Builders Prepare for USCAA Nationals

PITTSBURGH, Pa. – The Apprentice School men’s basketball team, fresh off its NSAC championship, earned the No. 3 seed in the upcoming USCAA National Championship to be contested in Richmond, Virginia, March 12-16, the national office announced Sunday afternoon.

The Builders will take on sixth-seed MUW Monday, March 13, at 4 p.m. at Richard Bland College. This will be the first meeting between the two schools.

Paul Quinn earned the top seed with Bryant & Stratton (Buffalo) named number 2. Salem was the No. 4 seed and will take on fifth-seeded Bryant & Stratton (Syracuse). Atlantis claimed the seventh seed, while Bluefield State was the last team in at No. 8.

This is the third straight tournament berth for Apprentice.

Tickets for the tournament may be purchased here.

Story and image courtesy

Apprentice Claims NSAC Championship With 64-52 Win over VPCC

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – The Apprentice School men’s basketball team completed its quest for the New South Athletic Conference crown with a 64-52 win over rival Virginia Peninsula Community College Sunday afternoon.

The Builders led wire-to-wire, pulling out to a 6-0 lead in a low scoring first half. Apprentice led 26-19 at the break before finally putting some distance between themselves and the Gators midway through the second half, allowing for the celebration to begin late in the contest for the conference tournament championship.

Tony Epps, Jr. had a career-high 20 points, hitting 3-of-4 three pointers on the night. CJ Highsmith had a double-double of 12 points and 13 rebounds, while Adrion Wall also added 12 points.

The Builders’ 20 wins is the most in a season since winning 23 back in the 2001-02 season. That season ended in a national championship, the first for the men’s basketball program at the USCAA level.

With the win, the Builders improve to 20-7 on the season, as they await official word of their next steps for the season. Currently, Apprentice is ranked No. 3 in the latest USCAA National Coaches’ Poll for Division I. As there are no automatic qualifiers in USCAA Division I, there will be eight teams announced as the tournament field on the live bid announcement show March 5.

Story and image courtesy Walker McCrary/

Gators Edge Mustangs 70-63, Advance to Sunday’s Championship

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – Third seed Virginia Peninsula distanced itself late in the second half Saturday night to down 2nd seed Mid-Atlantic Christian 70-63 and put the Gators in a position to defend their NSAC crown on Sunday.

As throughout the season, the Gators (12-9) used a balanced attack, putting four players in double figures. Jhalen Harris, Keshaun Johnson, and Javion Majette poured in 16 points apiece while Mekhi Reid added 13. First-team All-Conference selection Majette clocked a double-double, adding 14 rebounds.

MACU’s (12-11) Talik Totten, himself an All-NSAC first teamer, scored 14 points, and Jalen Jones came off the bench to chip in 13.

VPCC, the 2022 conference champion, will now face rival Apprentice Sunday at 4:00 pm for the 2023 title.

Top-seed Apprentice Prevails 97-88 over BLC

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – Top-seeded Apprentice School rallied late in its New South Athletic Conference tournament semifinal game to defeated 4th seed Blue Lights College 97-88 and advance into Sunday’s title game.

BLC (9-7) played the Builders (19-7) tough for all 40 minutes, holding various leads throughout the game. The Herd protected the paint and dared the Builders to beat them from the perimeter. Apprentice answered with eight three-pointers in the first half, accounting for half of their field goals, and led 48-44 at the halftime break.

Apprentice’s lead fizzled away, thanks to a 7-0 run to start the second half. BLC’s lead grew to as many as seven with 13:49 left but Apprentice fought back to take a 74-73 lead with just under 10 minutes to play. The Herd led 78-76 with eight minutes left, but the NSAC regular-season champion Builders responded with solid defense, holding BLC scoreless for the next three minutes. With 4:15 to go, Apprentice mounted a 93-80 advantage that ended up being too much for the Thoroughbreds to withstand down the stretch.

NSAC MVP Shawn Eley of Apprentice led all scorers with 35 points, recording a double-double paired with 15 rebounds and made 11-of-12 free throws. The Builders made 15 threes altogether and scored 21 points off BLC turnovers.

