It has been a long time coming for the Porter Gaud pair, but senior Aaron Nesmith and junior Josiah James are finally getting their due on the national level. The pair has long been thought of among the top prospects in the state, by Phenom Hoops but it has taken the national writers far too long to catch up.
When Rivals.com came out with their updated rankings for the 2019 class on Wednesday they ranked James as the 18th best junior in the country. When they came out with their updated rankings for the 2018 class on Tuesday, they ranked Nesmith as the 69th best senior in the country. While we still think, in the long run, there will not be 17 players who are better than James in this class. Rivals.com is ahead of the curve on both of these standouts and for that, we applaud them.
It was obvious the second someone watches James that he is special, as far back as 2015 we wrote “When scouting players, one thing you look for is uniqueness. Josiah James carries quite the unique skill set.” In the meantime, James is a major talent. We continue to think that he has early entry pro potential to his game.
Nesmith has been the leading scorer for Porter Gaud since his eighth grade year. He as long been looked at by Phenom Hoops as a top 100 prospect nationally, after his breakout perforamance at the prestigious 2015 South Carolina Top 80 we wrote, “Aaron was excellent to coach, such a polished player. No question he will have a wonderful career.” Even National Analyst Rick Lewis called for the National Analysts to put Nesmith in the Top 75 nationally after his stand out performance at the Chick Fil A Classic in December.
This is why 6’6 ’18 Aaron Nesmith (Porter Gaud) should be in the national conversation as a top 75 player.
— Rick Lewis (@Coach_Rick57) December 21, 2017
Harboring NBA and next level talent is not something that is foreign to the Porter Gaud family as 2009 alum Khris Middleton recently signed a 5 year/$70,000,000 contract with the Milwaukee Bucks. While having other players in the program who have committed to the likes of Yale, High Point, Mercer, New York University and other programs.
You have to applaud Porter Gaud junior Josiah James and senior Aaron Nesmith in the way that he went about getting discovered. They each stayed loyal, which is a testament to their character, and didn’t jump to every shoe circuit team that was clamoring to have them join. TMP Elite, who is much more than a local mom and pop travel ball program and has had a large chunk of Division 1 players come through the program, has been where James and Nesmith have played since they were young.
Josiah James’ family is not new to the recruitment game. James’ father, Kurt, played at Michigan State with Magic Johnson, his brother KJ was a heavily recruited prospect out of the same Porter Gaud High School. James’ mother Sonya is even a collegiate basketball official. Nesmith has some great athleticism in the family as well as his father, Bernie, was a competitive natural body builder and weight lifter.
Nesmith and James were born for this, and it is great to see the country is finally catching on.
If you want to catch Aaron Nesmith and Josiah James in action, be sure to come out to Phenom’s Low Country Showcase on January 20 at Porter Gaud School in Charleston, SC. They will tip-off at 6 PM.