With the big Washington Catholic Athletic Conference matchup between No. 1 Gonzaga and No. 5 O’Connell at American University looming tonight, it’s as good a time as any to break out another “Rewind” post — this time with former Gonzaga and second-team All-Met guard Nate Britt. The North Carolina recruit transferred to Oak Hill Academy for his senior season and was averaging 7.9 points and 5.2 assists for the Warriors before injuring his knee in December.
I had a chance to catch up with Britt, who has missed Oak Hill’s last 10 games, at last month’s Hoophall Classic in Massachusetts. Here’s what he had to say about his injury, his time at Oak Hill and what he misses most about playing in the D.C. area.
Recruiting Insider: Give us an update on your knee injury and your timetable for returning.
Nate Britt: I tore the meniscus in my right knee and had surgery on December 26. I just started running on it and doing rehab. Before I was riding the bike and now I’m doing leg exercises to get my strength back. The recovery time is not long because it’s just a meniscus injury and not an ACL or anything, so I do look forward to trying to come back and play toward the end of our season.
RI: What’s your experience at Oak Hill been like and has it been what you expected?
NB: I think it’s been more than what I expected. Playing with guys like Sindarius [Thornwell], Troy [Williams], Lennard [Freeman] and R.J. [Curington], they are all types of players that I’ve never played with before. Here, I get to play with players like I’ll have at Carolina. I’ll have shooters at Carolina, scorers, slashers.
RI: With the WCAC being what some believe is the best conference in the nation –
NB: I still believe that, too. Definitely.
RI: So knowing that and with that experience at Oak Hill, what things can you take from both experiences to the next level?
NB: I think both have prepared me to play great competition night in and night out. At Oak Hill, I would say it makes you grow up and mature, too. There’s no one making decisions for you. It gets you used to being away from your family and friends, so it’s like being in college. I feel like going into your freshman year at college, it will make things that much easier.
RI: From talking to guys like Quinn Cook, I hear there are no phones or Internet with the Oak Hill experience. What’s that been like for you?
NB: Yeah, there are no phones and you don’t really get to go out. They have some events for us on the weekends where we can see a movie or something. Being back in the city, everything was so fast, so you have to get used to it being slowed down and not really a whole lot to do. I guess it helps us concentrate more on basketball and school, though.
RI: What do you miss about the D.C. area?
NB: I’m a chill person, so I kind of like how things are slowed down at Oak Hill, but I do miss my friends. That’s it, really. I don’t miss the fast life.
I still keep in touch with the Gonzaga players. I text Coach (Steve) Turner every now and then and he sent me a message to see how my surgery went, so yeah, we’re all still cool.
As for Monday’s high school hoops action, there was plenty to talk about:
• The No. 3 St. John’s girls’ basketball team handed No. 1 Paul VI its first loss in a 70-69 overtime contest that saw Lindsay Allen record the decisive steal and layup with 20 seconds left. Check out Preston Williams’ game story for more on this thriller.
• Another upset occurred in Northern Region girls’ play, as Madison defeated No. 16 South Lakes, 45-42, in a critical Virginia AAA Liberty District matchup. A balanced effort by the Warhawks helped them overcome a 20-point, 10-rebound performance by South Lakes’ Abigail Rendle.
• Two Capital Beltway Conference players continued their recent tears. According to Marcus Helton from DMV Elite, Princeton Day’s Aquille Carr scored a season-high 40 points to lead the Storm to a 102-95 win against Mount Zion Prep. Meanwhile, Riverdale Baptist center Chinanu Onuaku had 10 points, 15 rebounds and seven blocks in the Crusaders’ 58-39 win against Cesar Chavez.
Both made this week’s All-Met Watch.
• In our game to watch, Magruder endured a relatively quiet night from Nick Griffin and J.J. Epps (11 points each) to beat Quince Orchard, 54-39. Click here to get Epps’ thoughts on returning to the court after missing the last month with a hand injury.
Points scored by Syracuse freshman Jerami Grant in the Orange’s 63-47 win against Notre Dame. The career-high output proved even more special in that it came against older brother and fellow DeMatha alum Jerian Grant, who is a redshirt sophomore for the Fighting Irish. Jerian had 15 points in what proved to be a nice follow-up to Sunday’s “HarBowl.”
Check out the top plays from the week that was with host B.J. Koubaroulis.
— Unbeaten Theodore Roosevelt gave opponents even more reason to fear the area’s No. 2 team with Saturday’s win, which included a 30-point outing by Johnnie Shuler and a new look on defense.
— After having everything from weather to exams to a power outage (go figure), No. 11 Potomac (Va.) and Forest Park finally appear set to face off Wednesday in a matchup that could decide the Virginia AAA Cardinal District.
— Thomas Stone, winners of eight straight, has rounded into form following an unexpected 5-5 start.
— Georgetown Vistation and Bullis could potentially meet three times this month with each game holding major implications in determining the Independent School League AA champion.
— Patriot marked its second year of play by clinching its first home playoff game.
— An 11-game win streak and Loudoun Valley’s first loss of the season has Potomac Falls sitting one game out of first place in the AA Dulles District standings heading into tonight’s matchup with the Vikings.
— It’s never too early to talk football, so check out Preston Williams’ early thoughts on the recently released 2013 Northern Region football schedule.
It’s the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference contest we’ve all been waiting for; a chance to see, at least for now, who’s No. 1 in the area’s toughest conference. Gonzaga has won five straight while the Knights are looking to bounce back from Friday’s loss to Paul VI, which was their first defeat in league play.