The state of South Carolina has been traditionally known as the “football state.” It sounds to reason with the love and passion the state has for Clemson and the University of South Carolina football. Clemson is a national powerhouse and the South’s “USC” has enjoyed their fair of moments, but the fan base and passion is as good as it gets. For the longest time, when it came to high school basketball, the state was always labelled its football status with very little given to the hoop side. Well, let’s just go on record and state the obvious. South Carolina is no longer just a football state and for per capital, it is producing high level basketball players.
Let’s just go back and review the 2017 class. You had the likes of Jalek Felton (UNC), Nick Claxton (Georgia), Tremetrius Morant (Murray State), Mamadou Diarra (Washington), Jason Cudd (USC), Clyde Trapp (Clemson), James Reese (Buffalo), Jordan Davis (Dayton), Zach Butler (Ohio), and DeShawn Thomas (Florida SW CC) Not too shabby! Now, let’s take a look at the star studded 2018 which could go down as the state’s best class ever. You have the best high school player in the country in Zion Williamson (Duke), Aaron Nesmith (Vanderbilt), Jimmy Nichols (Providence), Sharon Wright Jr. (Wake Forest), DJ Burns (Tennessee), Robert Braswell (Syracuse), Isaiah Moore (College of Charleston), Jack Lanford (Yale), Gabe Bryant (Gardner Webb), and Jalen Slawson (Furman)
And just to prove 2018 is no fluke, South Carolina 2019 class is also well represented on a national level with the likes of Josiah James, Juwan Gary (Alabama), Christian Brown , Trae Hannibal (South Carolina), Malcolm Wilson, Mikey Dukes, Derricko Williams, Juwan Perdue, CJ Felder, Deuce Dean and Chico Charter. James, Gary and Brown are all premier players and potentially McDonald All American selections. Without question, the state of South Carolina is also becoming a hotbed for basketball talent like it’s neighbor to the north. Who knows, down the road we may just be replacing the football label for South Carolina, not to mention its still one of the more under recruited areas in the country. That being said, if the state keeps producing the likes of Zion Williamson, Aaron Nesmith, Jimmy Nichols, Josiah James, Juwan Gary, DJ Burns, and Christian Brown, that in itself is a pretty good resume for a state that has not gotten it’s fair share of publicity. You see, South Carolina is no longer just a football state!