Oak Hill Academy Reloads Their Roster, Prepares For Next Season

ASHTON HAGANS OAK HILL Photo | Todd Burandt | adidas

After losing seniors Lindell Wigginton, Matt Coleman, Ty-Shon AlexanderBilly Preston and Devontae Shuler, the 2016 Dick’s Nationals Champions, Oak Hill (VA) Academy will begin the high school season without their big stars from last season.

Together, the big five accounted for 77.1 points, 29.4 rebounds, and 20.8 assists per game in 32 games last season. However, as they always do, the Warriors have reloaded their roster and as head coach, Steve Smith said, “optimism lies on our side.”

“Optimism lies on our side,” Smith told D1VISION via text. “I think with the players we have added, we have a chance to be better than last season.”

The Warriors will bring in three transfers, 2018 four-star shooting guard Keldon Johnson, 2019 four-star shooting guard Josh Nickelberry and 2019 four-star point guard Ashton Hagans to form a lethal trio in the backcourt.

Hagans, the 6-foot-2 point guard from the Class of 2019, played for Newton (GA) High School last season averaging 14.5 points, 5.3 rebounds, 10.1 assists and 2.8 steals in 11 games. Playing for Game Elite on the Adidas AAU circuit this summer, he has averaged 14.2 points, 5.4 rebounds and 8.3 assists in 12 games.

“We’re so happy to have Ashton join the Oak Hill basketball family,” Oak Hill Head Coach Steve Smith told D1VISION in April. “Ashton is playing tremendous basketball this Spring and Summer. He is defending in an outstanding lead guard. One of the very best in all of the USA. ”

Johnson, the 6-foot-6 five-star shooting guard played for Huntington Prep (WV) last season and averaged 20.2 points, 6.7 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1 steal in 23 games. Playing for Boo Williams on the Nike EYBL this summer, he averaged 19.7 points, 8.1 rebounds, 3 assists and 1.3 steal in 12 games. According to 247Sports, Johnson is ranked as the No. 2 shooting guard in the 2018 class.

Nickelberry, a four-star shooting guard, who played for Trinity Christian last season, averaged 21.7 points, 2 rebounds, 4 assists in 6 games. Ranked by 247Sports as the No. 45 overall player in the 2019 class, Nickelberry already has a plethora of offers from schools such as North Carolina, Louisville, Auburn, Baylor, UConn, Florida State, Georgetown, Maryland, and UNLV, among others.

Even with the incoming transfers, Oak Hill will still have plenty of senior leadership in returning big men, David McCormack and Kenny Nwuba. Both played significant minutes last year for the Warriors and should only see their usage increase in their final year with the team.

McCormack, who is ranked as the No. 2 center in the 2018 class, has offers from Kansas, Duke, Georgetown, Louisville, Maryland, Oklahoma State, Auburn Baylor, California, Florida State, LSU, Miami, and Xavier, among others. He has also been receiving interest from schools such as Arizona, Kentucky, North Carolina, Villanova, and Virginia.

With their returning class and incoming transfers, Oak Hill Academy will once again be a team to keep an eye on next season. With coach Steve Smith at the helm, the Oak Hill Academy Warriors are always favorites to make the Dick’s Nationals Tournament, and this year is no different.

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