The move signals a continuing trend of high school players and New York City products leaving the area prior to their high school graduation for a multitude of reasons.
Chief among them are presumably finding a level of prestige outside of the five boroughs at a national basketball powerhouse, which the local scene may not always provide.
This past week, Archbishop Molloy’s Cole Anthony announced on ESPNU that he would be leaving for Oak Hill Academy in Virginia.
BQE Media has learned that Christ the King’s Kofi Cockburn, who is also a class of 2019 senior to be, will be joining the guard at the prestigious basketball institution next season.
“They just have a really rich history of great players coming through their program, and Steve Smith being a Hall of Fame coach, I just really look forward to playing there with him,” the Queens native Anthony said on the network last week.
Oak Hill is accustomed to receiving upperclassmen and highly regarded transfers to their program, like Carmelo Anthony once upon a time.
Other recent NYC defections include 2018 NBA Draft pick Hamidou Diallo of Lefrak City and undrafted signee Rawle Alkins of Canarsie.
“I needed to get away from all the distractions and completely lock in,” Cockburn told BQE Media. “My expectations for this season is to win as many games as possible as well as winning a championship.”
Both exited the New York area before finishing out high school, with Diallo moving to Connecticut from John Bowne High School and Alkins relocating to North Carolina from Christ the King.
The move perhaps gives Anthony and Cockburn, both of whom hold several high major offers from top flight NCAA colleges, a chance to raise their profile across the country.
They will be back in the borough to play in the Queens-held Geico Nationals next spring, where Oak Hill has been a constant since the tournament’s inception.
This past summer, Anthony played on the AAU circuit with the PSA Cardinals for his third summer, while Cockburn represented the New York Renaissance.
Both Anthony and Cockburn earned pre and post-season All-BQE and All-Catholic League honors for 2017-18.