The Verizon Center will host some of the area and country’s best high school basketball players Saturday, as it welcomes the Capital Classic for the first time since 2003.
The event will start with a matchup between the District All-Stars and Suburban All-Stars, then finish with the main event at 1 p.m. That is when the Capital All-Stars, comprised of the region’s top seniors, faces a team of “All-Americans” from outside the District-Maryland-Virginia area.
While a handful of the players are still making college decisions, the area’s top committed players will also take the court. Below are five players, all playing for the Capital All-Stars, to look out for before they jet off to their Division I destinations.
Chris Lykes, Gonzaga (Miami)
Lykes, the Eagles’ 5-foot-8 point guard, is signed to play for Coach Jim Larranaga at Miami (FL) next year. He led Gonzaga to titles in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference and DC State Athletic Association tournament this season, using his speed and ball-handling to get to any spot on the floor. He led the Eagles with 18.6 points per game and finished with five or more assists in 14 of 37 games.
The Hurricanes are getting a point guard who can penetrate into the cracks of a defense, knock down pull-up jumpers from the perimeter and distribute to teammates while on the move.
Luka Garza, Maret (Iowa)
The 6-foot-11 Iowa commit was named D.C.’s Gatorade Player of the Year in March, which punctuated a great year for the center.
Garza averaged a team-high 24.5 points per game for the Frogs this past season, utilizing his inside touch and an ability to stretch the floor. He topped 30 points seven times and netted a season-high 37 in an 11-point loss to Gonzaga in the DCSAA final on March 5. Garza is also a solid rim protector and has the athleticism to switch onto guards while defending pick-and-rolls.
Aaron Thompson, Paul VI (Pitt)
Thompson, a Pittsburgh commit, was often the quarterback of Paul VI’s guard-heavy, ball-sharing offense. The 6-foot-3 guard played alongside junior star Brandon Slater, and top up-and-coming guards in sophomore Anthony Harris and freshman Jeremy Roach. Thompson averaged 10.9 points per game, proved that he can regularly get to the foul line and was a sound distributor throughout the season.
He has good size for a Division I point guard and, with his length and floor awareness, should be a versatile perimeter defender for the Panthers as he develops at the next level.
D.J. Harvey, DeMatha (Notre Dame)
Harvey is bound for Notre Dame and, if all works out for the Fighting Irish, will quickly become the pure scorer he was in high school.
The 6-foot-6 wing averaged a team-best 16.3 points per game this past season, and showed that he can catch fire at any moment. Harvey scored in double-figures in all but one of the Stags’ 31 games, and had four games with 25 or more points. He was also an above-average rebounder for his position and has the size to match up with big guards and smaller frontcourt players.
Nate Watson, O’Connell (Providence)
Watson will begin his college career at Providence in the fall after choosing the Friars from an impressive list of Maryland, Kansas, North Carolina, Miami, North Carolina State and Wake Forest.
The 6-foot-8 forward was a beast for O’Connell in his senior season, which was his second in the WCAC after transferring Capitol Christian. He averaged 13.4 points per game and grabbed 10 or more rebounds in eight contests. That led to seven double-doubles, and he also blocked 29 total shots on the season.
NUMBER CRUNCH: 5
That’s how many first-team 2017 All-Met boys basketball players will play in the Capital Classic. Look out for our 2017 All-Met teams and player of the years online Friday and in Sunday’s newspaper.
No. 5 Gonzaga handed No. 6 Georgetown Prep its first loss of the season Tuesday evening.
- D.C. area recruits take a wait-and-see approach to Patrick Ewing hire at Georgetown
- Recruiting updates on the top uncommitted players in this year’s Capital Classic
- New Top 10 lacrosse rankings: Boys Girls
- Pallotti lacrosse’s lethal lefty strives to be more than just a scorer
- To get recruited, Eleanor Roosevelt’s Lauryn Brooks reinvented herself as a lefty slap hitter
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
Eric Goldwein will have your Virginia girls lacrosse action with Robinson hosting W.T. Woodson. That game starts at 7:30 p.m. and you can follow him @EricGoldweinWP for updates. Dillon Mullan is covering softball in the District with Wilson taking on Georgetown Visitation, and he’ll have updates @DillonMullan.