Nation’s No. 1 HS boys basketball team features two Ohio natives

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Montverde Academy

Different state and different team, but the results are the same for Ohio natives, Devin Williams and Justin Bibbs. On Saturday, the two made the trip to Wheeling, West Virginia for the 6th Annual Cancer Research Classic with the top ranked team in the country, Montverde Academy.


Wheeling, WV – Different state and different team, but the results are the same for Ohio natives, Devin Williams and Justin Bibbs. On Saturday, the two made the trip to Wheeling, West Virginia for the 6th Annual Cancer Research Classic with the top ranked team in the country, Montverde Academy.

Williams, who played three seasons at Cincinnati Withrow High School, was rumored to be making a move this past spring/summer and obviously did so making the transfer to Montverde, Florida. However, just a couple days later, Bibbs informed Dayton Chaminade Julienne that he would also be heading south for the school year, which was a shock to most.

Both players enjoyed a great deal of success in the Buckeye state a year ago. Williams, who is a West Virginia pledge, averaged 15.2 points and 10.5 rebounds a game as a junior, while Bibbs contributed 15.2 points and 3.6 boards as a sophomore.

Though, heading to Montverde was going to be a different animal. Williams and Bibbs would no longer be the stars, but now just pieces to the pie. The two would be joining a team featuring point guard Kasey Hill, combo guard D’Angelo Russell, and big man Dakari Johnson, all 5-star prospects. Hill is a Florida commit, Russell has offers all over the Midwest, and Johnson committed to Kentucky following his game at the CRC on Saturday. Needless to say, the team already had firepower. Regardless, the Ohio duo has fit in quite nicely and more than held their own with and against some of the nation’s best competition.

Montverde moved to (16-0) on Saturday with a 82-53 thrashing of Simeon High School (IL) featuring Jabari Parker, a Duke commit and several other Division 1 prospects. The Purple Eagles were coming off a championship run at the prestigious City of Palms Tournament in Florida by scoring victories over Whitney Young (IL), Long Beach Poly (CA), and Lone Peak (UT), three of the nation’s best teams.

In the win on Saturday, Williams and Bibbs enjoyed a stellar evening against the Wolverines in a game that appeared on ESPN2. Williams, who is a 6-foot-8 senior, scored 15 points and ripped down four boards. The rugged Cincinnati-native was doing what he does best by being a tough guy in the paint.

Bibbs, on the other hand, came off the bench to do his damage. The 6-foot-4 junior totaled 13 points on a perfect 5-of-5 showing from the field. The lengthy lefty, who earned game MVP honors, provided a 2nd quarter spark for Montverde knocking down a trio of foul line extended jumpers. Bibbs also got into the lane on a nifty drive and finished with a lefty floater.

Williams had a lot of support from WVU fans in attendance, while Bibbs has barely scratched the surface in the recruiting process. Several schools have offered the junior, and he spoke about a certain pair.

Bibbs spoke briefly about the University of Dayton and Xavier University, but mentioned a handful of others that have offered. He believes both Dayton and Xavier fit his style of play, and believes the two would like to have him.

Bibbs went on to talk about the lifestyle change moving from Dayton to Florida.

“It has made me grow up a lot, Bibbs noted. “I have grown a lot as a person and a basketball player.”

The Dayton native lives in the athletic dorm with the rest of his team, and seems to be enjoying every second with his team in the Sunshine state.

Playing at Montverde the players have the luxury of not only playing a big time schedule, but also playing for one of the best coaches in the country, Kevin Boyle. The former St. Patrick High School (NJ) head coach took over the Montverde program only a year ago, but his presence has already been felt.

“He (Boyle) pushes us really hard to get better,” Bibbs said. “I have become a more complete player since coming here. He is a great coach.”

If the talent pool wasn’t already loaded, the Purple Eagles have added 6-foot-8 Australian native Ben Simmons, who might just be the top 2015 prospect in the country. Simmons will be joining the team shortly.

As for now, Williams and Bibbs are just enjoying the ride, and why wouldn’t they with Montverde being undefeated and ranked No. 1 in the country. Not to mention, being a teenager living away from home in Florida of all places.

Montverde will play Findlay Prep (NV) and Huntington Prep (WV) later this season in a pair of must-see games. 

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