Dave Telep says Theo Pinson(SEG Middle/ORMA) #1 Player in Nation from Class of 2014

Posted by Andy Durham on May 24, 2011 at 3:03 pm under College, High School | 18 Comments to Read

This kid, Theo Pinson has come a long way, from when I first saw him playing for Southeast Middle School, in a game over at Hairston Middle School, and I hope I spelled Hairston correctly P.J.(Got to watch how you spell that name Hairston these days…..)

Theo has become a real team player and now it looks like he might be a number one player and let’s see, we have had some pretty good talent coming out of our area lately and Theo might be ready to move to the head of the class, at least the Class of 2014…..

Let’s see we’ve had P.J. Hairston to UNC, Deuce Bello and Quincy Miller to Baylor, Jacob Lawson to Purdue, Jay Canty was at Xavier and now he’s headed to Appalachian, Jonathan Frye went down to Tulane, Jordan Weethe to VMI and I know I am leaving a few more out, but this area is really becoming a hotbed for high school basketball players and football and baseball players too for that matter…(I ran into Will Graves from Dudley and UNC last night, at the Wal-Mart on South Elm-Eugene and he is doing good, just back in from playing pro basketball in Japan….Known him since he was in the 8th grade or at least met him back then, and a good kid…..)

Theo Pinson has been pinpointed as the Top high school player in the Nation coming out of the Class of 2014, by recruiting expert Dave Telep, who writes for ESPN.com, the ACC Sports Journal and plenty of other publications…..

Here is what Dave is saying about the Nation’s Top Rising Sophomore from Greensboro, North Carolina, Theo Pinson:

There are six players who could make a case for themselves as the top overall prospect, maybe eight by the time this class goes through the process. For the time being, we settled on Theo Pinson (Oak Ridge, N.C./Oak Ridge Military) as the No. 1 overall player. He is cerebral, competitive, skilled and athletic. He’s got a high-wattage smile and mature approach to the game.

CLICK HERE to read all, this time from Dave Telep at ESPN.com………

*****Theo Pinson will also compete next month for a spot on the 16u USA Olympic Team, with the tryouts to be held in Colorado.*****


  • Keyford Langley said,

    We are so proud of Theo! Continue to work hard and stay humble. Congrats to his wonderful family as well.

  • not surprised said,

    I remember noting several times on this site back in 2010 after seeing Theo play in a middle school game against Northeast Middle that this is the best middle player that I have ever seen. I noted that he would be the best player in this area and one of the top 20 players in the country for his class. That same year I remember making the same comments about Paris (which was at Mendenhall and now at Page). I said that she would be one of the top 30 players in the country and she would be star immediately in high school.

    It was amazing how many people doubt my opinion and the opinion of others that put both of these players on that high level. Many people were like “they have not done anything yet”, “wait until they get to high school, then I will believe it”, “they are just playing against middle school kids, etc..”. The bottomline is that all of these kids have been playing and performing on the AAU circuit for years as 8u, 9u, 10u, etc.. The talent that these kids have and others that will follow was not a secret and obvious to those that follow the game and understand the skills and talent needed to work at that level.

    Theo was once considered in the top 10, then top 5 and now a respected service has given him the #1 spot. Great Job young man !! Paris has been ranked in the top 20, top 10 and I even saw 1 service rate her as the #3 prospect in the country. This area has seen a tremenous among of high level boys over the last couple of years and that tend seems to be continuing. I would suggest that this area will see a similar trend with the girls over the next 2-5 years. We know of names such as Paris from Greensboro, the young lady from Reynolds in Winston that was once going to Duke, and the Bishop Mcguinns young lady going to UNC but there are others in the pipe line that we will soon hear their names all over the player rosters of schools such as Duke, UNC, State, Wake, Tennessee, etc.. from this area.

  • Andy said,

    From the Oak Ridge Military athletic department and coaching staff for the Cadets:

    Congratulations to Oak Ridge Military’s freshman Theo Pinson who was named the
    #1 prospect in the nation by ESPN for the Class of 2014. Theo has worked very
    hard for this honor and we am confident that he will continue to do the work
    necessary to keep him at the top of his class both on and off the court.
    Congrats Theo!

  • Bill M. said,

    Will he still be at ORMA next year?

