Since the 2012-13 basketball season ended in March, the county’s top two basketball players have transferred out of the area. This was supposed to be the year we saw Reggie Reid emerge as one of the premier guards in the South for the class of 2015. This was supposed to be the year Damian Foreman attempted to wrestle the county player of the year award away from Reid.
Yes, this was to be an exciting year for basketball fans in the county. That is, until Reid and Foreman transferred out of the area.
Reid, the two-time county player of the year, had been rumored to be on the move since he burst onto the scene as a freshman at Harlem. He poured in 19.9 points per contest and dazzled with his ball handling and ability to get to the basket and finish in traffic. Last season, he was even better. The 6-foot point guard averaged 27 points, 7 rebounds, 5.7 assists and 3.7 steals per game as a 10th grader.
This summer, Reid’s stock continued to soar as he played for the Southern Kings AAU team. He was getting attention from big time college programs.
That is why it was such a tough day for Harlem fans when word started to circulate in mid-August that Reid was transferring. The talented point guard was headed to Delray Beach, Fla., to attend ELEV8 Sports Institute. If that does not sound like a high school to you, you’re right. It is a basketball factory that plays a national schedule and features its very own Pro Development Coach.
ELEV8 is nothing new. These type of prep programs have been around for decades. These days, everyone wants to be Oak Hill Academy (a school in Virginia that has produced dozens of NBA players).
In Reid’s defense, he will be playing in front of college scouts every night and will be facing tougher competition. However, selfishly, I would have preferred to see him stay in Columbia County and try and elevate Harlem’s program even more than he already had.
The other departure caught me by surprise. Until recently, I had not heard about Damian Foreman leaving Evans High. His transfer was much different than Reid’s. In Foreman’s case, his father got a job in Rock Hill, S.C., so the family moved to the area.
Foreman, like Reid, is a
6-0 point guard that was entering the 2013-14 season with high expectations. Last season he helped guide Evans to a 23-6 record and a perfect 11-0 mark against Columbia County opponents. He earned first team all-county and all-region honors after averaging 16.5 points, 5.2 assists, and 2.4 steals. He was not the Knights’ only standout, but he was the straw that stirred the drink.
With the two leading candidates for county player of the year honors gone, that opens the door for talented players like Kayshawn Marshall (Greenbrier), Sam Powell (Lakeside), and guards K’Lon Lovett and Matlin Marshall at Evans.
Coach Kevin Kenny does not want anyone to feel sorry for his Knights. He actually thinks, despite Foreman transferring and big man Jacob Buchanan graduating, this year’s Evans squad may be better than a year ago.
The Knights are extremely deep at guard and can always count on their tremendous defense. So, while we will miss Reid and Foreman this year, there is still plenty to be excited about as basketball practice gets under way in the county.