Local hoops: McNeil leaving city, likes Terps
One of Baltimore’s most promising young basketball talents will spend his final three years of high school outside the city.
Daquan McNeil, a 6-foot-3 point guard who starred as a freshman at Carver, is headed to Vermont Academy for his sophomore season.
“It wasn’t for basketball,” McNeil said Saturday at the Bmorehoops.com 6th Anniversary Celebration. “It’s just for the education. My parents felt that Baltimore City doesn’t have the right education to prepare me for college.”
The basketball program at Vermont Academy -- located in Saxtons River, Vt. -- will be led by Jesse Bopp, who worked last season on Virginia Commonwealth’s staff.
McNeil, who averaged about 25 points for the Bears as a freshman, had a breakout summer with Nike Baltimore Elite on the AAU circuit. He spent most of his time with NBE’s 15-and-under club, but suited up for the 17-and-under team at the Rose City Classic in Portland, Ore. His play in Oregon and throughout the summer caught the attention of several high-major programs, including Oklahoma, Xavier, Maryland, Georgetown and Washington.
“I like Maryland a lot,” McNeil said. “Coach Bino [Ranson], that’s my guy. [I’ve known him for] three years. He’s very true. He keeps everything real.”
Miles stands out
Archbishop Curley guard Daxter Miles Jr. served as McNeil’s backcourt partner for much of Saturday’s Class of 2013 game at The Dome. It’s not the first time the two have been paired together.
“I played [this summer] with my AAU team, Nike Baltimore Elite,” Miles said Saturday. “We had a tremendous season, the 15s. It was a pleasure playing with my guy, Daquan McNeil, and other players. We played hard. We won most of our tournaments.”
Miles, a 6-foot, 170-pound sophomore, had a standout freshman campaign at Curley, helping the Friars reach the MIAA B Conference championship game. Miles scored a team-high 16 points in Curley’s 54-51 overtime loss to St. Paul’s.
Miles said he’s gotten a few recruiting letters from high-major programs, but nothing serious at the moment. His No. 1 priority is guiding Curley back into title contention.
“Last year we lost by three in the championship to St. Paul’s, but this year we’re trying to win the B Conference championship,” Miles said. “[And] I’m just trying to get better every day.”