High School Sports

These former Triangle high school basketball stars are playing in the NCAA tournament this week

North Carolina’s Brandon Huffman (42) and the bench react after after teammate Theo Pinson (1) sank two free throws to give the Tar Heels a 74-70 lead with 16 seconds to play against Tennessee on December 17, 2017 at Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville, Tenn.
North Carolina’s Brandon Huffman (42) and the bench react after after teammate Theo Pinson (1) sank two free throws to give the Tar Heels a 74-70 lead with 16 seconds to play against Tennessee on December 17, 2017 at Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville, Tenn. rwillett@newsobserver.com

Twenty-nine athletes who played their high school ball in the greater Triangle area will be in the NCAA men's and women's college basketball tournaments as they start this week.

There are 15 men's players and 14 women's players.

That list doesn't include Kentucky's Sacha Killeya-Jones, who grew up in Chapel Hill but attended boarding school in Virginia.

But it does include American Athletic Conference player of the year Gary Clark, who is from Clayton, likely All-American and Big XII player of the year Devonte' Graham from Broughton High, and potential women's All-American Azura Stevens, who went to Cary and stars at UConn.

UNC-Greensboro and N.C. Central each have three former area players on their men's rosters, but N.C. State's women lead the way with five former area players (though former Athens Drive star Grace Hunter is sitting out this season due to transfer rules).


Arizona: Rawle Alkins (Word of God).

Arkansas: Jalen Harris (Word of God).

Cincinnati: Gary Clark (Clayton).

Clayton’s Gary Clark, left, looks to the basket as East Wake defender Jonathon High tries to make the stop on Tuesday. newsobserver.com

Davidson: Carter Collins (East Chapel Hill).

Carter Collins (14) of East Chapel Hill dribbles the ball against Cole Phillips (21) of Carrboro. The East Chapel Hill Wildcats played the Carrboro Jaguars in a men basketball game that took place in Chapel Hill, N.C. on Friday, December 16, 2016. East Chapel Hill won 66-34. Fabian Radulescu newsobserver.com

Florida: Mike Okauru (Ravenscroft).

Ravenscroft's Michael Okauru (10 ) drives to the lane while guarded by Broughton's Aaron Gottfried (4) during the first half. The Broughton Capitals took on the Ravenscroft Ravens in the first round of the HighSchoolOT.com Holiday Tournament at Broughton High School in Raleigh, N.C. on December 26, 2015. Ravenscroft leads 34-26 at the half. STEVEN WORTHY newsobserver.com

Kansas: Devonte' Graham (Broughton).

N.C. Central: Brandon Goldsmith (Millbrook), John Guerra (Cary Academy), Marius McAllister (Hillside).

Cary Academy’s John Guerra (left) drives past Wake Christian’s Chase Tyler during the boy’s basketball game in Cary on Friday, December 13, 2013. Wake Christian won 60-57 in overtime. newsobserver.com

North Carolina: Brandon Huffman (Word of God).

Word of God's Brandon Huffman (42) is defended by Mount Zion's Rory Pantoplee (5) and A.Omino (20) during the first half. The Mount Zion Warriors took on the Word of God Holy Rams in Boys and Girls Basketball in Raleigh. N.C. on January 27, 2017. Word of God wins 77-61. Steven Worthy newsobserver.com

UNC-Greensboro: James Dickey (Word of God), Kaleb Hunter (Granville Central/North Raleigh Christian/Neuse Christian), Demetrius Troy (Word of God).

Neuse Christian Academy's Kaleb Hunter (11) dribbles the ball as Cape Fear Christian Academy's Quentin Jackson Jr. (1) defends during a high school basketball game in Cary, N.C. on Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016. BEN MCKEOWN newsobserver.com

Virginia: Jay Huff (Voyager Academy).

030516_bBB_VOY-SCR_SW_ 003
Voyager Academy's Jay Huff (30) drives to the basket while guarded by South Creek's James Moore (33). The Voyager Academy Vikings took on the South Creek Cougars in the NCHSAA Championship 1A East Boys Final in Crown Arena in Fayetteville, N.C. on March 5, 2016. Voyager Academy wins 71-50. STEVEN WORTHY newsobserver.com

Virginia Tech: Ty Outlaw (Person).

Person's Tyrone Outlaw sets up a play against Green Hope in Wednesday's game. newsobserver.com


Belmont: Grace Smith (Cary Christian).

Fayetteville Christian’s Onyeka Monyei (4) guards Cary Christian's Grace Smith (20) during the girls basketball game on Tuesday, December 29, 2015 in Cary. Fayetteville Christian won 71-64 in overtime. Christine Adamczyk newsobserver.com

Elon: Jaylin Powell (Rolesville), Lexi Mercer (Rosewood), Meme Garner (Jordan-Matthews).

Rolesville High’s Jaylin Powell (13) heads into the lane as Clayton’s Alexis Teel defends the drive. newsobserver.com

N.C. State: Kaila Ealey (Broughton), Kai Crutchfield (Millbrook), Kiara Leslie (Holly Springs), Grace Hunter (Athens Drive), Katie Wadsworth (Broughton).

Holly Springs’ Kiara Leslie, right, returns as two-time conference player of the year. CHRIS ADAMCZYK

North Carolina A&T: Mikaya Wilson (Knightdale).

Knightdale’s Mikaya Wilson (5) spins around Garner’s Nia Jackson (21) on the baseline. newsobserver.com

South Carolina: LeLe Grissett (Hillside).

Elisia Grissett (4) of Hillside brings the ball upcourt against Kayla Cadlett, left, of Southern Durham. The Hillside Hornets played the Southern Durham Spartans in a women basketball game that took place in Durham, N.C. on Saturday, December 10, 2016. Hillside won 71-22. Fabian Radulescu newsobserver.com

UConn: Azura Stevens (Cary).

Cary's Azura Stevens (23) shoots between Riverside's Mone Jones (left) and Kiara Jacobs during the girls basketball game in Cary on Wednesday, February, 26, 2014. Riverside won 70-62. Christine Adamczyk newsobserver.com

Virginia: J'Kyra Brown (Rocky Mount), Mone' Jones (Riverside).