Reigning N.C. 3A Independent Schools boys basketball state champion Providence Day played 13 teams that were nationally ranked last season.
Coach Brian Field told the Observer Wednesday that he’d finalized contracts to put his team in what will be an even tougher schedule in 2016-17.
The Chargers finished 30-4 last season and ended the year with a trip to the DICKS’ National Championship in New York City. Providence Day ended the season ranked No. 16 in USA Today’s national poll. The Chargers were named Charlotte Observer Sweet 16 champions.
Next season, Providence Day will play in seven showcase events: the Phenom Hoops National High School Showcase (Forsyth Country Day, Lewisville); Charlotte Hoops Challenge 7 (Myers Park HS, Charlotte); LakePoint Basketball Showcase (LakePoint Sports Emerson, GA); Chick-Fil-A Classic (Lower Richland HS, Columbia); Hoodie’s House National Showcase (Providence Day, Charlotte); Music City Classic (Opryland Resort, Nashville, TN); and the Montverde Academy Invitational Tournament (Montverde Academy, Montverde, Florida).
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The Chargers graduate two-time Observer player of the year Grant Williams, who is headed to Tennessee, along with two starters, Isaac Johnson, who’s headed to Appalachian State, and Brown-bound Josh Howard. Senior Scott Peterson also graduates. The Chargers return two starters -- Division I recruited guards Devon Dotson and Trey Wertz -- and have added 6-3 wing Issac Suffren from Myers Park.
National recruiting analyst Rick Lewis of Phenom Hoop Report said Field has assembled an impressive, and difficult, schedule for the returning Chargers to play against.
“Man, that’s pretty impressive,” Lewis said. “I think they’re taking the next step to putting their program on the national level. One thing for sure, they’re not bashful about competition. It’s as tough a schedule as you’ll find anywhere.”
In addition to the national field, Field’s team will have to deal with what MaxPreps called one of the toughest classifications in America to win, the N.C. Independent Schools 3A division. Last season, four NCISAA 3A teams were nationally ranked: Greensboro Day, Providence Day, High Point Wesleyan and High Point Christian.
“And that’s the thing, you have to take in consideration who (Providence Day) is already playing,” Lewis said. “They’re in of the toughest (statewide playoff divisions) in the region. You have to go up against Greensboro Day, (Arden) Christ School, (Raleigh) Ravenscroft, Wesleyan. So that’s a very impressive schedule. I don’t know of anyone in the area that will have a tougher schedule.”