Last year’s inaugural Battle at the Rock basketball showcase attracted some of the top high school basketball players in the nation to York County.
The sold-out showcase, hosted at Nation Ford High School, gave local fans an up-close look at top national hoops prospects like Cole Anthony, Josiah James and Josh Nickelberry before they made their transition into the college ranks.
Some standouts are expected to be among the top draft picks in the 2020 National Basketball Association (NBA) Draft next year. Each of the players listed below earned a coveted spot in the 2019 McDonald’s All-American Game, often considered the gold standard for prep hoops in the United States.
Below is a breakdown of some of the top Battle at the Rock alumni from 2018, and where they are now.
COLE ANTHONY, UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA
Anthony, a five-star recruit from Oak Hill Academy (Va.), was widely considered one of the top recruiting prospects in the country when he played in the Battle at the Rock last fall.
He later signed to play at the University of North Carolina earlier this year. Prior to the 2019-20 season, he was named on the preseason All-ACC first team, and has been mentioned as a player of the year candidate.
Following the Battle at the Rock, the 6-foot-3 Anthony excelled in the McDonald’s All-American Game (he was named MVP) and played in the Nike Hoops Summit. CBS Sports projects the point guard to be a top-3 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.
ARMANDO BACOT, UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA
Bacot, a five-star recruit from IMG Academy, led his school to a prep national championship in 2019 before signing earlier this year to play for the University of North Carolina. The 6-foot-10 forward played in the 2019 Jordan Brand Classic game following his appearance at the Battle at the Rock.
Bacot also received offers from Duke, Georgia, Oklahoma State and Virginia.
JOSIAH JAMES, UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE
James, a highly-touted five-star product of Porter-Gaud School in Charleston, S.C., was considered a national top-20 prospect by Rivals heading into his senior year. The 6-foot-6 point guard committed to play basketball at the University of Tennessee over offers from Clemson, Duke and Michigan State. James was named the 2018-19 Gatorade South Carolina Boys Basketball Player of the Year.
JEREMIAH ROBINSON-EARL, VILLANOVA
University Robinson-Earl, a 6-foot-9 power forward out of IMG Academy, committed last year to play at Villanova University over offers from Arizona, Kansas, North Carolina and Notre Dame. He was selected for the 2019 Nike Hoop Summit, and earned a spot on the 12-man roster for Team USA at the 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup before his first game with the Wildcats.
JOSH GREEN, UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA GREEN
A 6-foot-6 shooting guard, committed to play for the University of Arizona over offers from Kansas, North Carolina, Villanova, the University of Southern California and UNLV. Green, a native Australian, became a five-star prospect after transferring to IMG Academy in 2017. He represented Australia’s national team at the 2019 FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup earlier this summer.
JOSH NICKELBERRY, UNIVERSITY OF LOUISVILLE
Nickelberry, a 6-foot-4 guard out of Northwood Temple Academy in Fayetteville, N.C., committed to play for the University of Louisville earlier this year. He also considered the University of North Carolina, North Carolina State, Michigan, Xavier and the University of Connecticut before signing with the Cardinals. Nickelberry finished his high school career with 2,904 points, making him the second-leading all-time scorer in the history of North Carolina high school basketball.
CHRISTIAN BROWN, UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA
Brown, a 6-foot-6 small forward originally from Hopkins, S.C., signed earlier this year to play at the University of Georgia.
After spending time at A.C. Flora High and Lower Richland High, Brown transferred to Oak Hill Academy for his senior year.
KOFI COCKBURN, UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS
A powerhouse 7-foot, 290-pound center, committed to play for the University of Illinois in January.
The four-star recruit, who played for Oak Hill Academy in his senior year, was a force to be reckoned with at Battle at the Rock.
Cockburn, a Jamaica native, competed at the Nike Hoop Summit in April.