The Thoroughbreds’ All-NSAC forward Wol Yak poured in 24 points, while Sam Benton Jr. added 22.

Apprentice now faces Virginia Peninsula, a 70-63 winner over Mid-Atlantic Christian in the day’s second semifinal, for the championship Sunday at 4:00 pm.

Story courtesy Craig Green/BLC Media

Gators Cruise Past ‘Saders, 79-60

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – Third-seed Virginia Peninsula found its rhythm early, jumping to more than a 20-point lead in the first half, and dispatched with 5th-seeded Christendom 79-60 in the New South Men’s Basketball quarterfinals Thursday night.

Jhalen Harris led the Gators with 21 PTS followed closely by Javion Majette’s 20. Quishaun Brevard recorded a double-double of 12 points and 10 assists.

Christendom’s Vander Woude brothers did their best to keep it close. Junior John Paul poured in 21 points, including five treys, while freshman Bobby matched the point total with four 3s.

VPCC moves on to face 2nd seed Mid-Atlantic Christian in the semifinals. That game is scheduled to tip off Saturday at 6:00 pm at the Apprentice Athletic Center in Newport News.

Image courtesy Virginia Peninsula Community College Athletics

Tickets for NSAC Tournament On Sale Now

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – The Apprentice School is hosting the New South Athletic Conference basketball tournament this upcoming weekend, and tickets are now on sale for the event.

Tickets for each day will be $7 each and can be purchased at As this is the conference tournament, all spectators will be required to pay as no pass lists are being allowed for the event.

The Apprentice women’s basketball team will open the tournament Saturday at 2 p.m. against Christendom. Prior to the contest, the program will have its Senior Day festivities. The Builders men’s team will play host to Blue Lights in the 4 p.m. semifinal Saturday afternoon. At 6 p.m., the Mid-Atlantic Christian University men will face the Virginia Peninsula/Christendom winner.

The semifinal round of action will be carried live on the BuilderStream YouTube page, while the championship games on Sunday will be carried by BigSportsTV.

BLC Survives CCC 98-94, Advances to Tournament Semis

APEX, N.C. – Blue Lights held off an upset-minded Carolina Christian squad Tuesday night 98-94 in the New South men’s basketball tournament quarterfinals and will advance to face top seed Apprentice on Saturday.

Down to just six players with forwards Randy Freeman (personal reasons) and Victor Ngong (season-ending hand injury) unavailable, the Thoroughbreds (9-6 overall, 2-3 NSAC) faced a tremendous challenge against a motivated Carolina Christian team, looking to avenge a November 22nd loss to BLC. The Centurions had depth and rotated players often so they could press the Thoroughbreds into turnovers. The Thoroughbreds were able to avoid costly mistakes and held a 43-32 halftime lead, thanks in part to a 29-22 rebounding edge, including 13 offensive boards.

Carolina Christian (3-16 overall, 0-7 NSAC), inspired by a large contingent of traveling fans from Winston-Salem, wiped out the deficit with a 17-5 run to take the lead early in the second half. Despite outscoring BLC 62-55 in the final 20 minutes, the Centurions could not take sustainable advantage of the undermanned Thoroughbreds. The Centurions had no answers for Keyshawn Bryant. The BLC big man scored 17 points in the second half after a 1-of-9 shooting slump in the first, and made clutch free throws to fend off Carolina Christian.

The Centurions lost their composure often in the second half, getting technical fouls after being visibly frustrated with the officials. The Thoroughbreds scored 17 points from the charity stripe in that time, including six technical free throws off of 14 combined fouls for CCC.

Two Thoroughbreds recorded double-doubles against Carolina Christian. Forward Wol Yak lead all scorers with 30 points while grabbing 14 rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocks. Bryant had a monster game, snatching 18 rebounds to go along with his 19 points, four assists, and two blocks. Sam Benton, Jr. scored 26 points (15 in the second half), leading the Herd with five assists and adding three steals of his own. Guard Miigwaanhs Barrientoz added 17 points and five rebounds. Guard/forward Malek Ngong stuffed the stat sheet with six points, including a clutch basket in the final two minutes, eight rebounds, a team-high three blocks and two assists.

