Nick Stevens, a Raleigh native, is the senior editor of HighSchoolOT.com. Nick has covered high school sports for WRAL since 2006, and helped create what is now HighSchoolOT.com. In his blog, Nick provides insight and analysis on area high school sports teams, players and topics. He also provides his opinion on numerous issues surrounding high school sports. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickStevensHSOT. You can contact Nick by clicking here or by sending an e-mail to email@example.com.
Jul 27, 2014
For those who don't know me, basketball is far and away my favorite sport.
To me, there is nothing more exciting than watching two good teams going back and forth, two good coaches making adjustments and the fans so close to the floor that you can hardly hear yourself think.
These days, there is noise coming from other places, though: noise you can't ignore, even though we would all be wise to do so.
For many years, there has been a dark side to basketball. Many people point to AAU as the source. I won't even say AAU because AAU is just one organization in what has become a sea of club basketball leagues.
Heck, there are many tournaments that are held that aren't sanctioned by any league.
Does club basketball hold responsibility for the problems our sport has today? Without a doubt.
Club basketball has become so much about one thing for many kids and parents – the scholarship. And for some coaches and directors, they seek power, influence, and –…
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Jun 27, 2014
Noah Vonleh (5) moves toward the basket. WRAL HighSchoolOT.Com Invitational Basketball Tournament, 12.29.12. Word of God Champions over New Hampton 58 to 53. Photo by CHRIS BAIRD
The HighSchoolOT.com Holiday Invitational brings in top high school basketball talent every year, and on Thursday night a few past players advanced their careers to the NBA.
Three Holiday Invitational alumni were selected in the NBA Draft on Thursday, and all three went in the first 14 picks. The three selected players were Nik Stauskas, Noah Vonleh and T.J. Warren.
Stauskas (Michigan) was selected eighth overall by the Sacramento Kings. He came to the Holiday Invitational in 2011 with Southborough (Mass.) St. Mark's. Stauskas earned all-tournament honors as he helped his team to a fifth place finish in the tournament.
Standing at 6-foot-6 and 205 pounds, Stauskas, a guard, averaged 17.5 points, 3.3 assists and 2.9 rebounds per game for Michigan. For his college career, Stauskas shot 44 percent from 3-point range.
The very next pick in the NBA Draft was also a Holiday Invitational alum. Vonleh (Indiana) was selected by the Charlotte Hornets with the ninth overall…
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May 14, 2014
Wake County has dominated 4-A golf for years. It's a fact that many observers of high school golf already know.
That stranglehold continued this year, as Broughton won its eighth team championship since 1998. Those Broughton championships include a string of five consecutive titles from 1998-2002.
Green Hope ended Broughton's run in 2003, but Broughton won the title again in 2004.
In all, since 1990, Wake County schools have won 18 of the 25 4-A golf team state championships.
Wake County schools have not loosened their grip on golf in recent years either. In fact, it may have only strengthened. Behind two championships from Broughton (2012, 2014) and Green Hope (2009, 2010), and a title from Leesville Road (2011), Wake County has won five of the last six team titles.
The only misstep for Wake County schools in the last six years happened last year when Pinecrest won the team title in 2013.
Broughton's dominance in golf continued this year behind…
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Apr 30, 2014
Millbrook QB (14) Reid Herring hands the ball off. Millbrook defeats East Wake 20 to 14 Friday night September 6, 2013. (Photo by Jack Tarr)
High school sports are about teaching life lessons. They're about instilling qualities that people need to be successful for the rest of their lives.
That's what makes high school sports so important and so valuable.
But the lessons taught through a mercy rule aren't the lessons we should be teaching.
The N.C. High School Athletic Association passed a measure that introduces mercy rules to high school football and basketball in North Carolina effective next school year. In football, the magic number is 42. For basketball the threshold is 40. At that point (as long as it is after halftime), the game can either be ended by mutual agreement or a running clock will be used.
Mercy rules are for young kids who are just learning about competition, sports, and life. High school kids aren't part of that population. They're no more than four years away from entering the "real world," whether…
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Feb 27, 2014
Gary Clark (11) with the ball for Clayton. HighSchoolOT Holiday Invitational at Broughton High School, Raleigh N.C. held on December 28, 2013. The afternoon games included Broughton and Clayton High School. After a close game between the home team and Clayton, Broughton wins with a final score of 67 – 61. (Lexi Baird/ WRAL Contributor)
Friday night is one of the most fun nights of the high school basketball season.
Win or lose, Friday night is the last time teams will play on their home floors this year. Next week we head to neutral sites in Fayetteville and Greensboro for regionals, and the week after that state championships are played at the Dean Smith Center and Reynolds Coliseum.
Traditionally, these Friday night games have been very entertaining. There is a lot to watch going into the third round, and I have five story lines I'm keeping an eye on.
Southeast Raleigh's girls avoid the upset
We've had Southeast Raleigh pegged as a 4-A favorite in girls basketball all season. The Bulldogs went through much of the regular season without a problem, only to come up short of the overall No. 1 seed.
Southeast Raleigh has still had home court advantage though, and in the second round the Bulldogs were nearly upset.
In the first quarter on Wednesday, Southeast…
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