By Kyle Lovern
December 10, 2013
Two of the country’s top prep basketball teams will be playing Wednesday night at Mingo Central High School as Huntington Prep takes on Genesis Prep of Lynchburg, Va.
Huntington Prep is coached by Rob Fulford and had the nation’s number one recruit last year in Andrew Wiggins, who is now a freshman with Kansas.
However, the Hungtington, W. Va. team has several other Division One recruits on its squad this year. Fulford has coached the team since 2009. The prep school team had been located in Beckley, W.Va., before moving to Huntington.
Genesis is coached by James Simpkins, who has family roots in Mingo County. They also have some Division One commitments on their roster.
“I am really looking forward to coming back home to Mingo County,” Simpkins said. “My dad, stepmom, brother and younger sister Nikki Simpkins who currently attends Mingo Central as a senior are all from Meador, WV (Beech Creek).”
“I hope to bring my guys back home and put a competitive product on the floor versus one of the top high school programs in the country. Rob has done an excellent job of building the program over at Huntington Prep but we hope that we can come in and maybe surprise them a little,” Simpkins added.
The game is being sponsored by the Mingo Central Basketball Boosters Club.
Toronto native Montaque Gill-Caesar is one player that many big-time colleges are looking at. He will have many of the nation’s top coaches and program’s scouting him in the next few weeks.
Huntington Prep has several of the nation’s top players. They hail from Canada, Puerto Rico, Spain and all across the United States.
One player on the squad is 6’10” junior Levi Cook, who has already committed to Bob Huggins and West Virginia. He hails from the small town of Arnett, W.Va.
Joining Gill-Caesar this season is a strong and experienced group of seniors. Point guard Josh Perkins (6’3”) comes to Huntington from Colorado and just recently committed to Gonzaga. He is known as one of the top passers in the country. JaQuan Lyle is a 6-5 guard who was committed to Louisville and comes to us from Evansville, Indiana. Also in the backcourt is a pair of senior guards from Nashville, Tennessee, Coleman Spann (6’4”) and Jalen Lindsey (6’7”). Lindsey is committed to Providence.
Angel Delgado is the senior big man this season and at 6’9”, Delgado is a defensive presence and has committed to Seton Hall.
Other juniors besides Gill-Caesar and Cook are Thomas Bryant (6’10” and Pau Serena (6’3”). Bryant is from Rochester, N.Y. and is currently a member of Team USA and Serena is considered one of the top guards in Spain.
Miles Bridges (6’7”) and Ivan Gandia (6’1”) are the only two sophomores on the team. Bridges is from Flint, Michigan and Gandia is from Puerto Rico. Gandia plays for the Puerto Rican national team.
The youngster of the group is Danny Vitiello, a 6’ freshman from Dominican Republic by way of Puerto Rico.
The team is again coached by Fulford who assisted by Arkell Bruce, Dave Meddings, Ryan Arrowood and Baker Neal.
Simpkins said he currently has eight to nine Division 1 level players.
6’7” senior forward Armani Branch who is being recruited by VMI, Cornell and Rice; 6’7” junior forward Marquez Letcher-Ellis who has been offered by Georgia, USC (Southern Cal), UNC-Wilmington, Rice and Houston; 6’6” sophomore guard Josh Hall who has been offered by Arizona, Texas, Oklahoma State, Kansas State, SMU, Nebraska; 6’6” sophomore guard Greg Williams who has been offered by Texas A&M, Auburn, Georgia, Virginia Tech, Depaul, UNC-Wilmington, USC (Southern Cal); 6’3” sophomore point guard Mike Williams who has an offer from South Carolina State; 6’7” sophomore forward Jahnathan Maxwell who has an offer from North Carolina A&T.
Others on the squad are 6’4” senior guard Camryn Fort, 6’5” sophomore forward Boaz Williams, 6’10” senior Caleb McKearin and senior guard Ashton Brown. All of them have offers from different colleges.
Game time is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. A preliminary freshman game will be played prior to the feature match between the two prep schools.
A huge crowd is expected for the game and fans are advised to come early to get good seats.