Courtesy Charlotte Observer:
One of Charlotte’s most promising high school basketball players has decided to transfer to a Kentucky high school.
Raekwon Long, a 7-foot rising sophomore, plans to enroll at Scott County High School in Georgetown, Ky., in August after spending one year at Garinger.
Former Garinger assistant Keith Ison, who has mentored Long for the past five years, told the Observer Monday that he’s from that area and wanted to lighten expectations for Long.
“It’s really not a motivation other than I’m originally from this area,” Ison said. “All my family is from this area. We wanted to get away from the pressure that Raekwon had been under, his expectations. Not saying they won’t be here, but let him get his feet wet being away from home for a while.
“Just trying to let him be a kid, have his childhood. And just let him get away from all of that pressure and all that that comes with being an elite athlete.”
The Observer named Long to the All-Mecklenburg County third team this spring, and he was the only freshman on any of the teams after he averaged 15 points, 13 rebounds and eight blocks per game. He was named a freshman All-American by MaxPreps.com.
“It’s obvious that I love Garinger and the kids and the people there that make it what it is,” Ison said. “It was just time for something different. For Raekwon to get in a different place mentally and physically.”
Long also considered Florida’s IMG Academy and Trinity Christian Academy in Lexington, Ky. But the proximity of Scott County to Ison’s home and family tipped Long to the Cardinals, Ison said.
According to MaxPreps.com, Scott County was the sixth-ranked team in the state of Kentucky last year after going 24-9 under head coach Billy Hicks, the state’s winningest active coach.
Long plans to move by late July, after the AAU season. Although it’s still early, Ison said after Long attended a University of Tennessee basketball camp this past weekend, the Volunteers are the leaders for Long’s collegiate recruitment.
Ison said Long had unofficial visits to Kentucky, Louisville, Clemson, Wake Forest, North Carolina and Duke, and he added there is no particular order for those six schools.
“Tennessee is probably the heaviest and everyone else is showing a lot of interest,” Ison said.