LOGAN - David Early has apparently played his last game as a Logan Wildcat.
Early is foregoing his senior season at Logan High School and is joining the ranks of Beckley Prep. He will reportedly be playing for the Swarm during the upcoming 2019-20 season.
He announced the move on his Twitter page on Wednesday.
It was a shocker to say the least.
Most had expected Early to come back for his senior season at Logan but that's going to be the case apparently.
A Tweet on the Beckley Prep Twitter page said, "We would like to welcome 2020 6'5 G David Early of Logan, WV to the Beckley Prep family. David currently holds 6 D1 offers, with a bright future! #Swarm," showing Early shooting while wearing a Beckley Prep uniform with a tag "major alert" at the top of the page.
Early re-Tweeted the above message.
Beckley Prep coach Cortez Brown confirmed Early's move in an exclusive interview with The Logan Banner on Thursday.
"He's coming here this coming school year," Brown said. "He won't be at Logan. He will be coming here for his senior year. I think we have the resources to really help him, help him evolve and grow into the player that he really wants to be."
Early scored more than 30 points in eight games last season and averaged 26.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.5 steals per game.
Early, a 6-4 guard and regarded as one of the top players in the state of West Virginia, was a Class AA First-Team All-State pick last year and was also First-Team All-Cardinal Conference. He led the league in scoring last season and was second in the conference in scoring two years ago.
Early led Logan to a 20-5 season and a 12-2 mark in the Cardinal Conference last year but the Wildcats were upset 61-55 at Poca in one of the two Class AA Region 4 co-championship games.
Brown said Early has all the tools to be a Division I player. Last season, Early showed more range on his 3-point shooting, stepping out to NBA distance and beyond, often hitting from 25 to 28 feet out.
"He's a great shooter and has a great skills set," he said. "I think the next level for him is to get a little more intense with his game especially on the defensive side of things. He definitely has a knack for scoring and we definitely look forward for him giving us everything that he has to offer."
Early already had Division I offers from WVU, Marshall, Akron, Duquesne, Ohio and Radford. The Radford offer was only recently. Other schools such as Kent State, Towson and Pitt also reportedly have shown interest in Early.
Early would join other Class of 2020 players at Beckley Prep including Jay Moore of Greater Beckley, Cameron Stitt of North Carolina and California's Robert McCrae.
Moore has offers from North Carolina A&T, Morgan State and WV Wesleyan reportedly, while Stitt has Division I offers from Oklahoma State, East Carolina, Hampton and UNC Greensboro. McCrae reportedly has offers from Cal Poly, Washington State and UC Santa Barbara.
Beckley Prep is the same school Chapmanville Regional High School's Drew Williamson played at during the 2018-19 basketball season. Williamson led Chapmanville to the Class AA state championship during his senior season in the 2017-18 roundball campaign.
Early's move to Beckley Prep is a big blow to the Wildcats.
Logan had already lost three starters from last year's team. Early's departure will make four.
Peter Noe, a 6-foot-10 center, and 6-1 forward Chucky Felder both graduated.
Brothers Drew Hatfield (5-11 senior) and Devin Hatfield (6-0 sophomore) who had transferred to Logan after the football season from Mingo Central, have went back home to MCHS.
Both played big roles in the Wildcats' success last season. Drew Hatfield (14.5 points, 10.5 assists, 4.0 rebounds, 3.6 steals) was a starter and one of the team's top scorers. Devin Hatfield, a reserve, saw his role continuing to grow as the season progressed.
Logan returns Mitchell Hainer, Noah Cook, Peyton Adams, Tanner Lambert and Sidney Chapman from last year's team but will field a young squad for the upcoming season with an influx of freshmen and sophomore players expected to help take up the slack.
That slack has now become huge with the loss of Early.
Logan coach Zach Green said Early's departure came as a bit of a surprise but the Wildcats will move forward.
"Last night we found out David Early is transferring to Beckley Prep as it was announced via Twitter. Unfortunately we had no prior knowledge that this was going to happen and later in the night received a text message from David confirming he was planning to transfer," Green said. "We wish David nothing but the best and appreciate what he has brought to this program during his three years at Logan. With that being said, we are really excited for our future with a talented group of young players. We believe this will present opportunities and experience that will pay huge dividends for us in the years to come. As always, Logan basketball will continue to move forward with the goal of raising our eighth state championship banner."
Logan had advanced last season to the Class AA Region 4 Section 2 championship game after beating Scott 71-61 but then lost 68-55 to eventual state champion Chapmanville Regional in the sectional finals at Mingo Central High School.
Early is currently playing AAU basketball this summer with Team Loaded, a squad out of Virginia.
Beckley Prep, a third-year school, plays an ambitious schedule each season.
Last season, the Swarm traveled all over, taking part in a 32-game schedule, and playing in North Carolina, Florida, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, New Jersey, Georgia, Ohio, Rhode Island, Maryland and New York.
Beckley Prep also found their way to Logan's King Coal Classic where the Swarm beat Quality Education Prep, North Carolina, 83-77. It was the second straight season the Swarm played in the King Coal. The previous year, Beckley Prep played Huntington Prep in Logan.
Brown said it's all about development - both on and off the court - for his players.
"We play all over the country," Brown said. "These guys have worked extremely hard to make themselves a top tier program."
Paul Adkins is the sports editor of the Logan Banner. Follow him on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner or email him at email@example.com.