Creighton’s “Central Connection”
Akoy Agau/Thurman/Omaha Recruits:  Making the Case
to Rise n Fly  vs  Stayin’ n Playin’ 

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Creighton University and it’s local high school neighbor, the Omaha Central High School have a long and storied history.  Central, along with a few of other Omaha area high schools have supplied the Jays with seminal and historic players within the Creighton legacy.  Players such as the Johnson brothers (John C and Michael) and Josh Jones.  It is a relationship which has been mutually beneficial; Creighton has received very good students and sports players, while the students have received a top-flight education and sports careers.  Now is not the time to end such a longstanding relationship.  


Central 2013s power forward Akoy Agau, point guard Tra-Deon Hollins, and their 2014 Central teammate small forward Tre’Shawn Thurman, are a formidable trio of Omaha High school hoops players. Their like has not been seen since the Duo of Ron Kellogg and Kerry Trotter, soon followed by North HS’ Mike McGee, back in the 70’s. IMO this group of local players have “Must Get” status by both CU and NU. I’ll throw in Omaha North’s 2013 SF Nick Billingsly as well, for good measure. This appears to be the most fertile group of players since Antoine Young, Josh Jones, Jarrell Crayton, and the Smith brothers of 4-5 years ago. This group has the potential to be game changers for either Creighton or Nebraska. It should be noted here that this group of players compare favorably with many, not all, of the current recruits the Jays are looking at. They should not be allowed to leave the state, at any cost.

The State of Nebraska does not historically crank out large, talented classes of basketball players.  As is well documented, football is king and is the primary focus within the state.  Classes of basketball talent, such as this one, are few and far between.  Therefore it is critical to take advantage of this windfall of local talent to continue the lineage of local kids matriculating to CU.  Although the Jays have established west coast, east coast, and Texas pipelines (primarily due to low catchment rates in the upper Midwest) that have served us well.  It is crucial to continue to mine the fields in our own backyard.
History serves Creighton well.  The Johnson’s, Josh Jones, and the other local players are notable for their contributions to the Creighton hoops tradition and legacy.  Some were extremely significant.  

History shows us that when Omaha kids matriculate out-of-state, in this modern era, the results are not terribly significant.  Only Kerry Trotter (Marquette) and Ron Boone (Utah State) had careers of significance in college, and only Mr. Ron Boone had a professional career of note (Record setting career).  It should be noted thatRon Kellogg (KU), Mike McGee (Mich), Matt Hill (Texas), the Smiths (Colo State), Jarrel Crayton (Mont State), never approached their anticipated potentials during their collegiate careers, while the Johnsons, Wesley,  J Honz,  D Stovall, J Dotzler,  J Jones,  Antoine Young, and others exceeded the expectations while on the Hilltop.  At NU, one needs to go back to the days of Fred Hare to find a Nebraska bred basketball player of note.  



Perhaps the current signing of former Central PG (Juco) Deverell Biggs will be a turning point for the men in red.  

Notwithstanding  the current situation where players now have AAU coaches, recruitment circles, possies, handlers, entourages, advisors, and the like; these young men should give strong consideration to the historical context above.  

In card playing parlance:  Losers Rise n Fly, whilst Winners Stay n PlayAs in cardplaying, it seems that in the collegiate hoops domain,  the overwhelming majority of successful local players stayed n played with the Creighton Bluejays, while those who followed BCS Madness and left the area, for Big School bright lights-big city, Big Name benchriding, had much less success in their collegiate careers.  AND you can go to the NBA from CU.  The list is substantial of Jays who have gone on to professional basketball.  From Silas, Portman, Big Ben, and others – to most recently Buford, Korver, Tolliver, and Lawson (overseas).  I expect both Gregory and DMD to  play professionally as well.


Food for thought!  



Omaha 2013 and 2014 Basketball Players…  STAY AND PLAY!  Creighton is fast-rising.  The Jays are HOT, will continue to be ranked, and by the 2013-14 season will have a legit shot at a Final Four.  Stay n play – Preferably with the Creighton Bluejays!  But if not playing for the Jays – do not leave the State of Nebraska!