Through less than a year of high school, I have been introduced to a whole new world of sports. I mean, I would be clicking through channels, and pass over every televised high school sporting event. But now, I find myself desperately searching for a high school basketball game on TV.
The home games at my high school are more of a social event than professional or college games. For example, our school lost every home football game this past fall. And even though I attended all four, I couldn’t tell you the score of any of them the next day. I doubt any high school student could.
Then basketball season came around. I didn’t really think I’d go to a lot of games, but freshman ball got me engaged. I started in every contest, averaging a stellar 10.6 PPG while logging the most minutes per game on the team.
I was very well-known after getting a shoutout on the morning announcements from the principal. She informed the whole school that I had set the record for most 3-pointers in a quarter at our high school.
As you could probably predict, I was completely immersed in high school basketball. That’s how it began. I started to go to my high school’s home games. Last year, the high school team was undefeated at home. This year, not bad, but definitely not undefeated.
Regardless, the games were fun so people went. Definitely better than homework. My first ever high school game (as a student) was Columbia vs Irvington. Irvington won, led by a 6’5” freshman. This kid was insanely talented, using a smooth jumper and throwing down some huge dunks.
After the game, a scout for a Division III college approached a different Irvington player, and they exchanged information. So, I went home and researched this guy, and watched videos of him play. I began to look through all of New Jersey’s high school prospects.
That’s when I realized how cool high school basketball was. Future college players playing against kids I go to school with everyday. I became an expert on NJ high school players, and knew who to watch for in every game.
For example, my high school played its rival, Seton Hall Prep, a few weeks ago. SHP was led by junior guard TJ Gibbs. You could tell he was the best player right as he stepped on the court. Only a junior, Gibbs has offers from esteemed programs such as Uconn, Notre Dame, Georgetown, and Virginia.
In fact, there was a scout from Virginia’s coaching staff in the gym. It was so cool to see future college players play at this level. More recently, St. Anthony’s came to play my high school team. Coming into the game, they had four players with Division I offers.
The final score was 91-44, in St. Anthony’s favor. One of their seniors, Markis McDuffie, had already committed to Wichita State, while another, Jagan Mosely, was being scouted by Louisville. Mosely threw down an insane alley oop in the game, which was caught on video.
Of course, I had that video sent to me immediately. I tweeted the video, tagging Mosely. Thirty minutes later, I check my phone, and find that he retweeted my tweet. After all, he’s just another high school kid. Pretty cool.
I’ve found a new love for high school sports, especially with the local talent. The highest rated high school point guard in the country, Isaiah Briscoe, plays 15 minutes away! He has already committed to Kentucky, and John Calipari attended a tournament that my high school played in, back in December.
And now I find myself obsessed with recruiting, whether it’s Jim Harbaugh’s targets for Michigan, or just monitoring the offers/commitments of local NJ players. Heck, I watch more high school basketball than NBA basketball.
High school has opened up a whole new sports world, one that is entertaining, cheap, and very fun to watch.