This year in the #HoopState has been unforgettable to say the least. The year started with season ending injuries to Dennis Smith Jr (NC State) & Harry Giles (Duke), both considered to be future one-and-done college players before being in a potential lottery position for the 2017 NBA Draft. Bam Adebayo, Kwe Parker and the rest of the usual suspects did their thing in the NCISAA but this finale mixtape is all about the public schools.
The NCHSAA playoffs is a 6-round juggernaut that ends with 4 divisions of East battling West on UNC's campus every March. This year's playoffs were the most exciting in recent years and a big part of that was keeping the 4th round at the higher seed, opposed to moving to a larger venue as they do for the 5th round. This season 1A was dominated by Voyager Academy, led by 7'0" Jay Huff (UVA) & senior point guard Chance Greene. Greene sliced through defenses and Huff was a relentless shot eraser. Voyager often felt overlooked and they played the 2015-2016 season with a big chip on their shoulders. The 2A State Championship game was a showstopper and Michael Taylor and Farmville Central are reasons why. As the final seconds were winding down in the Dean Dome, Taylor received a pass near half-court before throwing down an eastbay slam (between the legs) just before the buzzer sounded en route to a Farmville State Championship. The 3A state championship game had the most hype around it as defending champs Terry Sanford, led by brothers Malik & Telligence Johnson, took on Lavar Batts and his JM Robinson squad. As the narrative has gone all season, the Charlotte boys came through again as JM Robinson took home the 3A State Championship. The entire 4A division was wild: sellout games, buzzer beating game-winners, highlight dunks, hard fouls, crazy fans, the whole nine. In the end, a Charlotte Catholic team swept in and stole the show with tough play and aggressive defense led by senior point guard Josh Brodowicz.
This highlight features NCHSAA playoff action from Thomas Allen, Omari Harris, Davon Newton, Cory Gensler, Ian Boyd, Colin Molden, Trejon Jacobs, Jordan Whitfield, Jay Huff, China Jones, Chance Greene, Lavar Batts, Daniel Spencer, Malik Johnson, Telligence, Johnson, Kyran Bowman, Darius McGhee, Michael Taylor, BJ Mack, Bailey McKee and Josh Brodowicz.
North Carolina has become coined the #HoopState because of the basketball culture from the mountains to the coast. A culture that includes sellout high school crowds, die hard college fans, high level AAU basketball, nationally ranked high school prospects, NCAA Championships, number 1 picks in the NBA Draft, NBA All-Stars, NBA MVPs, relentless coverage & exposure, and most importantly; family and community. Anyone can be a hoop state but only North Carolina is THE #HoopState.