If Ahmaad Rorie adds another basketball state championship to his résumé, it won’t be won wearing a Clover Park High uniform.
Rorie, the Cal-bound rising junior, will attend Lincoln High for the 2012-13 school year, Abes boys basketball coach Aubrey Shelton confirmed Thursday morning.
“He enrolled last week for the upcoming school year,” Shelton said.
Rorie, The News Tribune’s All-Area Player of the Year in 2011, helped Clove Park win the Class 2A state championship in 2011 and led the Warriors to a fourth-place finish at state in 2012.
Shelton knows the caliber of player he’s getting in Rorie. The 6-foot point guard averaged 33.7 points per game in the state tournament.
“I would say he is the best point guard in the state,” Shelton said.
Rorie isn’t the only basketball standout transferring to Lincoln.
Mount Rainier High’s Caden Rowland will play next year for the Abes, too. Rowland, a rising senior, helped the Rams to a fourth-place finish at the Class 4A state tournament in March and was voted to the all-tournament second team. The 6-foot-4 shooting guard is dangerous on the perimeter, averaging 16.7 points per game in the 2011-12 season.
Shelton said Rorie already lives in Lincoln’s boundaries and Rowland will reside there by the time school begins in the fall.
Shelton said he has heard the rumors and flatly denied any illegal recruiting of Rorie and Rowland.
“It’s almost embarrassing, these kind of kids coming to Lincoln,” he admitted. “I know people might think there’s something dirty or illegal going on, but me and my coaching staff have had nothing to do with it. There is no recruiting. This is legit.”
Rorie and Rowland are teammates with Lincoln’s Tre’Shaun Lexing on the Northwest Panthers AAU club. Shelton said he figured Lexing might have persuaded the two to join him at Lincoln.
“If anything had to do with them coming to Lincoln,” Shelton said, “that might have been it.”
Shelton said he felt for Clover Park coach Mel Ninnis, but noted that he has been on the other end, losing talented players to other schools. Foss High’s Dezmyn Trent, co-MVP of Narrows League 3A last year, began his high school career at Lincoln.
Ninnis could not be reached for comment.
Lincoln is currently playing in the Tacoma Community College summer league, but Rorie is not playing with the Abes, Shelton said. Rowland played with the Abes Wednesday night.
“(Rorie) not practicing or playing with us right now,” Shelton said. “I told him whenever he’s ready, he’s welcome.”
Lincoln has made deep postseason runs the past two years, but failed to be one of the final eight teams to reach the Tacoma Dome, site of the state tournament.
Adding Rorie and Rowland to a backcourt with Lexing – the 6-foot-5 senior guard has scholarship offers from Washington State, Utah, Colorado, Gonzaga and others – make the Abes an instant state-title contender.
“This is going to make us a lot better,” Shelton said. “We’ve got some talent, probably more than we’ve had in a while.”