high school basketball

N.C. 7-footer transferring to Scott County

The Charlotte ObserverJune 26, 2013 

One of the most promising high school basketball players in Charlotte, N.C., has decided to transfer to a Kentucky high school.

Raekwon Long, a 7-foot rising sophomore, plans to enroll at Scott County High School in Georgetown, in August after spending one year at Garinger High in Charlotte.

Former Garinger assistant Keith Ison, who has mentored Long for the past five years, told the Charlotte Observer on Monday that he’s from that area and wanted to lighten expectations for Long.

“It’s really not a motivation other than I’m originally from this area,” Ison said. “All my family is from this area. We wanted to get away from the pressure that Raekwon had been under, his expectations. Not saying they won’t be here, but let him get his feet wet being away from home for a while.

“Just trying to let him be a kid, have his childhood. And just let him get away from all of that pressure and all that that comes with being an elite athlete.”

The Observer named Long to the All-Mecklenburg County third team this spring. He was the only freshman on any of the teams, averaging 15 points, 13 rebounds and eight blocks a game. He was named a freshman All-American by MaxPreps.com.

“It’s obvious that I love Garinger and the kids and the people there that make it what it is,” Ison said. “It was just time for something different. For Raekwon to get in a different place mentally and physically.”

Long also considered Florida’s IMG Academy and Trinity Christian Academy in Lexington, Ky. But the proximity of Scott County to Ison’s home and family tipped Long to the Cardinals, Ison said.

Scott County finished as the 10th-ranked team in Kentucky last year after going 24-8 and reaching the 11th Region Tournament semifinals under head coach Billy Hicks, the state’s winningest active coach.

Long plans to move by late July, after the AAU season. Although it’s still early, Ison said after Long attended a University of Tennessee basketball camp this past weekend, the Volunteers are the leaders for Long’s collegiate recruitment.

Ison said Long had unofficial visits to Kentucky, Louisville, Clemson, Wake Forest, North Carolina and Duke. Ison said there is no particular order for those six schools.

“Tennessee is probably the heaviest, and everyone else is showing a lot of interest,” Ison said.

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