Five-star forward Isaiah Todd talks recruitment by UNC, NC State
The John Wall Holiday Invitational returns to Raleigh’s Broughton High School next week, with another star filled field.
Starting Dec. 26, 16 teams will battle over four days in two brackets in one of the premier prep tournaments in the country. The tournament starts out with the TJ Warren Bracket, which features eight teams, seven from North Carolina. The TJ Warren Bracket includes defending TJ Warren Bracket champion, Garner, Leesville Road, Athens Drive, Trinity Academy and Panther Creek.
On the opening day, Panther Creek and West Charlotte kickoff the tournament at 1:45 pm, followed by Cannon School vs. Virginia Episcopal (3:30 pm); South Central vs. Athens Drive (5:15 pm); Trinity Academy vs. Leesville Road (7 pm); and Garner vs. Ranney School (N.J.) at 8:30 pm.
Day two is the start of the David West Bracket. Trinity Christian of Fayetteville takes on Prolific Prep (3:30 pm) in the opener, followed by host Broughton vs. Downey Christian (5:15 pm); and Word of God vs. Brewster Academy in the nightcap (8:30 pm).
Championship games are Saturday with the TJ Warren title game at 7, followed by the David West title game at 8:30 pm.
Tickets are sold at the door for $15 (all day) and $8 for kids.
Players to watch:
Day’Ron Sharpe, South Central
The 6’9, 220-pound center is the No. 2 player in North Carolina and the No. 5 center in the nation. Sharpe committed to UNC in June.
Isaiah Todd, Trinity Academy
The only player ranked higher in the state than Sharpe is Todd, who transferred to Trinity Academy in Raleigh over the summer. Todd (6-10, 195), is a five-star prospect and ranked No. 1 in the class of 2020. Todd holds an offer from North Carolina.
Greg Gantt, Trinity Christian Fayetteville
Gantt, the No. 4 player in North Carolina in the class of 2019, is making a return trip to the John Wall. Gantt, the No. 16 small forward in the country, signed with Providence in November.
Carter Whitt, Leesville Road
Whitt, a sophomore, already has some big time offers in the bag. The 6-3 shooting guard has offers from Ole Miss, UVA and High Point. Whitt, a three-star prospect, is the No. 3 player in North Carolina in the class of 2021.
Justin McKoy, Panther Creek
The Penn State commit will be playing in his third Holiday Invitational. McKoy (6-8, 225) averaged 21 points as a junior and is ranked the No. 15 player in North Carolina in the class of 2019.
Jalen Lecque, Brewster Academy
Lecque made his John Wall debut in 2017, and N.C. State fans will pack (pun intended) the gym to see the future Wolfpack guard, who signed with N.C. State in November. Lecque (6-4, 190) is the No. 4 combo guard in the country, and puts on a highlight package every time he plays.
Alonzo Gaffney, Brewster Academy
Lecque isn’t the only star at Brewster Academy. Gaffney (6-9, 190), signed with Ohio State last month, and is the No. 8 small forward in the class of 2019.
Terrence Clark, Brewster Academy
Lecque’s backcourt mate, Clark, is the top shooting guard in the class of 2021, with an offer from N.C. State, along with UCONN, Georgia Tech and Indiana, among others. Kentucky head coach John Calipari recently paid a visit to the 6-6 guard.
Patrick Williams, West Charlotte
Williams (6-7, 180) almost decided to spend the next four years in Raleigh, but signed with Florida State instead of N.C. State. When he comes to town for the tournament, the No. 2 player in the class of 2019 in North Carolina will show the locals what they missed out on.
Scottie Lewis, Ranney School
The five-star guard from New Jersey signed with Florida in November, picking the Gators over Kentucky. Lewis is the No. 12 ranked player in the nation, one spot about his Ranney School teammate Bryan Antoine.
Bryan Antoine, Ranney School
Speaking of Antoine, Lewis’ backcourt mate is ranked the No. 2 shooting guard in the nation. Antoine (6-4, 168) signed with Villanova in November.
Day’Ron Sharpe vs. Isaiah Todd
If South Central and Trinity Academy both win on the opening night, local basketball fans will get a treat on day two. A second round showdown of South Central’s Day’Ron Sharpe and Trinity’s Isaiah Todd should pack the gym.
It will be a battle of No. 1 (Todd) vs. No. 2 (Sharpe) in the state in the class of 2020.
Julian Newman vs. Broughton fans
The host Capitals’ student section always comes out to support the home team. Last year they made things difficult for Julian Newman, of Downey Christian (Fla.), who doesn’t mind playing to the crowd if he’s on fire. Newman has been playing on the Downey varsity since he was in fifth grade and became a YouTube sensation. Broughton fans were not impressed in 2017.
Garner vs. Ranney School
The Trojans’ defense will have their hands full trying to contain the Ranney School combo of Scottie Lewis and Bryan Antoine. But if there is one school up for the challenge, it’s Garner.