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Top Ohio Preps Basketballers Meet in Dayton


The Ohio Basketball High School tournament tips off today at the University of Dayton arena, and a few of the top basketball players are showcasing their talents. Here’s a list of the top performers and their teams.


And the Columbus area is home to four teams in the tournament and big names in our list!


Mr Ohio Basketball – Devin Royal – Pickerington Central

Devin Royal

Photo via OHSAA

Pickerington Central’s Devin Royal is ready to take down Centerville again this year. The Ohio State recruit was named Mr Basketball a few days ago. The all-time leading scorer for Pickerington led the Tigers to their 2nd state championship last year edging out a person in this list!


Their semi final game is a replay of last year’s final victory over Centerville. Saturday night should be electric!


Dailyn Swain – Africentric


Dailyn hopes to erase the image of his technical foul for hanging on the rim too long in a loss to Ottawa-Glandorf in the 2022 semifinals. 




Swain would love to end his career with the Nubians and begin his Xavier future with a state championship! Dailyn has a strong supporting cast with fellow senior Preston Steele, and juniors Cortez Freeman and Laron Fuller.


Tyson McGlaughlin, coach for Ottawa, said in the Columbus Dispatch, “We don’t have that one guy that we can put out there” to stop him. The 6-8 triple-double threat has the teammates to end his career with a ship!


George Washington III – Dayton Chaminade-Julienne

The 6-3 Michigan recruit has spent only one year with CJ and doesn’t have the Ohio history of the others in this list, but Washington was named the 2022-2023 Gatorade Ohio High School Player of the Year!




Arguably Washington is the most valuable person on his team and deserved more respect in the voting process for Mr Basketball. In fact, Matt Goul with had a great article on the process of how the voting for Mr Basketball works. In short, he’s not a fan!


Washington is the son of parents who were both professional basketball players and his family is all hoops fanatics! (George’s dad is an assistant on the University of Dayton’s women’s team.) Washington came from Louisville to Dayton and has transformed the very good program to elite status!


Coach Charlie Szabo had this to say about his senior guard’s skillset:


“I didn’t teach him [those skills]. He was like that before he got here. He’s just really so savvy and he’s played so much basketball and is so good about knowing how to get to his spots on the floor and how to attack defenses. 


Gabe Cupps – Centerville

Last year’s Mr Basketball is committed to finally defeating Pickerington Central! The Indiana recruit hopes to end his career lifting the state championship trophy.

Gabe and Brook Cupps

Centerville basketball coach Brook Cupps (left) and his son, point guard and Indiana basketball commit, Gabe Cupps (right), together after the Elks’ 90-43 win over Springboro on Jan. 3, 2023.© Provided by Hoosiers Now on FanNation

Gabe and his head coach father, Brook, are looking to make it three straight trips to the final game. Gabe helped the Elks win the title as a sophomore, but last year’s loss to Pickerington has led to more work in the Breakfast Club, a term used to describe the morning practices the boys from Centerville participate in.


If you think the Cupps name is familiar, Gabe challenged LeBron James to a three point shooting contest as a 14 year old.


This weekend’s basketball should be an amazing show of Ohio’s best. And each wants to bring a title to their town and school. 


Good luck to all the schools!

I am a math teacher in SW Ohio. Born and raised in NE Ohio, I am married with four sons who keep the flame burning for all things Cleveland. I cover soccer, betting, football and anything that focuses on the human side of sports.

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