Local product Palmer finds winter in Nebraska to his liking

It’s rare that someone would prefer winter in Lincoln, Nebraska to winter in Miami.

But it worked out for James Palmer, Jr.

James Palmer, Jr, who played at Henry Wise and St. John’s, is one of the main reasons Nebraska is battling for an NCAA Tournament bid as March approaches

Palmer, an Upper Marlboro native and former standout at St. John’s and Henry A. Wise, started his college career at the University of Miami. The 6-foot-6 wing played sparingly there, averaging about 12 minutes and three points per game for the Hurricanes.

With prospects for playing time looking bleak, Palmer opted to transfer to Nebraska. There, coach Tim Miles has shown a knack for landing transfers from big-time schools like Terran Petteway (Texas Tech), Walter Pitchford (Florida) and Andrew White (Kansas). All flourished at Nebraska and later pursued professional basketball careers of one kind or another.

“Those guys left a trail for me to follow,” Palmer told the Lincoln (Neb.) Journal Star. “That shows a good example of Nebraska getting good transfer players and really developing them.”

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Private schools dominate local basketball courts

Congratulations go out to DeMatha’s Markelle Fultz and Paul VI’s V.J. King, who were recently named to the McDonald’s All-America team. This year marks the first time in nine yars that the Washington area has had two representatives on the prestigious squad.

The teams Fultz and King play for are doing well this year, too. DeMatha is 16-3 and ranked No. 1 this week, although that should change after the Stags’ loss to league rival Gonzaga. Paul VI is a more modest 12-7 and ranked 18th.

Both players – along with standout  St. John’s guard Anthony Cowan – are ranked among the ESPN’s top 100 high school prospects in that latest rankings. Fultz is No. 10, King is No. 26 and the Maryland-bound Cowan is No. 69.

These numbers once again point up the oustanding caliber of basketball played in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference, the private school league that includes the area’s top three teams, according to the Washington Post (DeMatha, St. John’s and Gonzaga), as well as four of the top nine overall.

Fans of the WCAC can rightfully claim their league as one of the best – if not the best – in the county, year in and year out.

That’s all well and good. But does it bother anybody – other than me – that  more and more, the private schools are the only ones that really matter during high school basketball season?

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