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March Madness: Look for these Philly players in next year’s NCAA tournament

With only four teams left in the NCAA tournament, there’s only one obvious thing to do… look ahead to next year. College coaches have been traveling to various high schools and AAU tournaments around the country to pitch recruits, and Philly’s top high school basketball stars already know where they’ll be playing next year.

AAU stands for the Amateur Athletic Union, a national sports organization that runs the equivalent of club teams, which athletes can play in all year round.

Even if your bracket is looking sad and ‘Nova let you down this year, there’s a good chance these Philly players will be in the tournament next year.

In alphabetical order by last name:

Ernest Aflakpui – Archbishop Carroll – Signed to Temple

The 6’9″, 230 lb. forward played with the Patriots out in Radnor, Pa. Unfortunately for Aflakpui and Carroll fans, he injured his right meniscus and had to have it surgically repaired early in his senior season. The injury occurred during one of the team’s practices.

As a result, Afkakpui only played three games his senior season, and scored 16 points in each of the three games. He was named an honorable All-Catholic, due to his season being cut short by a major injury.

Aflakpui played AAU with his teammate, Derrick Jones, for “We R1,” a Delaware-based program that won an Under Armour Invitational in Atlanta in the summer of 2014. He chose to play for Fran Dunphy and the Temple Owls collegiately, committing on Oct. 12, 2014.

Chris Clover – St. Joseph’s Prep – Signed to St. Joseph’s

Clover played for William “Speedy” Morris’ St. Joe’s Prep Hawks in North Philly. He is 6’4″ and weighs 200 lbs., and is ranked seventh in the state, according to ESPN’S ranking index. He had a superb senior season, earning the Most Valuable Player award for the Philadelphia Catholic League and also being selected first team All-Catholic.

Clover was the fifth-highest scorer in the city, averaging 20.7 points per game, and he finished his career with 1,247 points, which made him the seventh-highest scorer in Prep history. He was also voted the Markward Club’s Player of the Year. He played AAU with the Philly Pride, and he committed to St. Joe’s University on Aug. 3, 2014.

Samir Doughty – Math, Civics & Sciences – Signed to St. John’s

At 6’3″ and 180 lbs., Doughty is 11th in the state on ESPN’s ranking index. He was a scoring machine his senior year, averaging 24.5 points per game — second in the entire city — and was good enough to be named first team All-Public in Philadelphia’s Division A. He finished his high school career with 1,766 points, playing at Comm. Tech in Southwest Philly and MC&S in Callowhill.

Doughty played AAU with Team Philly, which claims Kyle Lowry of the Toronto Raptors and Lavoy Allen of the Indiana Pacers. Doughty committed to St. John’s on Nov. 18 2014.

Ahmad Gilbert – Constitution High – Signed to George Mason

Gilbert is 6’6″ and weighs 190 lbs. ESPN has him ranked right behind Samir Doughty as 12th in the state. He was among the top 20 scorers in the city, averaging 17.6 points per game, and was named to the first team All-Public in Philadelphia’s Division A. He also helped lead the charge to a dominating state championship victory in the state’s A title game.

Gilbert finished his high school career with 1,491 points, a record at his Old City high school. He played AAU with “Team Final.” The team’s official Twitter account provides updates on both current and former players. Gilbert committed to George Mason on Aug. 15, 2014.

Gilbert is the lefty, #5 in the video below

Derrick Jones – Archbishop Carroll – Signed to UNLV

Jones has been the most notable high school player in the area from a national perspective. He is a 6’6″ small forward, and he weighs about 180 lbs. He is ranked 27th on ESPN’s top 100 senior ranking for the class of 2015. He was also honored first team All-Catholic for his solid performance his senior season, and his 19.2 points per game average made him 10th in the city. He finished his high school career with 1,645 points, which is the most in Carroll’s history. Jones is also really good at dunking (see video below).

Jones played AAU with We R1, joining his Carroll teammate, Ernest Aflakpui. He committed to University of Nevada – Las Vegas on Nov. 13, 2014.

Lamarr Kimble – Neumann-Goretti – Signed to St. Joseph’s

Kimble is 6′ even and weighs 175 pounds, and ranks eighth in the state, according to ESPN. Kimble was named First Team All-Catholic for averaging 14.3 points per game. He helped lead South Philly’s Neumann-Goretti to a state championship, defeating Archbishop Carroll for the state’s AAA title. He ended up with 1,166 points for his career, making him the eighth-highest scorer in his school’s history.

Kimble played AAU with Gilbert (see above) on Team Final. He verbally committed to St. Joe’s on Aug. 1, 2014.

Photo from Wikimedia Commons

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