The field for the 2019 GEICO Nationals has been set, but not without some drama.
Here’s a look at the current field:
#1 La Lumiere (IN) 28-0
#2 McEachern (GA) 32-0
#3 Montverde Academy (FL) 21-2
#4 IMG Academy (FL) 27-1
#5 Oak Hill Academy (VA) 30-4
#6 Wasatch Academy (UT) 26-3
#7 Sunrise Christian (KS) 22-5
#8 University School (FL) 27-4
The drama comes from a recent report by Jason Jordan from USA TODAY Sports. According to the report, McEachern starters Sharife Cooper, Isaac Okoro, Quinton McElroy, Jared Jones and Alyn Breed have all decided to skip the GEICO Nationals.
“We all would have loved to play in the GEICO Nationals this season,” Isaac Okoro said to USA TODAY. “But we all have different things that we need to take care of and we have to really start focusing on the next step.”
One of the “things to take care of” is participating in the USA Basketball Minicamp in April. Although the rosters have not been made public yet, McEachern star Sharife Cooper has confirmed that he was invited and had already committed to attending before the possibility of GEICO Nationals became a reality.
The Minicamp will occur during the week of the NCAA Final Four, which is the same week as the GEICO Nationals on April 4-6.
“It’s an honor to be picked for GEICO, but I made a commitment to USA Basketball and my dad always taught me to honor my commitments,” Cooper said to USA TODAY. “It was a dream of mine to go undefeated and win a state title and we’ve done that, but it’s also been a dream of mine to play for my country and now I’m doing that. It’s hard because GEICO isn’t something you can plan for and I already had this locked in.”
Senior guard Alyn Breed referenced recruiting as a major reason why he decided to skip out on GEICO Nationals. With all the focus on the team’s success this year, Breed said that he’s had little time to focus on where he will be playing college basketball next season.
So…. What will happen?
Currently it’s unclear what the future holds for McEachern pertaining to the GEICO Nationals.
According to Jason Jordan, McEachern head coach Mike Thompson was “unaware” about the decision of his players and needed more time before making a comment. Which that makes it seem as though there is not an official decision yet.
So will the Indians play without their starters? Will they back out? Could the starters potentially change their minds?
Plenty of questions that don’t yet have answers.
Michael McLamb is the High School Hoops Editor at Mars Reel