Jakai Robinson (with ball) in the DMVelite Fall Finale. [Matt McIntosh, DMVelite]
It remains to be seen just how much of a 2020-21 DMV high school basketball season there will be, with the COVID-19 pandemic forcing cancellations and postponements across the area.
While offseason player transfers are nothing new, the virus added another element to the movement this year, with some top public school talent switching to private schools that offered the opportunity to keep playing.
Montgomery County - which officially cancelled winter sports on Wednesday - was hit especially hard before that decision was finalized, with the likes of Jao Ituka (Gaithersburg), Mandela Tarke (Gaithersburg), Ryan Prather (Clarksburg), Juan Bell (Paint Branch), Michael Myrie (Magruder), Shaq Samuels (Richard Montgomery), Daouda Dembele (Springbrook), Brian Ayafor (Blake) and Alfred Worrell (Blair) among the top talents moving on.
Here’s a look at some of the biggest names who switched homes this offseason:
Jakai Robinson, 2021 Guard - National Christian (Md.) to Rock Creek Christian (Md.)
The two-time reigning Capital Beltway Athletic Association Player Of The Year moved within the league for his final season, following former NCA coach Trevor Brown and several former teammates on Rock Creek’s new prep squad.
Expect the 6-foot-4, 200-pound University of Miami commit to put together a season worthy of area Player Of The Year honors.
Rodney Rice, 2021 Guard - Bullis (Md.) to DeMatha Catholic (Md.)
The ultra-talented Rice slides right in with the Stags, who are looking for replace the production void left by the graduation of last year’s talented senior class.
Devin Ceaser, 2022 Guard - St. Mary’s Ryken (Md.) to St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes (Va.)
After a strong season at Ryken, Ceaser moved to SS&SA and reclassified from 2021 to 2022. He provides some welcome athleticism and scoring to a Saints squad that lost several important backcourt pieces to graduation.
Barry Evans, 2021 Wing - Oakland Mills (Md.) to Poly (Md.)
After a breakout season at Oakland Mills, (15.7 points, 8.7 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game) the 6-foot-5 Evans moved to state power Poly, which was seeking its fourth consecutive Maryland Class 3A title last season before the playoffs were stopped. He’ll be counted on to help offset the graduation losses of stars Rahim Ali (Howard), Justin Lewis (Marquette) and Brandon Murray (LSU).
Brayon Freeman, 2021 Guard - Huntington Prep (WV) to National Christian (Md.)
The George Washington University commit returned to the area for his final season, where he will lead Coach Kenny Johnson’s new-look Eagles.
Ahmad Harrison, 2021 Guard - City College (Md.) to National Christian (Md.)
An All-City performer for the Black Knights, Harrison joins Freeman in the new NCA backcourt. A strong scorer and defender, he’s seen his recruitment pick up and earned an offer from Arizona State in October.
Reis Jones, 2022 Forward - Oxon Hill (Md.) to Flint Hill (Va.)
The 6-foot-9 Jones had a strong season at Oxon Hill, and is in good position to continue his development at Flint Hill after reclassifying from 2021 to 2022. He has the physical tools to continue Flint Hill's recent run of quality big men, and will look to follow in the footsteps of Qudus Wahab (Georgetown) and Noel Brown (George Washington).
Xzavier Long, 2021 Forward - Middleburg Academy (Va.) to Virginia Academy
Long is in line for a breakout senior season; his combination of size, strength and athleticism is a welcomed addition to the Patriots.
Ryan Prather, Jr., 2021 Guard - Clarksburg (Md.) to Bishop Walsh (Md.)
Prather is a talented scorer with a college-ready frame who was very productive in his time at Clarksburg. His move may prove to be as beneficial as it was for former Clarksburg teammate Yuri Covington, who transferred to National Christian Academy last year with zero scholarship offers and parlayed it into one to Division I William & Mary, where he is currently the starting point guard as a freshman.
Cavan Reilly, 2022 Guard - Middleburg Academy (Va.) to Bishop O’Connell (Va.)
The sudden closure of Middleburg in June made Reilly one of the most intriguing prospects available. The 6-foot-4 sharpshooter is a great addition to an already talented O’Connell backcourt, and should team with Paul Lewis and Mason So to give opposing defenses fits.
Shaq Samuels, 2022 Wing - Richard Montgomery (Md.) to Avalon (Md.)
The 6-foot-6 Samuels is a rangy and intriguing scorer who is reclassifying from 2021 to 2022. The extra year of physical development should help elevate his recruitment.
Tazir Smith, 2022 Guard - Colgan (Va.) to Virginia Academy
Smith's versatility was key in helping Colgan to its best season in the program's short history, and he will continue his development after reclassifying from 2021 to 2022 at Virginia Academy.
Masai Troutman, 2022 Guard - St. John’s Catholic Prep (Md.) to St. Andrew’s (Md.)
The athletic 6-foot-5 Troutman has seen his stock skyrocket with offers from Bryant, Florida, Georgetown, Indiana, Northwestern and Xavier since the summer. He’ll try to help the Lions offset the loss of star Syracuse commit Benny Williams, who transferred to IMG Academy (Fla.) for his final season.
