Carolina commit Jalek Felton, the state’s top prospect for Class of 2017, and sophomore Juwan Gary.
Other Midlands teams in the event are Ben Lippen, Cardinal Newman, Dutch Fork, Keenan, Lexington, Ridge View, Spring Valley and Westwood. Ben Lippen is coached by former Ridge View coach John Combs.
The rest of the field is defending 4A champion Byrnes, Legacy Charter, West Florence, York Prep and 22 Feet Academy. Legacy Charter’s Nicolas Claxton and West Florence’s Sharone Wright Jr. both are South Carolina targets. Wright is the son of former Clemson standout and NBA lottery pick Sharone Wright.
Players to watch
Bojangles’ Bash field and the top players:
A.C. Flora – James Reese (Buffalo commit), Christian Brown, Deshawn Thomas
Ben Lippen – Seth Hester, Ryan McCray, Bryce Thompson, Garrison Moore
Byrnes – Hayden Brown (Citadel commit), Davonte Wright, Dreek Morgan
Cardinal Newman – Christian Jones (Stetson commit) Chico Carter, Brandon Martin
Dorman – Zach Butler (Ohio University commit), Gabe Bryant
Dutch Fork – Jordan Davis (Dayton commit), Deuce Dean, Willie Dunbar
Gray Collegiate – Jalek Felton (UNC commit), Juwan Gary, Khalil Robinson, Tommy Bruner
Huntington Prep (Huntington, W.V.) – Chase Johnson (Florida commit), Keldon Johnson
Keenan – Rod Marshall, Dantrell Sligh-Rogers, Dillon Jones
Legacy Charter – Nicolas Claxton
Lexington – Darius Bryant, Charles Shackelford
Miller Grove (Lithonia, Georgia) – Naquante Hardy, Jalen Mason
22 Feet Academy – Kyle Rawson, Mumin Tunc, Ousmane Ndim, Max Hoekstra
Ridge View – Trakell Fleming, Waylon Napper, Kaiden Rice, Malcolm Wilson
Trinity Christian (Fayetteville, N.C.) – Joey Baker, Josh Nickelberry
Westwood – Russell Jones, Terrance Barnes, Cameron Wormack, Terrell Harris
West Florence – Jalen Cameron, Sharone Wright Jr., Travion McCray
York Prep – DJ Burns, Jaron Williams, Zack Mack