03.13.19 | News
2019 Jordan Brand Classic features eight City of Palms Alumni
- James Wiseman, Memphis East | Memphis, Tn
- Cole Anthony, Oak Hill Academy | Mouth of Wilson, Va
- Vernon Carey, University School | Fort Lauderdale, Fl
- Armando Bacot, IMG Academy | Bradenton, Fl
- C.J. Walker, Orlando Oak Ridge | Orlando, Fl
- D.J. Jeffries, Olive Branch | Olive Branch, Miss
- Trendon Watford, Mountain Brook | Mountain Brook, Al
The Jordan Brand Classic is headed to Las Vegas for the first time this year, but it was always a good bet it would have a City of Palms feel. Seven players who’ve appeared in the Culligan City of Palms Classic are among the 26 selected for the Jordan Brand rosters, including the top three players in the ESPN recruiting rankings for the Class of 2019.
James Wiseman, who occupies the top spot in those rankings, fell just short of leading Memphis East (Memphis, Tennessee) to the 2017 Culligan City of Palms Classic title. On April 20, he’ll lead the “Away” team at the Jordan Brand Classic, and in a few months, he’ll join former high school coach Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway at the University of Memphis.
Cole Anthony, sitting at No. 2, came to the most recent Culligan City of Palms Classic with powerhouse Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Virginia), and unless he ends the mystery surrounding his college choice, he’ll be heading to the Jordan Brand Classic with a pack of college recruiters following his every move. He leads the “Home” team roster.
One of Anthony’s teammates-for-a-day will be Vernon Carey Jr., the Duke-bound big man from University School (Fort Lauderdale). He played a key role in denying Wiseman a Culligan City of Palms Classic title, leading University School over Memphis East in the 2017 championship game, and Carey came back to the City of Palms again this past December.
Armando Bacot is also on the “Home” team, which means he and Carey will have to make nice for at least a day. They’ll be blood rivals come this time next year, since Bacot is poised to become a North Carolina Tar Heel, and at the most recent Culligan City of Palms Classic, Bacot’s IMG Academy (Bradenton) team drilled Carey and University School 88-51.
At least one “Home” teamer will have a chance to get revenge on a former Culligan City of Palms Classic foe. C.J. Walker and Oak Ridge (Orlando) fell tantalizingly close against Wiseman’s Memphis East team in the 2017 City of Palms quarterfinals. The Jordan Brand Classic will also be a chance for Walker to get used to what it’s like out west, since he’ll be playing his college ball at Oregon.
D.J. Jeffries has no such qualms with Wiseman. They’ll be teammates at the University of Memphis, and they’ll both be on the “Away” team at the Jordan Brand Classic. Jeffries has fond Culligan City of Palms Classic memories, having sprung for 38 in his first tournament game this past December, but he also has painful ones, losing to Bacot and IMG Academy by 30 on the tournament’s final day.
The only team to beat IMG Academy in this season’s Culligan City of Palms Classic was Mountain Brook (Alabama), with Trendon Watford leading the way. He’s another “Away” team player, though where he goes after that remains unresolved as he mulls such close-to-home options as Alabama and Auburn, among others.
Tre Mann already knows he isn’t going far for college. The Gainesville native will try to show the Florida Gators what they’re getting when he competes for the “Away” team at the Jordan Brand Classic, just as he did when he brought The Villages Charter School to the most recent Culligan City of Palms Classic.