DOBSON — Lee Martin last suited up for North Surry nine years ago, but it’s not been at all unusual to see the former Greyhounds star back in the area.
Martin, who later played four seasons of college basketball at Catawba College, spent a year as a member of the Hargrave Military Academy post-graduate basketball team. After college, he returned to Hargrave and spent four years as an assistant coach there before being elevated to head coach of the prestigious program on June 9 of this year. For the past two seasons, he was Associate Head coach of the Tigers, who won the national championship for postgraduate teams in 2016 and made it to the Final Four this past season.
Martin, who has returned many times during the summer months to help out at local youth basketball camps, has also been seen each October at Surry Central, when he accompanies the Tigers to their annual exhibition game with Oak Hill Academy, traditionally one of the nation’s best high school teams.
On Thursday, he comes to town for that game for the first time as Hargrave’s head coach.
The Surry Stars Athletic Club and the Surry Central High School Basketball programs are excited to host this fantastic pre-season High School Basketball matchup between these two perennial powerhouses. Together, they have combined to win 12 National High School and National Prep Championships (nine for Oak Hill and three for Hargrave), and they have combined to produce over 50 NBA players. The game will be played in the Surry Central gym on Thursday night at 7 p.m. As of the time of this writing, a limited number of tickets to the game are still available at Surry Central High School or online at TicketLeap.com. (https://thebigscsports.ticketleap.com/oakhill-hargrave-basketball/dates/Oct-19-2017_at_0700PM). Tickets to the game are $10 each.
Oak Hill, a boarding high school located only about 100 miles away in Mouth of Wilson, Va., has been known as a basketball factory for more than 30 years. The school’s first NBA draftee was Calvin Duncan, who played for the Warriors through 1981, and then was a second-round draft choice of the Chicago Bulls in 1985, following college. There have been 24 more former Oak Hill players drafted into the NBA since then, including All-Stars Carmelo Anthony, Rajon Rondo and Jerry Stackhouse. Oak Hill has been named the mythical national champion of high school basketball 10 times since the 1992-93 season.
Hargrave fields a high school team, but it is best known for its post-graduate team, which consists mostly of players who are looking to improve their academic credentials and/or their game in order to get more attractive college scholarship offers. The school, located in Chatham, Va., has produced 23 NBA players since 1999, and was voted “Program of the Decade” by RealGM Basketball. Of the 17 players on the Tigers’ post-graduate team that will be playing Oak Hill, three are listed as high school seniors and the rest are post-grad. Their 2017 includes Stony Brook-signee Jules Moor from Houston and a handful of other uncommitted prospects.
Last year, the Warriors ran up a 38-5 record for the season and finished ranked No. 7 among high school teams nationally, while Hargrave posted a 43-2 record and reached the semifinals of the national tournament for post-grad teams.
The Oak Hill roster features David McCormack, who has committed to Kansas, along with several uncommitted Division 1 prospects.
Several prominent college coaches and scouts are expected to be in attendance including Kevin Keats of NC State, Buzz Williams of Virginia Tech, and Cincinnati’s Mick Cronin.