Reigning AAA Liberty District Player of the Year Nik Brown, one of the Washington area’s top scorers last season with an average of 22.2 points per game, recently announced his transfer from Stone Bridge High School to Middleburg Academy.
Bulldog teammate Jimmy Paige will also transfer to Middleburg.
Brown, a rising senior, and Paige, a promising rising sophomore, are the first two high-profile transfers to Middleburg—formerly known as Notre Dame Academy—since former Herndon High School coach Gary Hall took over the Middleburg boys’ basketball program in April.
“I felt like at Stone Bridge I did all I could do ... the move is nothing against Stone Bridge or coach [Sonny] Green,” Brown said July 23 from Las Vegas, where he was preparing for a showcase basketball tournament.
Brown, a 6-foot-3 guard, said Middleburg’s strong schedule was a major factor in his decision.
“The competition we will be playing will give me a chance to play against the best guards, not only in this area, but in the entire D.C. metro area,” he said. “Jimmy is like my little brother so it makes [the move] easier.”
Hall said the 6-foot-5 Paige will benefit from getting three full years at Middleburg. Hall, who coached Villanova University’s All-American guard Scottie Reynolds at Herndon, said the two Bulldogs remind him of Reynolds – not only because of their basketball skills but also because of their character.
Hall admitted that the transition from public to private high school coach has had its ups and downs for him.
“It has been exciting and at times frustrating. It has been a roller coaster of emotions,” Hall said. “The relationship between the public and private schools ... that is tough.”
Hall envisions Brown as a point guard at the college level, and thinks Paige has NCAA Division I potential as well.
“They had to weigh the pros and cons, and the families made the decision that Middleburg Academy gives their sons the opportunity to reach their goal,” Hall said.
Paige, along with two returning sophomores at Middleburg—Drew Henry and Stephen Sheppard—give Hall something to build on, but Brown immediately gives the school scoring power.
“This gives the program some legitimacy and credibility,” Hall said.
While the former Notre Dame Academy athletic program was at odds with the public high schools in Loudoun, Hall, who was an assistant at Briar Woods for several years after stepping down at Herndon, stressed that he hoped to have a good relationship with the local public schools.
Middleburg Academy will play in a Briar Woods holiday tournament this winter. Hall said an effort to schedule defending AA Division 4 state champion Potomac Falls did not work out but that his team will open at Herndon next season.
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