A little less than a week ago, Northeast Ohio legend LeBron James announced he would be returning to Cleveland after a four-year stint in Miami with the Heat. James, a 2003 Akron SVSM graduate, is on his way back, while the state’s top high school prospect is on his way out.
VJ King, one of the top 2016 prospects in the country, will be leaving LeBron’s old stomping grounds (Akron SVSM) to play at Paul VI in Fairfax, Virginia for his final two seasons according to his father, Vincent King Sr.
King enjoyed two productive seasons in Akron helping the Irish to consecutive trips to the state tournament, but each time coming up short against Columbus Bishop Watterson. King’s numbers were very good in his first two seasons, but for some, it was never good enough considering the unreasonable expectations he came into high school with. Part of his sophomore season was cut short with a wrist injury.
King, who helped the Irish to 39 victories in his two seasons at the Akron-based school, will join a Paul VI squad that is absolutely loaded. It won the WCAC, VISAA, and the Alhambra CIT titles finishing with a (31-6) record.
Paul VI returns Division 1 prospects Marcus Derrickson (former Georgetown commit), Kevin Dorsey (Minnesota commit), and Franklin Howard (Syracuse commit). He will be playing for highly successful head coach Glenn Farello.
The Panthers did lose transfers Joshua Reaves (Oak Hill Academy), Curtis Jones (The Carlisle School), and talented rising sophomore Chyree Walker (Landon), but King should be a more than solid replacement.
Looking ahead to this winter, Akron SVSM still has plenty left to make another run towards Columbus. If you remember, the Irish lost Jakarr Sampson (Philadelphia Sixers) to Brewster Academy before the 2010-2011 season, who would have been the state’s top player, and proceeded to win the 2011 state championship. The Irish returned to Columbus in 2013 after losing Vic Dorsey, Angelo Cugini and Satchel Pierce to other schools. In other words, head coach Dru Joyce is no stranger to losing top talent along with benefiting from top hoopers.
The Irish return seniors Joshua Williams (Akron commit), Jabri Blount, and Johnnie Robinson along with junior Henry Baddley and sophomores Jayvon Graves and Jonathan Williams. The Irish will once again rely on the services of terrific football players. Rising juniors Markus Heard, Tyrece Speaight, and Zach Corrigall should all see quality minutes for SVSM.
King will participate in the USA Basketball U17 tryouts in Colorado Springs this July, but that will be the extent of his month. Lakewood St. Edward head coach Eric Flannery will be an assistant coach for the team.
Inside the Numbers:
*King averaged 16.3 ppg. as a frosh and 16.6 ppg. as a sophomore.
*King was 3-of-13 from the field for eight points adding eight rebounds in a state semifinals loss to Bishop Watterson this past March. He was 1-of-6 for five points and eight rebounds in a 2013 state championship loss to Watterson. King was 4-of-10 for 14 points and six rebounds in a lopsided win over Vincent Warren in the semis.
*He earned AP 2nd Team All-Ohio honors as a frosh and 1st Team as a sophomore. The 6-foot-7 rising junior earned JJHuddle 2nd Team All-OH accolades in his rookie campaign, while last year locking up Honorable Mention notice.