High-SchoolBoys-Basketball: United Faith Christian Academy

Quick Shots: Oak Hill's early showdown

October, 28, 2011
Preseason POWERADE FAB 50 No. 3 Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) unofficially kicked off the 2011-12 season with a 91-54 victory over Covenant Christian (Loganville, Ga.) on October 21. The Warriors also participated in their annual scrimmages with Fork Union, Massanuttan and Hargrave Military Academies this month. Those schools are not eligible for the FAB 50 rankings.

The Warriors next game on November 1 will take place on the road against Quality Education Academy (Winston-Salem, N.C.). QEA, if you recall, was removed from last year's FAB 50 rankings when head coach Isaac Pitts informed us about fifth-year players on his roster, namely Sir' Dominic Pointer (now at St. John's University), when we called last January to confirm if Sacramento, Calif., native Josiah Turner was indeed enrolled at QEA after leaving Sacramento High mid-season.

At the time, we applauded Pitts for his honesty and if that trait were displayed by every single high school coach we deal with when it comes to player eligibility and team rankings, it would streamline the process of ranking teams and make them more accurate. Pitts stated in writing his current club doesn't carry any post-graduates, so QEA is eligible for the FAB 50 this season. Our ultimate goal is to determine which schools are eligible and for them to remain eligible for the foreseeable future and for ineligible clubs to never return. We want to avoid programs being eligible for the FAB 50 one year and ineligible the next.

Pitts' club is one of a handful of teams itching to break into the FAB 50. QEA has a young club and a player to watch when they do battle next week with Oak Hill is 6-1 PG Jevon Thomas, a Dayton commit. Pitts is also high on 6-9 freshman Ibrabiima Diallo, a native of Dakar, Senegal.

UFCA Could Face Sanctions

According to the Charlotte Observer, FAB 50 No. 30 United Faith Christian Academy (Charlotte, N.C.) might be in hot water with the North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association (NCISAA). According to the newspaper, the potential violation of NCISAA rules involves an email sent out by school headmaster Dr. Joe Siragusa in September. The question at hand is whether Siragusa's email violated the NCISAA's statues against the recruitment of potential student-athletes.

If the email is ruled to be a recruiting violation, UFCA would be placed on probation and banned from the playoffs for one year according to the NCISAA handbook. As far as the FAB 50 is concerned, UFCA would remain eligible as long as its current roster was made up of players who would be eligible at other public or private schools in North Carolina. This situation reminds us of the Kyrie Irving-Mike Gilchrist led St. Patrick (Elizabeth, N.J.) team that finished the 2009-10 season ranked No. 7 in the FAB 50. St. Patrick was banned from the New Jersey TOC after the NJSIAA ruled then head coach Kevin Boyle was in violation of its coaching rules involving pre-season workouts.

Findlay Prep schedule finalized

Another team looking to move up in the FAB 50 is Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.). Unlike QEA, the Pilots are already in the rankings, opening up at No. 8. Findlay Prep has a loaded roaster and this week the program announced its loaded 2011-12 schedule. One early season game that will draw plenty of attention from fans and pollsters is the Pilots' December 3 match up in Dallas against No. 5 Marcus (Flower Mound, Texas). Coach Mike Peck's club also has a crucial six-day stretch in January where they'll face No. 1 Simeon (Chicago) and No. 7 Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.).

Ronnie Flores is a senior editor for ESPNHS. He can be reached at ronnie.flores@espn.com. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter: @RonFloresESPN

Ogbueze will stay put

September, 27, 2011
ESPNHS - North Carolina

Just over a week ago, United Faith Center Academy (Charlotte, N.C.) point guard Braxton Ogbueze learned “out of nowhere” that he’d be suiting up for a new coach for his final high school season.

Former NBA star point guard Muggsy Bogues replaced Shaun Wiseman on Sept. 20. Wiseman, whose career record was 254-42, reportedly stepped down to spend more time with his family.

Despite Ogbueze’s insistence that he was “excited” to learn from Bogues, rumors began to swirl that Ogbueze had indeed bolted for Montrose Christian (Rockville, Md.), last year’s ESPNHS National High School Invitational champion.

That claim, according to Ogbueze’s father Godwin, is “100 percent false.”

“We’ve heard all of the stuff about us going to Montrose, but Braxton isn’t going anywhere,” Godwin said. “We were told that Montrose would love to have him, but Braxton really looked at this as an opportunity to grow as a leader.

"He’s happy where he’s at and he really wants to see how far he can lead this team. Braxton will definitely be playing at United Faith this year.”

The Falcons finished 27-7 last season and fell in the state title game to Trinity Catholic, 57-49. Ogbueze averaged 17 points, seven assists and five rebounds.

Jason Jordan is the basketball editor for ESPNHS. He can be reached at jason.x.jordan.-ND@espn.com. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter: @JayJayESPN

Ogbueze ready for professional tutelage

September, 20, 2011
ESPNHS - North Carolina

Former NBA star point guard Muggsy Bogues will officially be introduced as head coach at United Faith Christian Academy (Charlotte, N.C.) today at a parent/faculty meeting at the school, according to Falcons’ point guard Braxton Ogbueze.

Bogues replaces Shaun Wiseman, who led the Falcons to two state titles in 2009 and 2010. Wiseman, whose career record is 254-42, reportedly stepped down to spend more time with his family.

“I only learned about Coach Bogues taking over on Monday,” said Ogbueze, a Florida commit who is ranked No. 35 in the ESPNU 100. “I can’t lie; I was definitely shocked that I was getting a new coach in my last year.”

Bogues was an assistant to Wiseman during the Falcons’ first state title in 2009. He played with the Charlotte Hornets, Washington Bullets, Golden State Warriors and Toronto Raptors before retiring in 2001 following the death of his mother.

“He’s been where I’m trying to get,” Ogbueze said of Bogues. “We’ve got a lot of similarities. He was a small point guard who overcame his size (5-foot-3) and had a great career in the NBA, and people tell me that I’m too small at 6-feet. I know that I’ll learn a lot from him this year. It’s exciting.”

Don't forget to follow Jason Jordan on Twitter: @JayJayESPN