Capital Classic: Local stars set to team up against top national recruits


DeMatha’s BeeJay Anya (N.C. State) and Gonzaga’s Kris Jenkins (Villanova) highlight the front court for the Capital all-stars. (File photos/The Washington Post)

In the 40 years since Bob Geoghan founded the Capital Classic in 1974, the event has served as an early stage for household names like Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and LeBron James. And while it’s anyone’s guess as to what level of stardom this year’s collection of high school seniors will reach, when the Capital All-Stars take on the U.S. All-Stars at 4 p.m. Sunday at T.C. Williams, Geoghan believes the game’s 40th installment will be known for its depth.

“This is probably as athletic and as talented a group of kids that we’ve had in a number of years on both teams,” Geoghan said. “And it’s not about patting myself on the back because I’ve had a lot of help. I’m proud of the group that was able to pull this all together.”

Eight first-team All-Met selections will be featured on the Capital All-Stars squad, including Player of the Year Kris Jenkins of Gonzaga, electrifying guard Aquille Carr of Princeton Day, Maryland Gatorade Player of the Year Marquis Wright of North Point and forward Ishmail Wainright from Montrose Christian. Herndon Coach Gary Hall will lead the Capital squad.

The U.S. All-Star team includes a few familiar faces. Findlay Prep’s (Nev.) Stanford Robinson, who transferred from Paul VI, and Oak Hill Academy forward Lennard Freeman, formerly of St. John’s, will be joined by the likes of Mount St. Joseph guard Kameron Williams (Ohio State) and Lower Merion forward B.J. Johnson (Syracuse). Vaux (Pa.) Coach Jamie Ross will be at the helm for the U.S. team.

Being selected to play in the nation’s longest-running high school all-star basketball game is an honor not lost on Sidwell Friends swingman Josh Hart, who will compete with the Capital All-Stars.

North Point's Marquis Wright, center, the Maryland Ga­tor­ade Player of the Year, will team with several fellow first-team All-Mets on the Capital all-star squad. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

“It has a great forty-year tradition and the names that have played in the game are unbelievable,” said Hart, a Villanova recruit who averaged 24.3 points this past winter. “I really look forward to playing with everyone. I have a good relationship with most of the guys, so it’s going to be great getting on the court with them one more time.”

The Suburban and District all-stars, which feature a number of the area’s top Virginia, Maryland and D.C. public and private school players, tip off their matchup at 2 p.m., to be followed by the Classic.

Capital all-stars

Guards: Nate Britt, Oak Hill Academy (North Carolina), Aquille Carr, Princeton Day (Overseas), Will Ferguson, Herndon (Massanutten Military Academy), Nick Griffin, Magruder (George Washington), Nigel Johnson, Riverdale Baptist (Kansas State), Marquis Wright, North Point (undecided)

Forwards: Junior Etou, O’Connell (undecided), Josh Hart, Sidwell Friends (Villanova), Kris Jenkins, Gonzaga (Villanova), Ishmail Wainright, Montrose Christian (Baylor)

Centers: BeeJay Anya, DeMatha (N.C. State), David Kadiri, Coolidge (UMBC)

Coach: Gary Hall, Herndon

U.S. all-stars

Guards: Rysheed Jordan, Vaux, Pa. (St. John’s), Frank Mason, Massanutten Military Academy, Va. (Kansas), Stanford Robinson, Findlay Prep, Nev. (Indiana), Kameron Williams, Mount St. Joseph, Md. (Ohio State)

Forwards: Brandon Austin, Imhotep, Pa. (Providence), Rodney Bullock, Kecoughtan, Va. (Providence), Lennard Freeman, Oak Hill Academy (Undecided), B.J. Johnson, Lower Merion, Pa. (Syracuse), Mike Young, St. Benedict’s Prep, N.J. (Pittsburgh)

Center: Moses Kingsley, Huntington Prep, W.Va. (Arkansas)

Coach: Jamie Ross, Vaux (Pa.)

Brandon Parker is a sports reporter for The Washington Post.

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