Ben Woodward, 2023 Guard - Georgetown Prep (Md.) to DeMatha Catholic (Md.)
After a solid freshman year with the Little Hoyas, Woodward headed to the WCAC, where he will provide the Stags with another outside shooting threat.
Alfred Worrell, 2021 Guard - Blair (Md.) to Archbishop Carroll (DC)
A 1,000-point scorer at Blair, the 6-foot-4 Worrell moved to Carroll in hopes of raising his recruitment and proving himself against Washington Catholic Athletic Conference competition. He looked good with his new teammates in the DMVelite Fall Finale Showcase League.
MORE NOTABLE TRANSFERS
(* Denotes Reclassification)
Solomon Ball, 2023 Guard - Scotland Campus (Pa.) to St. James (Md.)
Juan Bell, 2021 Guard - Paint Branch (Md.) to National Christian (Md.)
Ryan Blakey, 2022* Guard - Theodore Roosevelt (DC) to Fairfax Christian (Va.)
Malachi Briscoe, 2022 Forward - Leonardtown (Md.) to St. Mary’s Ryken (Md.)
Tekao Carpenter, 2021 Guard - TC Williams (Va.) to National Christian (Md.)
Dylan Chase Long, 2022 Guard - St. Vincent Pallotti to Annapolis Area Christian
Amare Curtis, 2022 Guard - Springbrook (Md.) to Coolidge (DC)
Bryce Hawkins, 2022 Guard - Veritas Collegiate (Va.) to Word Of Life Christian (Va.)
Mike Henderson, Jr., 2022 Guard - TC Williams (Va.) to St. Maria Goretti (Md.)
Cortez Johnson, 2022 Forward - Loch Raven (Md.) to St. Frances (Md.)
Kevin Kalu, 2021 Center - City (Md.) to Mt. Carmel (Md.)
CJ Lee, 2022 Guard - Clarksburg (Md.) to Rock Creek Christian (Md.)
Tailon Manson, 2022 Guard - Bishop Walsh (Md.) to Potomac School (Va.)
Christian May, 2022 Guard - Paul VI (Va.) to Bishop O'Connell (Va.)
Hassan Massenburg, 2021 Forward - New Hope (Md.) to Mt. Zion Prep (Md.)
Kenny McCoy, 2021 Forward - St. Mary’s Ryken (Md.) to Wise (Md.)
Detwan Montague, 2021 Forward - Milford Mill (Md.) to Springdale Prep (Md.)
Clarence Obiajulu, 2021 Forward - City (Md.) to National Christian (Md.)
Jaiden Rainey, 2022 Guard - Bishop Walsh (Md.) to Sandy Spring Friends (Md.)
Aaron Randolph, 2021 Guard - Somerset Prep (DC) to KIPP (DC)
Jayden Ross, 2023 Guard - Osbourn Park (Va.) to St. James (Md.)
Zion Russell, 2022 Guard - Hargrave Military (Va.) to National Christian (Md.)
Jalen White, 2021 Guard - Old Mill (Md.) to Mount St. Joseph (Md.)
Greg Williams, 2022 Guard - Fairfax (Va.) to Virginia Academy
NOTABLE AREA DEPARTURES
Noah Batchelor, 2022 Wing - Glenelg Country (Md.) to IMG Academy (Fla.)
Daouda Dembele, 2021 Forward - Springbrook (Md.) to Perkiomen School (Pa.)
Guy Fauntleroy, 2021 Guard - Riverdale Baptist (Md.) to Olympus Prep (NJ)
Isaiah Folkes, 2021 Guard - Middleburg Academy (Va.) to Putnam Science (CT) [CHARLOTTE]
Antonio Hamlin, 2022 Guard - Mount St. Joseph (Md.) to Combine Academy (NC)
Jayson Handy, 2022* Forward - Wicomico (Md.) to Delmarva Christian (DE)
Lou Hutchinson, 2022 Guard - Episcopal (Va.) to IMG Academy (Fla.)
Jao Ituka, 2021 Guard - Gaithersburg (Md.) to Putnam Science (CT)
Luke McEldon, 2022 Center - Bishop Walsh (Md.) to Oak Hill Academy (Va.)
Michael Myrie, 2021 Guard - Magruder (Md.) to North Mecklenburg (NC)
Mark Rachic, 2021 Guard - Calvert (Md.) to International Sports Academy (OH)
Jack Taylor, 2022 Guard - Marshall (Va.) to Worcester Academy (MA)
Benny Williams, 2021 Wing - St. Andrew’s (Md.) to IMG Academy (Fla.) [SYRACUSE]
Zaakir Williamson, 2021 Forward - Rock Creek (Md.) to Neumann Goretti (Pa.) [BUFFALO]
NOTABLE AREA NEWCOMERS
Ismail Habib, 2021 Guard - Lincoln Park (IL) to Bishop Walsh (Md.) [AUSTIN PEAY]
Max Lockett, 2023 Forward - Northampton (Ma.) to St. Frances (Md.)
Kris Mickens, 2022 Wing - West Forsyth (Ga.) to Paul VI (Va.)