Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
2019 Stars Scottie Lewis, Bryan Antoine Take In Duke-Florida Game
NEW YORK — On a night when Madison Square Garden was chock full of stars, Scottie Lewis and Bryan Antoine sat courtside and soaked it all in.
The two Class of 2019 players from the Ranney School (N.J.) and the Team Rio AAU program sat in the third row for Duke’s 84-74 victory over Florida in the Jimmy V Classic.
They were joined in the crowd by two pretty good former New Jersey and Duke guards in Kyrie Irving of the Cavaliers and ESPN’s Jay Williams.
“It’s always a great experience to be able to watch college basketball, just see how the teams play, watch the coaches, watch the publicity around the game, it’s just an honor to be here,” Lewis told me.
The 6-foot-5 Lewis is a small forward ranked No. 16 in the 2019 ESPN 25, while the 6-4 Antoine is a shooting guard ranked No. 8.
Coached at Ranney by Tahj Holden, who won a national title at Maryland in 2002, and at Team Rio by former Rutgers and current Patrick School coach Mike Rice whom I profiled this week in The New York Times, Lewis and Antoine are being recruited by a Who’s Who of college heavyweights.
Kentucky, Duke, UConn, Florida, Maryland, Villanova, St. John’s, Seton Hall and Rutgers are just some of the schools that passed through Ranney this fall to see them workout.
“I’ve seen athletes, Andrew Wiggins,” Rice told me in September. “But their skillset sets them apart. The best thing about both of them, they’re bodies are just going to get better and stronger, so they have such a big upside….And I think that’s why you see the highest level coaches in the gym because there’s only a handful of these guys, and I mean a handful. There’s only a handful that have the grades, the academics. There’s not a long list that they recruit from — the bluebloods — and right now they’re trending very upward.”
Both Duke and Florida wanted Lewis and Antoine — along with teammates Alex Klatsky, Ahamdu Sarnor and Chris Autino as well as Class of 2019 guard Jalen Gaffney, 2020 guard Noah Farrkhan and 2021 wing Trey Patterson — at the game. The Ranney guys sat in Florida’s seats, while Brian Klatsky, the director of Team Rio, sat with some other recruits in the Duke seats behind their bench.
“They’re both kind of recruiting us right now,” Lewis explained.
Lewis and Antoine and their teammates recently visited Columbia and attended a Richmond-Maryland game at Barclays Center. They are still finalizing their upcoming visits but they will visit Florida again later this month when there for an event. They also plan to visit Duke and Kentucky in the spring.
“Yeah, I’ve been to Florida plenty of times,” Lewis said. “I can’t wait to get up to Duke and see what their pitch is.”
Since they’re both sophomores, it’s way too early for any kind of college lists.
“We’re just having fun enjoying it, bringing my family and friends along, still being a kid,” Lewis said.
As for business on the court, the Ranney School beat Neptune in a scrimmage on Tuesday before the Jimmy V and has several games worth circling on the calendar this upcoming season. They travel to Florida later this month for the Battle at the Villages and will visit the University of Florida.
After that, they play Jersey powers St. Anthony’s and Newark East Side, with an eye toward gearing up for the New Jersey state tournament.
“The big thing last year was everyone told us we didn’t have any big games so we added a lot to our schedule just to prove ourselves,” Lewis said.
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.