Findlay Prep’s boys basketball team rose to No. 1 in USA Today’s national Super 25 poll Tuesday for the first time in the program’s three-year history.
But senior guard Avery Bradley wasn’t quite rushing to the newsstand to read about it.
The McDonald’s All-American is too busy preparing to lead his team into the National High School Invitational in Bethesda, Md., from April 3 to 5.
“I didn’t even know we were No. 1,” Bradley said. “I’m pretty sure everybody on our team feels good. We’ve been at that No. 2 spot for a while.”
Findlay Prep (30-0) had been ranked second nearly all season, trailing Mater Dei of Santa Ana, Calif. Mater Dei opened the door Saturday, suffering a 71-56 loss to King of Riverside, Calif., in the California Interscholastic Federation Southern Section Division I-AA championship.
“It’s a good feeling, I’m not going to lie,” Findlay Prep coach Michael Peck said. “At the same time, you have to keep an even keel about it.
“Going into the national invitational, you’ve got a huge bull’s-eye on your back. Now it’s a matter of showing people through your walk and actions that you are worthy of it.”
Bradley, the program’s first McDonald’s All-American, said Findlay Prep is accustomed to that. “I felt like we had a target on our backs all year,” said Bradley, who has signed with Texas.
Three other teams among the top nine in the Super 25 will join Findlay Prep at the eight-team invitational.
“It’s going to be high school basketball at its highest level,” Peck said. “The competition’s going to be intense.”
Last year, Findlay was beaten by Hargrave Military (Va.) 75-73 in the finals of the National Prep School Championship tournament at Fordham University in New York.
Peck credited that team with helping to establish Findlay Prep’s reputation.
“A lot of the credit has to go to last year’s group of kids,” he said. “They blazed the trail for setting the stage for the future of our program.
“But when the new group came in, they did a tremendous job of earning everything they’ve gotten to this point.”
Contact reporter Tristan Aird at taird@ reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5203.In-depth high school sports coverage