Midtown: Sports

Purvis wins, looks forward to Wolfpack

Rodney Purvis thoroughly enjoyed cutting down the nets on Saturday following the Greater Carolina High School Athletic Association championship basketball game.

Purvis also would love to have that net-cutting experience in the coming years as a member of the Wolfpack basketball team.

The 6-foot-4 senior shooting guard concluded his high school career with 24 points to help lead Upper Room Christian Academy past (Winston-Salem) Quality Education Academy 85-61.

Prior to the contest, Purvis was honored as the GCHSAA Most Valuable Player. The Eagles avenged a 2-point loss to the Pharaohs during the regular season.

Purvis will miss his time playing at Upper Room for former Wolfpack star Avie Lester, the head coach of the Eagles, and with guys he has played basketball with for much of his life.

“I’ve enjoyed every single minute here,” said Purvis, who averaged 28 points during the season. “To win a championship with guys I’ve grown up with all my life is just a blessing.”

Purvis was especially happy for teammate Waymon Wright, who earned Tournament MVP, scoring 17 points and dishing out nine assists during the championship game.

Purvis said his time at Upper Room was fun and he hopes for a great college experience as he pursues his basketball career and a degree in sports management.

“It’s been a joy to work with Rodney,” Lester said. “I had to console my daughter because she knows he’s leaving high school, but I told her he will just be 10 minutes away. I’m definitely glad he chose State, and it will be good to see him do well there.”

Before he joins forces with the Wolfpack and gets to play with C.J. Leslie and Richard Howell, Purvis still has two more big matchups, the McDonald’s High School All-American Game in Chicago on March 28 and the Jordan Brand Classic in Charlotte on April 14.

“I’m just excited,” Purvis said. “It’s an honor to be chosen to play with the top guys in the country.”

In addition to his future Wolfpack teammates, Purvis also admires Dion Waiters (Syracuse University) and Dez Wells (Xavier University), along with pros Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls) and John Wall, a member of the Washington Wizards and formerly a star for Raleigh Word of God.

When asked how far the Wolfpack could advance this year, Purvis believes if they play hard and work together reaching the Final Four is possible.

As far as winning the NCAA title in a few years?

“Hey, it would be great to cut the nets down again next year,” Purvis said with a big smile.