Mayo enrolls today at Huntington

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 29, 2006

O.J. Mayo is coming home.

And this time it’s to stay.

With rumors and speculation surrounding the high school basketball phenom swirling the past three weeks, Mayo finally confirmed he will return to the Tri-State today and enroll at Huntington (W.Va.) High School.

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The two-time Ohio Associated Press Mr. Basketball winner who has led North College Hill to back-to-back Division III state championships has been rumored to be leaving the Cincinnati area school and heading back to the Tri-State.

Originally reported to be transferring to South Point or Ironton, reports Sunday night and Monday morning had Mayo enrolling this week at Huntington High School in the town where he grew up.

When North College Hill athletic director Joe Nichols was contacted Monday, he said Mayo was still enrolled at the school and planned to remain at NCH for the entire school year.

However, according to a story in USA Today, Mayo said he would enroll at Huntington High today.

“It’s exciting to go home, but it’s sad leaving North College Hill,” Mayo told USA Today. “I consider Cincinnati a second home.”

Huntington has won two straight Class AAA state championships. Mayo would only add to the Highlanders overload of talent.

Center Patrick Patterson is being recruited by dozens of Division I schools including West Virginia, Kentucky, Virginia, Florida and Duke. Guard Chris Early has already committed to Oklahoma.

Also returning are guards Jamaal Williams and Michael Taylorr.

“Arguably, we have the (best) high school team in the nation,” Mayo told USA Today.

Mayo averaged 31 points a game as a freshman, 28 as a sophomore and 28.9 last season along with 7.8 rebounds and 7.7 assists.

Reports two weeks ago had Mayo considering South Point. Mayo’s brother, Todd, is a freshman at South Point along with his sister, T’Ann, who is a junior.

Reports were fueled by the fact teammate and close friend Bill Walker, a native of Huntington, was ruled ineligible this season after using his eight high school semesters.

Walker played as a freshman with Mayo at Rose Hill Christian in Ashland, Ky. Mayo played for the Rose Hill varsity for two years but he was in junior high at the time which is permitted in Kentucky.

Mayo helped North College Hill escape Ironton 71-66 in the state championship game two years ago.