  • Coach said,

    Not surprise

    Congratulations to the kids! Hopefully it pans out like the prognosticators say that it would. Several factors overtime could curtail such projections that are reality. Injuries for one which no one can predict. Over time performance should always be the actual verdict. Too often kids get led to believe that if they are being recruited by a Big Time school that it gives them some sort of prominance. Nothing could be further from the truth. There are several kids that come to mind from this area for example. Anna Freeman from Davison was not on any big time ranking services and was overlooked by the ACC and yet she is one of the mainstays for Appaclachian State. Allison Spivey from Highpoint Central has had a great career at ECU. Does anyone knows where she was ranked? I can remember Kathlyn Lyons from Bishop Mcguiness was ranked very high and went to Maryland (ACC) before transferring to Marist. Does anyone remember her collegiate performance? Erin Thompson of Bishop Mcguiness went to Virginia (ACC). She was ranked as one of the best forwards in the country. This is her junior year. Trumae Lucas (Florida) made the SEC all rookie team. She has now enrolled at Deleware. Jasmine Gill went to Boston College (ACC) has now since transferred to James Madison. Hey whatever happen to the big girl from Highpoint Central that went to Connecticutt whom name rised up on the charts because Gino offered her even though the performance did not match up. She left before Christmas of that year. Has anyone heard from Eric Wallace? Cameron Bennerman was not ranked very high and yet had a great career at North Carolina State. Shannon Smith from Forrestveiw was ranked high and went to Carolina. Does anyone have any updates?

    This is only to say that kids be careful getting caught up in rankings and named schools. Let your performance become your statement and let the chips fall as they may. Last year was a record number of students transferring priimarily becuase they they may have gotten caught up in the name of the school or received bad advice. Too often kids are led to believe that they should not look at schools that does not have ACC , SEC ect.. written over it. So they tend to snubbed their nose at such only to find out later that some of those schools may not want them either once where they thought they were going does not pan out. Siiting on a bench at a so called powerhouse school is no fun, especially if you find yourself sitting for four years. Is that what you bargained for other than getting an education?

    There are a lot of fine players in this area both boys and girls whom may not get the early best in the country rankings both past and present. Yet their overall results say different. The only real radar that matters is results.

  • Coach said,

    go kids!

  • Tom said,

    Well said coach. I was lucky enough to get some good advice from my dad. I had a couple D1 offers, but opted to go to a D3 school where I was fairly sure I could play. I played all 4 years and I believe I would have been riding the pines at a D1. Btw, the D3 school was by far the best academically of my choices.

  • Yeah said,

    @ Coach,

    You are right about so many things. I don’t think the kids get caught up in the rankings as much as the college coaches etc… The kids you listed above were and are very good players from this area. Theo has the potential to be the best that this area has seen. He is only a rising sophomore and his skill set is off the charts. All due respect to Eric Wallace and Cameron Bennerman, they are not close to this kid. Their athlectic abilities to jump set them apart from many, but the skill set of those two did not develop. The only thing Theo needs to do is stay on top of his academics, continue to work getting stronger, strengthen skills, compete and stay hungry. Now that he is at the top of his class, people will start to “nip pick” his game, desire and everything this kid does. He has a strong support system and he will succeed. I hope he enjoys what God has blessed him with. I also hope that our community embrace this young man. It takes a village. Let’s not tear down, let’s keep him at the top!

  • To Coach & the rankings said,

    I agree with coach concerning the rankings and how this may be misleading information in some cases and not address how well prepared others may be that did not get the rankings. The bottomline is that many kids do receive these ranks and a lot of them will live up to the rankings. Obviously some will not live up to the rankings but that is the story of human existances. The rankings are what they are. The bottomline is that these kids (boys or girls) are demonstrating a high level of skill set against high level competition. This will afford them the opportunity to get an outstanding education at a “great” college and give them some explorer to places and people that most of us will only hear about. As a player and a parent, I would prefer to have the label of the best or one of the best on my back or my kids back, then to be seen as just another player. It is best to be in a position in life where opportunity comes calling on you instead of you have to search high and low for a way in.

    I grew up with several peers that had a boat load of extremely high skills but never really made it because they did not have their heads right or got caught up in other things that held them back (such as drugs, relationships that later went bad, or not enough attention to the school work). I had all of the other categories down but I was just a step slower than what was needed at the next level and I did not have anyone around me that could help me properly understand the skill set needed at the next level (remember AAU was not what it is today back in the 70’s and 80’s).

    The bottomline is that kids like Theo and Paris will serve as “role models” in our community for the next couple of years for the younger kids. Other kids just behind them and beyond will look at their success or fails and learn from it. Hopefully, our community will celebrate their successes and use it to help the next wave of players. Our area has the potential to compete with any of the so called basketball hot beds in the country. We have kids that are big enough, our facilities are as good as anybodies, we have bball clubs as good as anyones for boys & girls and we have past and present proof that our kids can compete with anyone when giving the opportunity to develop and get the necessary exposure.

  • where to next? said,

    With coach K’s departure, I think it is safe to say that Theo and many current ORMA players will not be returning next season. Andy, do you have any insight on where these players might end up?

