Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Gaffney's Peak leaves for Chicago

First Sindarius Thornwell.  Now LJ Peak.  The state of South Carolina has now recently two of its most promising players move on to new high schools for the upcoming season.  Thornwell, featured in this excerpt from "The Hoops TV: Episode 2," will attend formidable Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Virginia.  And Eric Bossi (@ebosshoops) of has informed Twitter followers that LJ Peak, who led his Gaffney High School squad to a AAAA South Carolina State Championship as a sophomore, has moved to Chicago and will attend Whitney Young High School.

Both Thornwell and Peak have national profiles, ranked 43rd and 55th in their respectively classes.  So the changes are likely not driven by the desire for more "exposure."  

Both players have been major factors on their high school and AAU teams.  Thornwell led his Lancaster High School squad to a 24-4 record during his junior season.  And Lancaster's favorite son led his Team United travel team deep into the EYBL Finals at the Peach Jam, finally losing to the highly respected CIA Bounce in the quarterfinals of Nike's grassroots basketball championship tournament.

In addition to obtaining a state title as a sophomore, Peak helped to immediately establish the newly formed Upward Stars AAU program as a national force.  According to Bossi, a family move to Illinois is the reason for Peak's transfer.

To be sure, the Palmetto State still has a significant number of exciting players to watch this season.  Marcus Stroman (Keenan), Matt Howard (AC Flora), PJ Dozier (Spring Valley), Austin Ajukwa (Cardinal Newman) are only a few of South Carolina's players to watch during the upcoming season.  And Thornwell and Peak are unlikely to forget their roots as they take their impressive games on the road.

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