03.13.19 | News
City of Palms alumni take over Naismith team selections.
Naismith COP Players:
- First team
- Cole Anthony, Oak Hill Academy | Mouth of Wilson, Va
- James Wiseman, Memphis East | Memphis, Tn
- Vernon Carey Jr., University School | Fort Lauderdale, Fl
- Second Team
- Sharife Cooper, McEachern | Powder Springs, Ga
- Josh Green, IMG Academy | Bradenton , Fl
- Third Team
- Scottie Lewis, Ranney | Tinton Falls, N.J.
- Trendon Watford, Mountain Brook | Mountain Brook, Al
James Naismith invented basketball, and the Culligan City of Palms Classic comes close to perfecting it. How else to explain the appearance of three City of Palms alums on the Naismith High School Boys 2019 All-American first team, and two each on the second and third teams?
The triumvirate of Cole Anthony, Vernon Carey Jr. and James Wiseman lead the way on the first team, joined by Anthony Edwards of Holy Spirit Prep (Atlanta) and Isaiah Stewart of La Lumiere (La Porte, Indiana). Anthony and Carey are plenty familiar by now to Culligan City of Palms Classic watchers, having both played in the last two tournaments, while Wiseman made his lone City of Palms appearance in 2017 with tournament runner-up Memphis East.
Anthony, of Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Virginia), and Carey, of University School (Fort Lauderdale), also have famous fathers in common. Greg Anthony was a star on the UNLV team that won the 1990 NCAA championship and played 11 years in the NBA. Vernon Carey Sr. also won a national championship in college, but in a different sport: football. The offensive lineman was on the 2001 Miami Hurricanes team that won it all and went on to play eight years in the NFL for the Miami Dolphins.
Sharife Cooper continues his rampage through the high school basketball landscape this season as one of only two juniors on the Naismith teams. (Evan Mobley is the other.) The lightning bug point guard for 2018 Culligan City of Palms Classic champion McEachern (Powder Springs, Georgia) is on the second team with fellow City of Palms alum Josh Green of IMG Academy (Bradenton). The Arizona-bound Green made a statement in his final regular season game, dropping 42 points to give Wildcats fans a glimmer of hope for next year amid a disappointing season.
Another school having a rough season has something to look forward to in Naismith third-teamer Scottie Lewis. The soon-to-be Florida Gator came to the 2017 Culligan City of Palms Classic with the Ranney School (Tinton Falls, New Jersey). The most recent City of Palms is also represented on the third team, with Trendon Watford of Mountain Brook (Alabama) getting the nod. Watford posted scoring outbursts of 38 and 31 points during his second trip to the City of Palms, but he also ran afoul of McEachern’s stifling defense, scoring just four points in his final tournament game.