As we know March is an important month for all basketball junkies, from the critically acclaimed NCAA March Madness to the Geico Nationals. The 10th annual National Championships included the top 8 perennial powerhouses in the nation. The Geico tournament has featured some of the best HS players in the past such as: Ben Simmons, Di'angelo Russell, Miles Bridges, Jaylen Brown, and Dwayne Bacon. Most names are pursing their careers at the NBA level. The headline of this year's tournament was future Blue Devil R.J.Barrett Jr. The 6'7 Forward led the Montverde Eagles (FL) to it's 4th Geico national title. The Eagles have commented their dominance all year, ending their season with a perfect 36-0 record. The Eagles defeated The University School (FL) 76-58, R.J. Barrett Jr. had another stellar performance recording a game-high 25 points, and 15 rebounds. With the win Montverde has wrote a new chapter in the history book, becoming the first team in HS history to win 4 national championships passing the legendary Findlay Prep (NV).
Coming into the Geico Nationals ranked #1, the Eagles had high hopes of making history, also in quest of redemption after losing to La Lumiere (IN) in last year's championship game. This season Barrett Jr. has received national notoriety, which started in the summer of 2017 when he led the Canadian basketball program to a new dimension. He set the precedent for Canada Basketball, winning it's first Gold medal defeating USA. To say R.J. has had a good season is an understatement; Barrett Jr. continues to break barriers being the only Canadian high school player to win an international championship and high school national championship. Over the course of a decade we've witness great Canadian Talent such as: Myck Kabongo, Tristan Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, Corey Joseph, and Anthony Bennett. What has separated R.J. for the in crowd is his ability to WIN! In order to cement your prominence in history you will be measured by winning. This is solely what has made R.J. Barrett Jr. special; it's his dominance that he imposes on the hardwood. The future #1 pick in the 2019 NBA draft looks to become the next best think out of Canada.
In three seasons at Montverde Academy Barrett Jr. has emerged as the #1 prospect in the 2018 recruiting class. He will grace the hardwood alongside top recruits Zion Williamson, Tre Jones, and Cam Reddish at Duke next season; as they look to embark on their special journey at the NCAA level. The 2018 Geico National Championship title signifies the end to a great career and will have a profound impact on the legacy of Barrett Jr. His next goal isn't far-fetched as he sets his mind on " One-and-Done" , concluding his collegiate career to pursue his lifelong aspiration of playing in the NBA. I think its safe to say that R.J.Barrett Jr. is going down in the history books as one of the greatest high school players in Canadian Basketball history. Will he help led a top heavy Duke Blue Devil team pass the elite eight or will they fall short due to their inexperienced recruiting class?? I guess we shall wait and see how things transpire for Barrett Jr. next season.
Athlete: R.J. Barrett Jr.
Special Thanks: Slam High School (@slam_hs), Benshotit (@benshotit),
Who's Next (@whosnexths)