Huntington Prep School
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Huntington Prep or Huntington St. Joseph Prep is a basketball-focused college preparatory school located in Huntington, West Virginia. It was founded in 2009 by head coach Rob Fulford and his staff. Huntington Prep is unrelated to the public Huntington High School located in the same city.
Huntington Prep is housed within St. Joseph Central Catholic High School, a religious school. The students are regular St. Joseph's students and must abide to the rules and regulations of the high school. After being an accepted part of the school, Huntington Prep is now Huntington St. Joseph Prep (even wearing the St. Joe emblem on the uniforms).
All students are considered NCAA Division I prospects and are recruited by some of the top programs in the country. They practice and live in Huntington, WV, with "home" games played at local high schools (predominantly Spring Valley HS), the Cam Henderson Center, St. Joseph High School gym, and formerly at the now demolished Veterans Memorial Fieldhouse.
The team's nickname was the "Express" which was a derivative of the nickname of the former Huntington High School, "Pony Express", and the city's railroad heritage. (The current Huntington High is a consolidation of the original Huntington High and Huntington East High School, and took East's nickname of "Highlanders".) This is not to be confused with Huntington High as HHS is an entire different school (O.J Mayo and Patrick Patterson went to Huntington High). Huntington Prep has now changed their nickname to the "Fighting Irish", the same as St. Joe's other teams.
St. Joseph also fields a boys varsity and boys JV team, and a girls varsity and JV team in basketball. The girls team has won 6 state championships in a row in WV Class A.
Huntington Prep's first player to be drafted in the NBA was former Louisville Cardinal and National Champion Gorgui Dieng in 2013. Gorgui was selected 21st overall by the Utah Jazz and then traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
2013 Graduate Andrew Wiggins was the number one pick in the 2014 NBA draft after he played college basketball for the University of Kansas. Some of the former players playing in college currently are Thomas Bryant (Indiana University), Xavier Rathan-Mayes (Florida State), Patrick Strake (Texas Tech), Carlos Arroyo (Chowan University), Travon Landry (New Mexico State), Tanveer Bhullar (New Mexico State), Moses Kingsley (Arkansas), Maurice Aniefiok (Ole Miss/North Texas), Charles Lee (Cleveland State), Ibrahima Djimde (Illinois/Coastal Carolina), Elijah Macon (West Virginia), JaVontae Hawkins (South Florida), Josh Perkins (Gonzaga), Curtis Jones (Indiana University), Micah Thomas (Maryland) and Miles Bridges (Michigan State), along with more to come every year.
Founder of Huntington Prep and Head Coach Rob Fulford left the program after the 2013-2014 Season to take an Assistant Coaching Position at The University of Missouri. Long time Assistant Coach to Rob Fulford, Arkell Bruce, took over the program starting with the 2014-2015 Season.
Players on this years team hail from Australia, Canada, USA, Nigeria, Puerto Rico, Republica Dominicana and Spain. The team is coached by West Virginia natives, 1st Year Head Coach Arkell Bruce, David Meddings, and Baker Neal.
- Garrett Cullen (28 December 2012). "Huntington Prep coach building national program". West Virginia Metro News.
- Grant Traylor (18 Jan 2013). "Coach explains Huntington Prep". The Herald-Dispatch.
- Josh Barr (22 February 2012). "Huntington Prep's after-school special: Basketball players attend classes at St. Joseph's Central Catholic, then play for the Express". The Washington Post.
- "Scout.com College Basketball Team Recruiting Prospects, Class 2013".
- Jason Jordan (31 October 2012). "Case for No. 1: Huntington Prep". USA Today. Archived from the original on 19 April 2013.