Prior to tip-off, NSAC commissioner Mike Davis presented All-NSAC awards to Yak (first team), Benton, and Bryant (second team). Centurions guard Robert Murdock (second team) was also recognized.

With the victory, BLC will travel to the Apprentice Athletic Center in Newport News, Virginia this Saturday at 4pm to face top-seed, USCAA nationally-ranked Apprentice for the third time this season. The Builders (11-0 NSAC) handed the Thoroughbreds their only home defeat on December 6th, 90-74, in a game where Yak was suspended for the first half. BLC dropped an 80-73 decision to the regular season champions in the Thoroughbreds’ season opener on November 8th in Newport News.

Story courtesy Craig Green/

Builders’ Kee Named NSAC Coach of the Year

Apprentice School head coach Evan Kee has been named the New South Athletic Conference Coach of the Year after guiding the Builders to a perfect 11-0 record in league play.

In his fifth season at the helm, Kee has led Apprentice to an 18-7 regular season mark, the most wins since 2003-04. The Builders are currently ranked 4th in USCAA Division 1, and are number one in field goal percentage, 2nd in rebounding, and 7th in blocks and forced turnovers.

Kee also guided two players onto the NSAC All-Conference Team this season, including NSAC MVP Shawn Eley. His squad has earned the top-seed in the upcoming NSAC Tournament.

Congratulations to Evan Kee, the 2023 New South Men’s Basketball Coach of the Year!

Image courtesy Walker McCrary/Apprentice Athletics

Eley Tops Voting, Leads All-Conference Team

Apprentice senior swingman Shawn Eley has been voted the Most Valuable Player on the 2023 All-NSAC Men’s Basketball Team.

Eley elevated his game when it came to NSAC opponents. He averaged 15 points per game overall and 7.4 rebounds, but in New South contests he turned it up, averaging 17.4 ppg and 9 boards. He also averaged 53.4% from the field.

Congratulations to Shawn and to each member of the 2023 NSAC All-Conference team!

All-NSAC First Team:

  • Shawn Eley, senior, the Apprentice School (MVP)
  • Wol Yak, freshman, Blue Lights College
  • Talik Totten, senior, Mid-Atlantic Christian University
  • Javion Majette, sophomore, Virginia Peninsula Community College
  • John Paul Vander Woude, junior, Christendom College

All-NSAC Second Team:

  • Karree Smith, sophomore, The Apprentice School
  • Sam Benton, Jr., freshman, Blue Lights College
  • Keyshawn Bryant, freshman, Blue Lights College
  • Robert Murdock, sophomore, Carolina Christian College
  • Noah Richardson-Keys, freshman, Mid-Atlantic Christian University
  • Keshaun Johnson, freshman, Virginia Peninsula Community College

Honorable Mention:

  • Adrion Wall, sophomore, The Apprentice School
  • Jayden Eason, sophomore, The Apprentice School
  • Daishaun George, junior, Carolina Christian College
  • Andrew Heisler, junior, Christendom College
  • John Kennedy, sophomore, Christendom College
  • Bobby Vander Woude, freshman, Christendom College
  • Jeremiah Dickerson, sophomore, Mid-Atlantic Christian University
  • Jhalen Harris, sophomore, Virginia Peninsula Community College
  • Quishaun Brevard, sophomore, Virginia Peninsula Community College

Image courtesy Walker McCrary/Apprentice Athletics

Gators’ Win Finalizes MBB Playoff Picture

Virginia’s Peninsula’s 79-70 win over Mid-Atlantic Christian in the final regular season conference game of the year pushes the Gators into the third seed for next week’s NSAC Basketball Tournament.

Fourth-seed Blue Lights College and Carolina Christian, which tied Christendom for the 5th seed, will open the tournament Tuesday night in Apex, North Carolina in a quarterfinal game. VPCC will host Christendom Thursday night in the other opening round matchup in Newport News, Virginia. The two winners will advance to Saturday’s semifinals at the Apprentice Athletic Center, also in Newport News.

Thanks to Joe Dotson/Christendom Athletics for the bracket graphic