This Friday night, the inaugural Josh Level Classic will take place at Dudley High School in Greensboro. The showcase features many of the premier high school players in the state, including: UNC signee Theo Pinson, future NC State wings Caleb and Cody Martin, as well as high-profile underclassmen Dennis Smith Jr., and Ty Graves. The doors will open at 6 pm, and tip-off is set for 7:30 pm.
A high-major prospect at New Garden Friends School, Josh Level passed away last March after collapsing during a game at Quality Education Academy. Josh died from Myocarditis, a viral infection that attacks the heart. He was 17.
The Josh Level Classic was created by Level's best friend and former teammate, Kanayo Obi-Rapu. Obi-Rapu intends to use the revenue generated through the event's GoFundMe page, and ticket sales to create awareness for the necessity of on-site automated external defibrillators or AED's, which could have prevented Josh's death.
In the first annual Josh Level Classic, the field is mostly comprised of seniors who have already signed their LOI's. In addition to Pinson, and the Martin twins, the event's lineup boasts recent Rutgers commit Ryan Johnson, and the Northside Christian duo of James Demery and Keyshawn Woods, who are headed to St. Joseph's, and Charlotte, respectively.
The biggest storylines to watch are the health of newly uncommitted point guard Shelton Mitchell, and the rapidly approaching return of Harry Giles, a blue-chip recruit in the class of 2016. Mitchell spent his senior year at Oak Hill Academy in Virginia. He injured his knee early in the season, and was never able to get back to 100 percent. With almost a month between Oak Hill's last game and the Josh Level Classic, Friday's showcase will be an excellent gauge of Mitchell's health and overall progression.
Harry Giles has been on the mend since last June after tearing the ACL, MCL, and Meniscus in his left leg. Giles was cleared to play on April 1st, and has been able to practice over the past month; however, he's at least a month away from returning to live-action. He's been included on the official roster, but is not expected to suit up. It will be interesting to see how much Giles participates in the day's activities, and if there have been any new developments in his recovery.
Of the 20 seniors from the state of North Carolina, eight are currently uncommitted. Fresh off his release from Wake Forest, Shelton Mitchell is back on the open market for the first time since January of 2013. Former Houston commit JaQuel Richmond is also a player to watch. His versatility at the point guard position will make him a valued commodity as the 2014 recruiting cycle begins to wind down.
Below is a list of every North Carolina recruit set to take part in the Josh Level Classic. (Not listed: Ohio native and ex-Virginia Tech commit Jalen Hudson, and UVA signee B.J. Stith, who is from Virginia).
PG Sadeeq Bello - Westchester Country Day - Uncommitted
SG DeShaunte Carelock - Wesleyan Christian - Uncommitted
SG James Demery - Northside Christian - St. Joseph's
PG Jalen Gavin - Page High School - Wingate (Football)
PF Donovan Gilmore - Wesleyan Christian - Coll. Of Charleston
SF Jeremy Harris - Page High School - Uncommitted
SF Ryan Johnson - New Hope Christian - Rutgers
SF Caleb Martin - Oak Hill Academy (VA) - NC State
SF Cody Martin - Oak Hill Academy (VA) - NC State
PG Joey McLean - High Point Christian - Uncommitted
PG Shelton Mitchell - Oak Hill Academy (VA) - Uncommitted
SG Kanayo Obi-Rapu - New Garden Christian - Longwood
SF Theo Pinson - Wesleyan Christian - UNC
PG JaQuel Richmond - Wesleyan Christian - Uncommitted
PG Lamont Robinson - Eastern Alamance - Mount St. Mary's
PG Kai Shaw - New Hope Christian - Uncommitted
C Ikenna Smart - New Garden Christian - Buffalo
SF Alec Wnuk - Christ School - UNC-Asheville
SG Keyshawn Woods - Northside Christian - Charlotte
SG Malik Wright - High Point Christian - Uncommitted
2016 PG Ty Graves - Page High School - Uncommitted
2016 PG Dennis Smith - Fayetteville Christian - Uncommitted