Several former Northern Virginia high school boys' basketball players are currently playing on college teams that will be competing in this weekend's Sweet 16 of the NCAA postseason tournament.
Marcus Ginyard is a junior guard/forward for the North Carolina. Ginyard, an O'Connell graduate, averaged 7.4 points, 4.5 rebounds and two assists per game as a starter for the back-to-back ACC champions.
Ginyard, who is from Alexandria, will help top-ranked UNC meet Washington State in a Sweet 16 game on Thursday night in Charlotte, N.C. The Tar Heels (34-2) won their first two tournament games over Mount St. Mary's and Arkansas by a combined 70 points to reach the region semis.
At O'Connell, Ginyard led the Knights to three Virginia Independent School Athletic Association (VISAA) Division I titles, in 2002, 2003 and 2005.
As a four-year starter for Knights head coach Joe Wootten, Ginyard completed a 116-19 career record, which included 1,615 points (14.2 per game), 520 rebounds (4.6 per game), 298 steals and 289 assists. During his senior year, he averaged 20.4 points, 4.9 rebounds, 3.0 steals and 2.7 assists and led O’Connell to a 31-3 record.
Ginyard, in an interview posted on the UNC athletic Web site, said reaching the Sweet 16 is just one step of where the Tar Heels want to go.
"We don't think winning two games in the NCAA Tournament is a huge success for us," he said. "We've got another two-day tournament to play this weekend. And that's what we're focused on right now."
<b>PETER PROWITT</b>, a 2004 graduate of The Potomac School in McLean, is a member of the Stanford University men's basketball team that won NCAA tournament games over both Cornell and Marquette to reach the Sweet 16.
Prowitt, a senior center who led Potomac School to appearances in the Virginia Independent School state tournament, played seven minutes off the bench in Stanford's first round tourney win over Cornell.
Stanford (28-7) will play Texas this Friday night in Houston, in what is the Cardinal’s first Sweet 16 appearance since 2001. Prowitt, a backup forward, averaged 6.6 minutes and played in 14 games.
A political science major from Arlington, Prowitt is in his fourth year as a member of the Stanford basketball program. As a junior last year, he was a Pac 10 All-Academic First Team selection.
As a sophomore, Prowitt scored 11 points for the Cardinal in an NIT Tournament game against Missouri State. That season, he blocked 22 shots and tallied a career-high 12 points in a game against Oregon State. He was Second Team All-Academic.
At Potomac School, Prowitt was a four-year varsity starter who set school records in career points (1,835), rebounds (958) and blocks (404).
<b>SCOTTIE REYNOLDS</b>, a 2006 Herndon High graduate and one of the Northern Region's all-time greatest players, is leading12th-seeded Villanova. Reynolds, a sophomore shooting guard, scored 25 points in the Wildcats' 84-72, second round win over 13th-seeded Siena last Sunday in Tampa.
The win advanced Villanova to a Sweet 16 match-up against first-seeded Kansas this Friday night in Detroit. The Wildcats (22-12), in a first round tournament game last week, upset Clemson, 75-69.
Reynolds, who led Herndon to the Northern Region title in 2006, is averaging 16 points this season for the Villanova. The 6-foot-2 inch standout has started 33 of the Wildcats’ 34 games.
Reynolds, in an interview recorded on the school’s Web site, said his team is peaking at the right time.
"We went through some ups and downs during the season, but we always stayed consistent about what we were trying to accomplish," said Reynolds. "The last two or three weeks, we've been playing our best ball."
One of Reynolds' current teammates, Jason Colenda of Fairfax, is a sophomore guard for the Wildcats. Colenda, a Bishop O'Connell graduate, has played in five games for Villanova this winter.
<b>A COUPLE MORE</b> Arlington athletes tasted the postseason, though not in the Big Dance. Though Rockwell Moody was on an undetermined leave of absence during the school’s second semester to concentrate on personal issues, his 11th-seeded St. Joseph squad lost 72-64 to Oklahoma in the first round in Birmingham, Ala.
Moody, who graduated from O’Connell in 2006, played in 14 games and had a season-best three rebounds and career-best three blocks at Fairfield. Though he didn’t play after a Jan. 26 game at Temple, he’s expected to rejoin the team next season.
The Hawks, playing in their first NCAA tournament game since advancing to the regional final as a No. 1 seed four years ago, earned an at-large bid after beating Sweet 16 participant Xavier twice in nine days.
At O’Connell, the 6-foot-9, 228-pounder averaged eight points and 11 rebounds, while helping the Knights to a 21-12 record and third straight Alhambra Catholic Invitational title during his senior year.
His O’Connell teammate, Dave Neal, a 6-foot-7, 263-pound junior forward for Maryland played in two games in the National Invitational Tournament (NIT) before getting bounced by Syracuse, which includes Episcopal alum Arinze Onuaku.
After starting the season opener where he had career-highs in minutes (20), rebounds (four) and points (seven), Neal, who is from McLean, battled a nagging shoulder injury. The 2005 O’Connell grad will be the only returning Terrapin senior next season.