Oak Hill: Goliath cometh again

Ben McLemore is one of many stars Oak Hill has brought to Hawaii over the years. FL Morris / Star-Bulletin
Ben McLemore is one of many stars Oak Hill has brought to Hawaii over the years. FL Morris / Star-Bulletin

• ‘Iolani Classic
Tuesday’s games

3:30 p.m. Roosevelt vs. Second Baptist (Texas)
5 p.m. Fuxin New Star (China) vs. Miller Grove (Ga.)
6:30 p.m. ‘Iolani vs. Kauai
8 p.m. Kamehameha vs. Oak Hill (Va.)

Wednesday’s games
3:30 p.m. Kaiser vs. Orange Lutheran (Calif.)
5 p.m. Kailua vs. St. John Bosco (Calif.)
6:30 p.m. Saint Louis vs. Lexington Catholic (Ky.)
8 p.m. Mid-Pacific vs. Bishop O’Dowd (Calif.)

They’re back. The Oak Hill Academy basketball team is in Honolulu again, ready and willing to run, gun and demolish all who dare stand in its way.


Oak Hill won ‘Iolani Classic titles in 1989, ’99, ’03, ’08 and ’10. Two years ago, the Warriors from Mouth of Wilson, Va. finished third in the tourney. Their best player over the years? Tough call, but Josh Smith stands out as a physical phenom who won the dunk contest and was named most outstanding player in ’03. Rajon Rondo was named MVP of that same tourney. Has it really been 11 years? Smith was the best dunk-contest winner I’d seen until ’12, when a 6-foot-2 kid from down South by way of La Lumiere (Ind.) destroyed the competition and brought the Classic audience to its feet in a performance I’ll never forget.

Detrick Mostella was also named MOP of that tournament.

Back to the present. Oak Hill, which plays Kamehameha in the 8 p.m. game tonight, has major talent up and down the roster as usual:


• Dwayne Bacon, 6-9, G, commit to Florida State
• Daniel Giddens, 6-10, C, Ohio State
• Josh Reaves, 6-5, G, Penn State
• Andrew Fleming, 6-5, G, Iowa

The transfers join a squad with three returning contributors: Terrence Phillips, Rodney Miller and Khadin Sy. According to the ‘Iolani Classic tourney program, coach Steve Smith considers this his most talented team since the 44-0 squad in ’12.


Players to watch
• Tanner Johnson, Lexington Catholic (Ky.), 6-5, G. Several Division I college offers.
• Rogers Printup, Orange Lutheran (Calif.), 6-5, G. Commit to UC Davis.
• Vance Jackson, St. John Bosco (Calif.), 6-8, F (Jr.). Top 30 prospect.

There will be more as we witness the tourney unfold. Bishop O’Dowd may have a few college prospects. Same with local teams that have their share of future college players, too. It’s a big world out there of big-time programs and small colleges. It’s all good.

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