As a freshman at Nandua High School (Onley, Va.) forward Larry Savage averaged 13 points per game as a varsity player and looked poised to have a great career at the Virginia public school.
Instead, the athletic forward decided to move to the Washington, D.C., area for his sophomore season to play for Bishop O'Connell (Arlington, Va.) head coach Joe Wootten.
Playing at O'Connell enabled Savage to play with University of North Carolina recruit Kendall Marshall, a talented junior guard, in the ultra-competitive Washington Catholic Athletic Conference (WCAC).
The 6-foot-5, 195-pound Savage had a solid sophomore year for the Knights -- averaging 10 points and six rebounds per game. O'Connell was ranked in the D.C. Area Top 20 most of the season and finished with a 21-8 record.
"To play as well as [Savage] did as a sophomore in the WCAC tells you he is a talented player and that he likes to compete," Wooten said. "One of the things I liked about how he played this year was that he did get better at certain things as the year went on. He was always a good rebounder and he could score inside and block some shots, but as the year went on he increased his shooting range from 12-14 feet out to the 3-point arc and he improved his ballhandling."
"I think Larry has the potential to be an All-WCAC type player," Wooten added. "He definitely has Division I [college] talent and ability. He had some very good games for us this year. He was our second leading scorer and fourth leading rebounder as a sophomore in his first year in the O'Connell program. He has a lot of talent and I think he is going to be a very good player here."
Savage, who is 16 years old, said he is still growing and might reach 6-7 or 6-8 by the time he graduates from high school.
Savage plays AAU ball with the prestigious Boo Williams AAU Program based in Tidewater, Va., and has his eyes set on playing college basketball.
"I want to be a 3 in college," Savage said. "I'm working on my ballhandling, defense, improving my outside shot and perimeter game. I feel like I can rebound and score inside, shoot outside pretty well, but I want to improve my perimeter skills. My first year here [at O'Connell] was real good for me as a player. The competition in the WCAC was a lot better than at home. It was a great experience."
With his athleticism, work ethic and fast-improving floor skills, Savage might emerge as one of the top prep players and college recruits in the D.C. area in 2011.
"Larry is very athletic -- he's a long, athletic, talented kid," Wooten said. "He's still figuring out just how good he can be. He is a hard worker, so you know he can realize his potential
James Quinn covers high school basketball for MDVarsity.com.