Hargrave Military Academy is the place to go for athletes who want to continue their careers on the Division-one level, and for two basketball players from Roanoke, that's exactly what they hope to do.
The Hargrave post-graduate basketball team is the number 2 team in the country and (23-0) thanks to a squad of highly recruited athletes. For two of the Tigers' guards, who are both graduates of Hidden Valley High School, they're working to improve their game, and get more exposure.
"I decided to go to Hargrave just to get more looks, said Taylor Walker, a Hargrave Guard. "Coming out of high school I just had Division III looks and I knew going to Hargrave it would help with college opportunities in the future and so far it's definitely been helping me out."
"Ever since I was a kid," said Hargrave Guard, Carter Wright, "I dreamed of playing Division I basketball and I think that was the best choice for me after high school considering I graduated at 17. I wanted that extra year to develop my game and mature a little bit, so I thought that was the right choice."
"Both of them have improved tremendously," said Hargrave PG Basketball Head Coach, A.W. Hamilton. "Both of them ball-handling-wise, defensive-wise. Carter thinks he's now an athlete. He thinks he can dunk now all of a sudden. But I'm just so happy with both of them because they've just been tremendous. They work so hard and when guys work hard, that's all you can ask for."
And now more than halfway through the season, their decision to play post-grad ball is already producing results.
"With both of those guys," Hamilton said, "they both have offers now. Taylor's been offered by Pfeiffer University, a really, really good Division II school right near Charlotte, and Carter's been offered by King College and is also getting recruited by VMI and Longwood, so two Division I schools."
While getting recruited and playing with such talented teammates is fun, it's always nice to have your best friend there to go through it with you.
"That's big," Wright said. "We've been best friends since 8th grade andwe've been playing basketball together. I don't know if I could have done it just as easy without him. I definitely need him there. He's a moral support for both me and him and I'm definitely glad he's here with me."
"It's definitely easy to have your best friend there with you going through the same thing you're going through," Walker said. "Without him, the first week probably would have been a little tough but since we room together, it's a lot easier."
"Both of them are just unbelieveable young people and I really can't say enough good things about them," Hamilton said. "They both shoot the leather off the basketball but more importantly they just play hard everyday and they're great teammates and both of them, at the end of the day, are going to get great scholarships to universities."