Chatham, VA- In recent days, Hargrave has had the pleasure of witnessing Post Graduate Basketball players Jackie Johnson (1), Drew Patterson (4), Jordan Battle (12), and IJ Ezuma (21), sign their letters of intent.
Jackie Johnson is a graduate of Southeast High School located in Wichita, KS. While attending Southeast High School, the 6’0 foot senior played the position of point guard. After graduation, Johnson decided to transfer to Hargrave during the current school year of ‘21. Johnson entered into the post graduate basketball program with hopes of becoming a winner of a national championship while also being able to enhance his skill set. Although he did not win a championship, Johnson conquered a career milestone of 2,000 points. On April 22, 2021, Johnson announced that he would be attending Duquesne University. When asked what he was looking forward to when playing college basketball, Johnson replied, “I am always looking forward to getting better as a player and making the national tournament.” Thomas Messinger, Hargrave’s Head Post Graduate Basketball Coach, commented, “Jackie had one of the best offensive seasons in the history of our program. He has a unique skill set and a work ethic that will take him far in the game of basketball. The sky’s the limit for him at Duquesne.” Johnson ended his interview by giving thanks to his mother and past coaches.
Drew Patterson graduated from Metrolina Christian Academy located in Charlotte, NC. Patterson also entered the Hargrave Post Graduate Program during the current school year of ‘21. During Patterson’s stint at Hargrave, he faced many changes and challenges but managed to prevail. On Thursday, April 15, Patterson announced that he would be attending Friends University in the fall. Though Patterson was not available for an interview, Coach Messinger stated, “Drew is one of the hardest working young men in our program. He has battled through adversity all year and has overcome all of it to be a top recruit at a great program. He will bring a great skill set and a lot of toughness to Friends!”
Jordan Battle is a high school graduate of Norfolk Collegiate School. In addition to Johnson and Patterson, Battle enrolled in the Post Graduate Program in the current school of year ‘21. At Hargrave, Battle was a 6’2 guard that could play any position on the court. With keeping his versatility in mind, Battle revealed that he accepted his offer from Utah Valley University. Unfortunately, Battle was not available to give his thoughts. Still, Coach Messinger gave his final words to the departing Hargrave Tiger, saying, “Jordan is an incredibly hard-working and versatile player. He did whatever was asked of him all year-some games he scored 30 points, some games he had 16 rebounds. I’m thrilled that Hargrave was the springboard for him to sign a Division 1 scholarship, and I know he will do great things with (former NBA player) Mark Madsen at Utah Valley.”
Differing from his teammates, IJ Ezuma has been a Hargrave Tiger since 2016. In 2017, Ezuma joined the Hargrave basketball team as an eager freshman. Standing tall at 6’6, Ezuma took on the positions of power forward and center. Through his time at Hargrave, Ezuma has gained access to the 1,000 point club. With height and numbers on his side, Ezuma has signed a letter of intent with Ohio University. When Ezuma was asked his goal for playing college basketball, he answered, “I want to get even better as a player and, hopefully in four years, be recruited by NBA scouts.” Ezuma went on to thank everyone that has stood with him as he developed as a basketball player. Coach Messinger, added “IJ has had one of the best overall careers in Hargrave history. He is the first player in program history to play on the Middle School team, High School team, and Postgraduate team. He is a tremendous young man who is prepared for success both on and off the court. We will miss IJ dearly”.
Though COVID-19 changed the basketball season, these young men were able to triumph on and off the court. The faculty and staff, here at Hargrave Military Academy, wishes each cadet the best in all of their future endeavors.