USA Nike Hoop Summit Team Members Hunt For State Titles
March 1, 2010 - Colorado Springs, Colo.
As March Madness heats up in the college ranks, the next few weeks of high school basketball will prove just as important to many young basketball players across the country, including the first nine members of the 2010 USA Nike Hoop Summit Team.
In fact, an impressive seven U.S. team members led their teams to a state championship at the conclusion of the 2008-09 season a year ago, including Harrison Barnes (Iowa 4A title), Will Barton (Maryland 3A title, with Lake Clifton), Tobias Harris (New York 1A & Federation title, with Long Island Lutheran), Kyrie Irving (New Jersey Tournament of Champions & Non-Public Schools title), Terrence Jones (Oregon 5A title), Brandon Knight (Florida 3A title) and Jared Sullinger (Ohio D1 title).
What success will 2009-10 bring these young stars? USABasketball.com takes a look at the nine USA team members and brings you the current status of their 2009-10 season.
After leading Ames High School (Ames, Iowa) to a 4A state title last year, Harrison Barnes has the Little Cyclones in the midst of a 49-game win streak. On Feb. 26, in the final home game of his high school career, Barnes scored 23 points and grabbed nine rebounds to help capture a 87-45 win over Mason City in the Iowa 4A substate semifinals. Barnes and his Ames H.S. teammates will play North H.S. on March 2 for a spot in the state tournament.
'I've been playing in this gym for four years,' Barnes told the Des Moines Register following the win on Feb. 26. 'It's nice to go out on this note. Hopefully the next time I'm in this gym we'll be hanging up another banner.'
For his final high school season, 6-6 guard Will Barton transferred from Lake Clifton H.S. (Md.), where he helped his team to a Maryland 3A title in 2008-09, to Brewster Academy in New Hampshire, where he is once again in the title hunt. No. 3 seeded Brewster will face No. 6 seeded Maine Central Institute on March 3 in the New England Preparatory School Athletic Council's Class A quarterfinals.
Barton will take his game to the Univeristy of Memphis next fall, alongside his brother, Antonio Barton.
Reggie Bullock tallied a career-high 37 pionts in just three quarters, including 14-of-18 from the field and 8-of-11 from 3-point, as Kinston H.S. (N.C.) recorded a 105-55 rout of Hertford County in the 2A sectional finals on Feb. 26. With the win, the Kinston Vikings advanced to the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 2A Regional semifinals on March 3, where they will face Northwood H.S.
'My point guards, Dory Hines and Demarcus Quinerly, really distributed the ball well tonight,' said Bullock in the Kinston Free Press following Friday's win. 'But my whole team really kept me up tonight, because this was a team effort.'
In 2008-09 Tobias Harris led Long Island Lutheran to a New York 1A and Federation title, and this year he hopes to lead Half Hollow Hills West H.S. (N.Y.) to similar success. Harris tallied 21 points in just three quarters as Hills West pounded Bay Shore 96-48 on Feb. 28 in the New York Suffolk Class AA semifinal. The Hills West Colts will face No. 2 Longwood in the Suffolk Class 2A Championship on March 3.
Duke-bound point guard Kyrie Irving finished with 30 points in St. Patrick High School's (N.J.) 82-45 win over Plainfield to capture the Union County Tournament championship on Feb. 27. St. Patrick (24-3) has been banned from this week's state tournament by the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association after holding illegal practice before the state-mandated start date. The school filed a civil suit last week hoping to get the team into the Non-Public North B field, but a federal court in Newark Monday morning upheld the state athletic association's decision to ban St. Patrick from the state tournament.
The reigning 2009 Oregon 5A Champion, so far in 2009-10, Terrence Jones has helped Jefferson H.S. capture a fourth consecutive 2010 Portland Interscholastic League title (10-0), and a No. 1 seed into the 5A state tourney. Jefferson earned a bye in the first round and will face on March 6 the winner of South Albany vs. Wahtonka.
- Watch game highlights and an interview with OregonLive.com after Jones scored 42 points in a win over Marshall on Feb. 15.
Brandon Knight scored 11 of his game-high 27 points in the third quarter to help Pine Crest H.S. pull away for a late, 66-52 victory over University School on Feb. 27 in the Florida High School Athletic Association Region 4 3A finals. The Panthers head to the FHSAA state semifinals in on March 3, where they will face Williston H.S. in their quest to repeat as state champs.
'We knew we needed to come out and play hard in the second half,'' said Knight in the Miami Herald on Feb. 28. 'Each team had their runs. We were able to get a pretty good one that led us to get momentum and win the rest of the game. All this says is I like to win. I enjoy winning. No matter what the stats look like. That is my main goal is to win. Right now my team is doing that and I'm happy.'
Kendall Marshall and Bishop O'Connell H.S. (Va.) finished the season 14-14 with a 52-34 loss to Paul VI in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference quarterfinals on Feb. 27. In a feature in the Charlotte News Observer on Feb. 26, Marshall talked about the similarities between his high school season and the University of North Carolina's current struggles.
'I can definitely relate with what [UNC] is going through - because our seasons have gone the same way,' Marshall told the News Observer. 'I don't ever plan to go through another season like this again ... so it just makes me even more determined to come in and help them next year, any way I can.'
After helping Northland H.S. to an Ohio state title in 2009, Sullinger has led Northland to a USA Today No. 1 national ranking for much of the 2009-10 season. Capturing a fourth consecutive city title and topping Marysville 71-31 on Feb. 26, Northland has advanced to the Ohio High School Athletic Association Division I Columbus District 3 semifinals where it will face Ashville Teays Valley on March 6.