UNC basketball, Hubert Davis wins 2023 five-star rookie Simeon Wilcher


A minimum wage of $ 100,000 was intriguing.

But a chance to play for UNC and Hubert Davis basketball was even better.

The 2023 five-star combo guard Simeon Wilcher officially opted for this last Friday, as he made a verbal commitment to the Tar Heels against more than 10 other colleges as well as Elite overtime, the Atlanta-based start-up team that gives top high school players an alternative (and well-paid) path to the NBA.

Wilcher, a junior at Roselle Catholic High School in New Jersey, started October with an official visit to Nebraska – where his older brother, CJ, is a second transfer – and also heard from Auburn, Iowa, Kansas and UConn during a recruiting that chose over the summer and continued until the fall.

None of these options intrigued the 6-foot-4 Wilcher as much as UNC, however, and a weekend visit in early October convinced him more of the premier head coach’s vision. Hubert Davis year for the Tar Heel program.

“Their plan is to guide me and help me develop to play to the next level and try to hang a banner,” Wilcher says ESPN, echoing a Davis high shot strategy presented at the Tipoff ACC 2021 event last week.

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Wilcher, who ranks as the No. 14 rookie in the 2023 class by 247Sports composite ratings, timed her verbal engagement last Friday with UNC’s annual Late Night preseason event at the Smith Center.

The 2021 iteration marked Davis’ first since replacing longtime UNC coach Roy Williams, who retired in April, and the Tar Heels were in the second quarter of their Bleu-Blanc scrum, by InsideCarolina, when Wilcher announced his decision on Twitter and gave Davis and the staff their first engagement 2023.

Disembarking at Wilcher, UNC not only quickly secured an anchor for its 2023 class – Wilcher received an offer on September 3 and enlisted on October 15, just six weeks later – but avoided the OTE start-up team, which has landed a number of dazzling rookies in 2022 and 2023 since ramping up this spring.

Talented Florida twin brothers Matt and Ryan Bewley, ESPN rookies No.3 and No.12, were the first two high schoolers to sign with OTE in May. Three star striker Jai smith, who last performed at Word of God Christian Academy in Raleigh, is also attending the inauguration of OTE list of 24 players for 2021-22.

The team will play a national schedule, and each high school student on the list will earn “a guaranteed minimum wage of at least $ 100,000 per year, plus bonuses and overtime equity shares,” OTE said in a press release last month. “In addition, players will participate in the income from the use of their name, image and likeness, including through the sale of personalized jerseys, trading cards, video games and NFTs.”

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But giving up his last two years of high school eligibility, as well as college eligibility, for a working life and a salary, was like “rushing into adulthood,” Wilcher said, 17 years. Joe Tipton from On3. “You will not be able to take this step as a high school student. This is something that not only are you looking forward to, but your family is looking forward to. You can’t do the things regular high school kids do.

Using this logic, Wilcher first decreases a six-figure offer from OTE in August and continued a varsity recruiting process that took off after a strong summer of AAU basketball with the NY Rens on the Nike EYBL Tour and ended last Friday with his engagement verbal to the UNC against Nebraska and others.

As a 0.9946 Composite Rookie, Wilcher is tied with Theo Pinson, PJ Hairston and Day’Ron Sharpe as UNC Engagement # 16 in the internet recruiting era, by 247Sport. It is also Davis’ first five-star engagement since the first-year coach took over from Williams in April. (Four-star commitment 2022 Jalen washington rated five stars earlier this year, but has since fallen to four stars).

For Wilcher, Friday’s engagement and the feelings that followed also confirmed that he made the right choice in avoiding a large OTE offer and sticking to college basketball at UNC.

“My end goal was to always go to college, because the money is going to come,” he told On3. “I don’t play basketball just for the money… I play because I like it.

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Chapel Fowler is a recruiting reporter for The Fayetteville Observer and USA TODAY Network. Contact him by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at @chapelfowler.