B.J. Mack’s dad Brian told Charlotte Observer:
“B.J. had dreams of trying to be the best basketball player he can be and going to a prestigious school like Oak Hill gives him the best opportunity to do that. A very good friend of mine talked to me in these terms: if B.J. had a talent and that talent were mathematics and science and he had a chance to study at one of the best institutions in the country for that talent with some of the top instructors in the country, this would be a no-brainer.”
(4-29-17) High school sports continues to evolve on a national level. Once it was a ‘taboo‘ to say that a high school program recruits players, it use to be due to the ‘high quality’ education they can provide. Now it is common place at the national level to just recruit the athlete.
Charlotte Christian’s B.J. Mack (2019, 6’9 PF), a Virginia Tech commit, is the most recent player to prove the movement of a boys high school basketball player after being openly recruited. He recently ‘tried out’ to play at Oak Hill (Va) Academy, yep he tried out.
From a Charlotte Observer story this week on Mack changing schools:
Mack said his son was invited to come work out at Oak Hill two weeks ago and was offered a spot on the team afterwards.
For Mack it will be his third school in three years.
- Freshman – Charlotte Catholic, started on the 4A State Championship team
- Sophomore – Charlotte Christian, all-conference and named all-state by the North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association
Oak Hill is a well-know prep school and continues to have top-ranked national basketball programs year in and year out. Oak Hill is a school of a new ‘fraternity’ labeled by MaxPreps sports as an independent school.
MaxPreps’ Independent Top 10 is a new ranking format provided by the organization. It is comprised of programs which play largely national schedules and do not compete for state championships.
Oak Hill (38-5) finished the season ranked #6 and also was one of eight schools who played for the Dick’s National Championship.
Some state athletic association will allow member schools to play Independent program teams, others will not permit it. Schools like Montverde Academy, is a member in good standing of the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA), but does not compete for a state boys basketball title. That relationship with the FHSAA would allow them to play an Illinois member school, but a school like Oak Hill would not be allowed.
As all fifty state athletic associations look at private vs public issues, recruiting and changing schools to compete as an athlete, Independent schools continue to do that freely and openly.
Some states have taken steps to curb the effect of independent schools recruiting, but as of now, its not working.
Independent programs started to evolve along with the internet and the recruiting of athletes is now on a national level thanks to social media, etc. Since their are limited Independent programs these school have a BIG advantage in securing the best players in the country and with no restrictions.
How does the future look in all of this recruiting? State association schools will be the ones adjusting, since they have rules to follow, it is getting old for some schools to continually lose quality players year in and year out. Independent schools can free-wheel, which means national exposure in all forms of the media including national tv.
This week Oak Hill brought in another national player, Josh Nickelberry. (2019) 6’5 Guard, from Trinity Christian (NC):