Christ Presbyterian Academy small forward Braxton Blackwell announced he will transfer to high school basketball powerhouse Oak Hill Academy, a private boarding school in Mouth of Wilson, Va.
Blackwell, a rising senior, is a four-star recruit and the No. 38-ranked player nationally and No. 8 among small forwards, according to 247Sports.
“(It’s) probably the toughest decision I’ve ever made,” said Blackwell, the reigning Tennessean All-Midstate Player of the Year and two-time defending Class AA Mr. Basketball. “I was in a great situation at CPA being taught by coach Drew Maddux and (assistant coach Michael) Couey. I love those guys and my teammates, and we did a lot of things people thought we couldn’t do.”
The 6-foot-8 Blackwell, who averaged 20.7 points, 10.5 rebounds and 4.9 assists a season ago, has helped guide CPA to a Class AA state championship, two semifinal appearances and a combined 103-10 record over the past three seasons, garnering a pair of player of the year awards in the process.
“Going to Oak Hill, I’m excited to mature,” Blackwell said. “Not only on the court but off the court as well, being in a college environment a year before I’m supposed to go to college. I’ll also have an opportunity to play in front of my grandparents, my godparents and other family members that live in Virginia.”
Blackwell, who helped lead the Lions to a 32-5 record in 2014-15 before suffering a season-ending semifinal loss to eventual state champion Haywood, has received scholarship offers from more than 20 Division I programs, including Kansas, Florida, Indiana, Louisville, Ohio State, Tennessee, Texas and Vanderbilt.
“He’s just had a profound impact on CPA, and he’ll continue to have a profound impact on CPA,” Maddux said. “His legacy will continue – who he was, what he valued – and he was just a delight to coach. I enjoyed every single day that I had the privilege of coaching him.”
It’s not the first time Maddux and his staff has had to deal with the loss of a talented player.
Blackwell is the second CPA basketball player to transfer this offseason, joining rising freshman phenom Tyger Campbell, who will attend Indiana powerhouse La Lumiere in La Porte, Ind., this year.
Former Lion and current Providence guard Jalen Lindsey also left CPA early, attending Huntington Prep School in Huntington, W.Va., for his senior year.