  • Andy said,

    I think it is still a little too early to give up on Oak Ridge…..I’m still holding out hope that Bob Lipke will take over the helm of the boys basketball team again, and that many of the kids might stick around…..Coach Lipke can lead these young men if they will stay with the program…..

    Delaney Rudd can still lead the girls basketball team and Alan Ashkinazy has put together a strong foundation for the baseball program…..

    There will be a new look at Westchester next year with Coach Pat Kahny gone and Keith Gatlin may have new players headed to Wesleyan…..Greensboro Day School worked with some overload last season, so I’m not sure how many new players they might be looking to add…..

    Theo is the main draw, but there are other kids that are still part of the process out at ORMA too….

    We will keep an eye and ear on this one…..

  • where to next? said,

    I understand the baseball team and girls basketball teams still have a program. I am not giving up on ORMA as a whole, but there are two big issues. If ORMA’s players want to play for Lipke then they will stay but as of now he hasn’t been hired and these kids can’t sit back and wait because then if he isn’t hired all the schools they could go to (I am strictly referring to private schools such as WCDS, GDS, Wesleyan, or even Caldwell) could be filled up. There is sort of a time crisis and holding out and hoping isn’t necessarily in the kids best interest. My second issue is that we need to be honest. All of the real talent that ended up at ORMA was because of coach K being there. I am sure Lipke would be a good coach but to these kids, he doesn’t have the reputation coach K was known for and I feel that could pull them away from staying. Besides, like I said before, Lipke still hasn’t been hired anyway. I know what you hope for Andy, but what real chances do you think the players, specifically Theo Pinson have of staying at ORMA?

  • Andy said,

    I do believe you are right about Theo Pinson, From where he sits now, who knows, you could even see him end up at Oak Hill one day. I know they would be glad to get him……Going to be tough to keep him at Oak Ridge….The others, maybe, but we’ll have to wait and see….Somebody needs to be put in charge of that program, even if just for an interim basis, to keep the program afloat…..

  • where to next? said,

    Yeah I just don’t see Theo staying, however, I do hope some of them stay (although I don’t think they will (at least not many of them)) because the athletic program at ORMA is really all that is keeping it afloat. I wish them the best of luckin all there future endeavors.

  • justsayin said,

    Andy… this is a no brainer. ORM needs to reach out to Coach Johnny Richardson asap.

  • ORMA said,

    Just Sayin: I wouldn’t let JR coach my 9 year old daughters Rec Team!

  • ORMA says "what" said,

    Someone with the target name “ORMA” posted a response on 5/27 at 10:52am saying “I wouldn’t let JR coach my 9 year old daughters Rec Team!”. You obviously have been drinking too much early this Friday morning. This is a clear example of when “some parents” think their kids are better than what they are and will run behind their coach and create nothing but issues for the team because they think their kid is the best player since the creation of basketball or sports. You referred to Johnny Richardson as “JR” which implies that you know him which means you must have had a daughter or son play with him at one point or the other over the years but left his team because either your kid was “so good” that the WNBA or NBA called them up during the spring draft.

    I will just say that no coach is perfect and even the ones that I felt truly were tuned into their teams will show some obvious mistakes and flaws along the way. Johnny Richardson may have his faults but there is no coach in this city that is more dedicated to his kids and team. He is a control freak at times but he is a great teacher of the game. Too many kids playing AAU today are only concerned about their personal stats and what it means for them (which they are clearly getting from their parents on the sideline that only say “shoot”, “why did you pass”, or “you should have played more”). Richardson will play your kid even if they are not the best player on the team and he will not ignore the development of your kid even if they are the 13th player on the team. I have seen him develop into a really good coach over the past 3 or 4 years and there is no doubt that the Phoenix, Gators and GDS coaching staffs are stronger with him within their ranks. I am not sure if he is the right coach for a program such as ORMA but if you are talking about kids from 8u thru 15u, I know you cannot find a better coach. There are other styles that may fit your kid better but your kid will not necessarily be in a better situation unless you want to coach your kid yourself and bench all of the “lesser talented kids” to ensure your 9 year old “Rec star” can be all that they can be.

    Long live Johnny Richardson and all other coaches that care more about their team, all kids and what AAU organizations should be about – the development of “all” kids and not just the “superstars”.

  • Phil Tockman said,

    Devante Harrington Class 0f 2014 Most likely to attend Shining Light Academy In 2012
    Has great potential to be 1 of the top 150 Prospects in the nation He plays for the 15u Greensboro Warriors
    and 17u Carolina Flight He is currently Ranked 37th in his class in the State(NC):52nd in the Nation Great prospect for the class of 2014!