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Filling an SC legacy; WVU hoops recruiting

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Ye olde notebook:

  • South Charleston High students and graduates know all about the plight of school product Aaron Dobson, recently drafted by the NFL's New England Patriots.
  • They probably know of Robert Alexander, another school product once regarded in football as Huntington Prep's Andrew Wiggins has been regarded in basketball.

    Between those two, though, was a South Charleston product who was the state high school basketball player of the year in 1982: Otmer "Gay" Elmore. He was a two-time Southern Conference player of the year. His jersey is retired at Virginia Military Institute.

    He was a big deal at VMI back in the day.

    And now his son has a chance to be a big deal this day.

    After graduating from South Charleston and attending Fork Union, Ot Elmore is following in his father's footsteps after signing with VMI.

    "I'm tickled to death," said Gay Elmore, now a local attorney. "He always kind of wanted to go there. I'm glad it worked out."

    The 6-foot-3 son has many of his father's basketball skills.

    "He's a couple inches shorter," said Gay Elmore, "but he can really shoot it. He moves and jumps well and is really smart. He has a high basketball IQ.

    "His year at Fork Union really helped, too. He's stronger."

    Beth Elmore, the player's mother, who also happens to be a local lawyer, said her son will be graduated next weekend from Fork Union, report to VMI for the second semester of summer school and be ready to go this fall.

    The Elmores, by the way, have another son and South Charleston product playing basketball and attending Christ School in Arden, N.C., made famous via Duke's Plumlee brothers.

    Jon Elmore, 6-4, is finishing his junior year there and has five Division I offers, according to his father. They are from VMI, Gardner-Webb, Wofford, High Point and Texas-Pan American.

  • WVU's basketball cleansing seems to be continuing. As Mountaineer fans may know, coach Bob Huggins recently signed Jonathan Holton and Remi Dibo.
  • Word from up north continues to say current Mountaineer Keaton Miles also might be out. If so, bet that Huggins will sign a point guard.

    Also bet that one will either be Daxter Miles or Shadell Millinghaus. Both are intriguing. But, so far, neither has qualified academically.

    Daxter Miles has been a standout at tradition-rich Dunbar High in Baltimore. The Poets won their fourth straight Class 1A Maryland championship (their 15 overall titles are the most of any school) and back-to-back city championship behind Miles.

    "I know he's being recruited by West Virginia along with a couple other schools," said Dunbar coach Cyrus Jones in a phone interview. "He's being highly recruited."

    Miles averaged 16 points, seven rebounds and four assists, according to Jones. The problem is qualifying.

    "Some things we're waiting on," said the coach. "He's right there though."

    Millinghaus is apparently in the same boat. A 6-2, 200-pound product originally from Schenectady, N.Y., Millinghaus has been attending Believe Prep in Rock Hill, S.C.

    South Carolina has been on the point guard, as well as teammate Leroy Flood. Millinghaus has, however, visited WVU. As with Miles, patience may be the key.

    "They really like South Carolina," said Believe coach Tyson Waterman to Palmetto Sports back in March. "But they want to look at a couple of things. And Shadell is still working on some academic stuff."

  • Brett Morris is already a BMOC at Webster County High.
  • He was named a first-team Class AA all-state basketball selection. And not only that, he was named the first-team captain after averaging 25.9 points for the Highlanders.

    Now, though, Morris' popularity in Webster Springs will absolutely skyrocket. The reason: He's been accepted as a walk-on for Huggins.

    Webster County's population: 9,143. Think Morris is The Man there?

  • And finally . . .
  • Some might wonder why WVU's Huggins stuck his neck out by signing Holton, perhaps the surest impact recruit, but also the riskiest.

    The Palm Beach State product and former Rhode Island starter is still trying to resolve charges of video voyeurism. The word is, he'll plead guilty to a third-degree felony charge, which will include a 12-month supervised probation. Some of that will be shaved by time served.

    So why didn't Huggins and WVU just wait until the matter was resolved? The court date, after all, is May 29. Why not wait until afterward to sign the player? Why take on more criticism and heat by signing him beforehand?

    It's simple. One, WVU coaches consider Holton to be an immediate impact player. And two, he's a player the coaches feared would get away had they waited.

    You might have heard Holton was also being recruited by Memphis, Maryland and Southern Miss. But there apparently was a more imminent threat: Florida.

    There's always a story behind every story.

    Reach Mitch Vingle at 304-348-4827, mitchvingle@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/MitchVingle.

     


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