Prep Tour: Fork Union

<b>FORK UNION, Va. –</b> It's business as usual up at Fork Union Military Academy. Fletcher Arritt, a coach with one of the longest tenures in the prep school ranks, has another bunch that is attracting collegiate attention.

Fletcher Arritt has been at this a long time. Fork Union boasts one of the most distinguished lists of alumni in the country. Arritt, very much and old school kind of guy, runs a tight ship that has proven, year-after-year, to be among the very best coached programs of its kind.

History is a big part of the program. For instance, in the basketball office is a wall of business cards representing just a sampling of the hundreds of schools that have been through "the Fork." In one instance, a young assistant coach was able to spot the tattered business card of his father on the wall and put his right next to it. Yes, Arritt's been at this a long time.

Last Saturday, sporting a "Fork Union" polo shirt from the old days, Arritt ran the troops through drills and then an organized scrimmage as over 20 college coaches watched.

FUMA is likely to be led by a pair of forwards this season. Mantoris Robinson, a 6-foot-5 ½ combo forward could be the best talent on the team. Robinson boasts offers from UNC-Wilmington, College of Charleston, Charleston Southern, George Washington and Elon. Marshall might not be far behind with its offer either.

Brian Gilmore, a skilled shooter and academic standout, is also going to be called upon to score some points for Fork Union. Both Robinson and Gilmore are locks to be recruited and eventually signed at the mid-major level.

Helping out on the frontline will be a young man from a basketball family. Julian Sullinger's brother laces them up at Ohio State, but they are markedly different players. While J.J. is the shooter, Julian is the inside presence. Undersized but thick up top and great on the glass, Sullinger could be a mid-major prospect when it's all over.

Jason Sharpe, a 6-foot-8 big man out of the West Indies could be an interesting prospect. You can fold up his lanky legs and long arms ala Tayshaun Prince. He's under 200 pounds now, but there's a prospect in there and could draw mid and low-major looks.

Fork Union has some big wings that could find themselves on Division I rosters next season. Josh Sowards checks in at 6-foot-6 and he's a good shooter. Mason Woolridge is the same size and has promise. Though he didn't perform all that well when we were there, good things have been said about Michael Ellis, a young man who led North Carolina in scoring last season. He's a Division I player too.

Arritt does as good a job as anybody in the business at getting his players scholarships. This isn't his most talented team top to bottom, but they always play hard, the kids improve and Fork's disciplined style of play under Arritt's direction usually translates into a handful of upset wins each season.

College In Attendance 9/11 UNC-Wilmington, The Citadel, James Madison, Rice, College of Charleston, Penn State, Tulane, Dartmouth, Hampton, American, Hartford, Missouri, East Tennessee State, George Washington.


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