The Associated Press released its all-state team last week, and it left me scratching my head.
The team was voted on by a panel of 22 media members from around the state. The media people submit nominees. The AP compiles them all, sends them back, and the media members vote.
I just cant understand how, among the 12 players named, none were from private schools.
I could make a serious case that the best player in the state, regardless of class, is High Point Wesleyan junior Theo Pinson. Pinson, being heavily recruited by schools like Indiana, Kentucky, Duke and North Carolina, is ranked No. 13 nationally by ESPN. Among small forwards, ESPN ranks him No. 2 in the country.
And Pinson wasnt even the player of the year in his teams conference.
That award went to his teammate, Harry Giles, a 6-foot-9 freshman who is on pace to become one of the best players to come out of North Carolina in a few decades.
Giles and Pinson are both USA Basketball guys as in theyre playing for their country and they are nowhere to be found on the states AP team.
Theres long been a private school bias in our state, the thinking being private school ball is not as good as the highest-level public school teams. In football maybe, but not in basketball. The two best high school basketball teams I saw this year were N.C. 4A public school champ Olympic and Wesleyan, and granted I probably see a wider swath of basketball and players across the state than many other reporters.
The five best players I saw this year are Oxford Webbs Isaiah Hicks, West Charlottes Kennedy Meeks, Houghs Luke Maye, Pinson and Giles.
There were 16 private school players nominated on the AP ballot. At least two of them shouldve been on the all-state team.
• While Im on the subject, here are the 10 best boys teams in North Carolina, regardless of class: 1. Olympic (4A); 2. High Point Wesleyan (3A private); 3. Mount Tabor (4A); 4. Raleigh Broughton (4A); 5. Hough (4A); 6. West Charlotte (4A); 7. Greensboro Day (3A private); 8. Fayetteville 71st (4A); 9. Kinston (2A); 10. Oxford Webb (3A).
Public vs. private, time for it here
Sticking to my theme, the best tournaments in Mecklenburg County are always the ones that pair public and private schools. The Bojangles Shootout basketball tournament, now sadly defunct, used to do it. Thankfully, the Jack Sink Baseball tournament at Myers Park still does.
At present, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools has an ancient rule in place to prevent local public schools from playing privates (its been amended in later years to prevent nontournament scheduling). The rule, created around fears about recruiting, is antiquated.
Its time to let publics and privates play, if they want to. If a CMS school doesnt want to play Charlotte Latin, thats fine. But if one does, it should be able to do so. One caveat? Schools cannot schedule privates and leave off CMS schools who need games. Both things can be done.
Just give the schools a choice. Whats wrong with that?
And one final thought here: privates have to step up and play football against CMS, too. No picking and choosing sports.
• Biggest disappointment from Jack Sink? Weather stopped Thursdays Charlotte Christian-Ardrey Kell baseball game, which wouldve been the highlight of the week. Both teams were 2-0 in the tournament. Christian has won six straight games. Ardrey Kell has won 13.
• Longtime tennis coach William Brown, who has coached several top high school players, recently suffered a mild stroke. The Sugaw Creek tennis community will host a fundraiser/reception for Brown April 13 at 2 p.m. at the Sugaw Creek Recreation Center, 943 W. Sugar Creek Road.
Brown coached Hardings tennis team from 1989-2012. If youre unable to attend, contributions, payable to Mr. William Brown, can be sent to Jack Booker, 10909 Tradition View Drive, Charlotte, NC 28269. Information? Call Booker at 704-778-2901.
• Covenant Day basketball player Ben Hawks, a point guard, signed with Columbia International University.
• Observer-area teams are well-represented in the N.C. softball coaches poll. In 1A, South Stanly is No. 2, Lincoln Charter is No. 3 and Bessemer City is No. 10. In 2A, Cuthbertson is No. 9 and Piedmont No. 10. In 3A, Foard is No. 1, Marvin Ridge No. 3, North Iredell No. 7, Robinson No. 8 and Central Cabarrus No. 10.
In 4A, Alexander Central is No. 1, Lake Norman No. 8 and Porter Ridge No. 10.
• Longtime Independence High boys basketball coach and athletics director Joe Coulter passed away Friday. Coulter was N.C. Athletic Directors Association secretary in 1972-73.
• Former South Carolina mens basketball star Jo Jo English was named head coach of the Sumter (S.C.) High boys team.
Wertz: 704-612-9716; Twitter: @langstonwertzjr
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