Kyle Ellis provides his thoughts on a rishing sophomore from West Virginia.

Photo Courtesy: WV Gazette


5’11” Rising Sophomore Justin Phillips (George Washington- WV)

PLAYER: Justin Phillips

CLASS: 2018

HEIGHT and WEIGHT: 5’11” & 160lbs

HIGH SCHOOL TEAM: George Washington (Charleston, WV)

HIGH SCHOOL STATISTICS: 10.3 Points, 4.1 Rebounds, 3.8 Assists, & 2.4 Steals per game

AAU PROGRAM: West Virginia Wildcats Select (16U)

GPA: 3.5



George Washington High School in Charleston, West Virginia has been known to produce some of the Mountain State’s most elite players since Patriots HC Rick Greene took over the program for his second tenure back in 1998. Whenever basketball season rolls around on “The Hill”, there always seems to be that one kid that everyone has to keep an eye on. Players like Patrick O’ Malley (Richmond), Chris Long (Elon), TyQuane Goard (WVU), Santino diTrapano (U. of Charleston), Luke Eddy (Elon) and Jon Elmore (Marshall) paved a path for greatness over the past 15 years, but who is next in line for a chance at stardom' Rising sophomore Justin Phillips.

When GWHS assistant coach Whit Keadle introduced us to Justin Phillips earlier this June during a summer workout before Elon Team Camp, we were literally blown of our feet. Our team was absolutely shocked to see a player of his age possess such an unreal amount of maturity and team leadership skills. Phillips was sharp in all aspects that afternoon and made it apparent he has what it takes to compete with the big boys. But, practice is practice. We wanted to see how Phillips would perform against stronger opponents in a game-like environment before making any immediate assumptions. When we found out the WV Wildcats were making the trip down south for our first annual CP3 Live Tournament, we instantly knew we had to pay close attention.

The second Phillips stepped foot in the building bright and early that Friday morning, it was easy to tell he came to Winston-Salem to make his name known on a national scale. Right from the start, the shifty PG came out guns blazing. Dish after dish, bucket after bucket, BWSL-WAGL seemed to have no answer. Phillips was ferocious on the offensive side of the floor despite being double-teamed throughout the majority of the contest. Whenever his team needed a big time play, this hoss was there to deliver. His range was limitless, his handles were outstanding, and his mind was determined for eventual success. After a long, hard-fought contest, Phillips managed to drop a game-high 31 points in a 78-65 opening round loss.

Throughout the course of the weekend, we noticed that Phillips continuously displayed all the positive characteristics of a college level PG. He was sensational on both sides of the ball, created countless amounts of opportunities for his squad, and put forth a phenomenal effort until the clock hit zero during each game. Playing up in a division may be a struggle for some, but Phillips seemed to thrive against the older competition. Although he may be considered a tad bit “undersized” in the eyes of many, this 5’11” jack-of-all-trades is a player you definitely do not want to pass up on.

Since attending our CP3 Live Tournament back in late July, Phillips has already received interest from several high-major D1 programs. With a little additional work and a few extra inches and pounds added to his frame, this kid could potentially be one of West Virginia’s strongest point guards in quite some time. Did we forget to mention he has a 3.5 GPA' The sky is the limit for this young gun. We wouldn’t be surprised if Phillips had his Patriots’ squad competing for a title here in the coming years.

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