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Saturday, 17 September 2016

Two All-Central New York basketball players switch schools

Charles Pride has left Christian Brothers Academy and transfered to Liverpool High School. (Stephen D. Cannerelli | scannerelli@syracuse.com)
By Nolan Weidner | nweidner@syracuse.com
on August 05, 2016 2:48 PM
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Two of Section III's top boys basketball players will be wearing different uniforms next season.
Charles Pride has transferred from Christian Brothers Academy to Liverpool and will play for the Warriors this winter, and Jalen Hawkins of Utica Proctor is heading to City Reach United Basketball Academy in Lee, N.H.

Pride, who scored 639 points in two seasons at CBA and averaged 13.9 points for last year's Class A sectional champion Brothers, said he wanted to play in an up-tempo offense. It's a style he fell in love with while playing AAU basketball he said Thursday night at a practice for the Central team entered in this weekend's Summer Hoops Festival in Johnson City.
"CBA kind of played at a slower pace," said the 6-foot-3 Pride who also played football for the Brothers. "Liverpool kind of matched the same AAU intensity, so I decided to transfer."
Pride was an All-Central New York and Class A sixth-team, all-state selection last season. He said his family has moved into the Liverpool school district.
CBA coach Buddy Wleklinski confirmed that Pride had withdrawn from CBA this summer.
Pride said he appreciated his time at CBA and would miss his teammates there.
"It was pretty hard," he said of breaking the news to Wleklinski. "He taught me a lot of good things. He's a great coach."
But Pride said he looked forward to playing for Syracuse University graduate Ryan Blackwell at Liverpool, which was runner-up to Bishop Ludden in the Class AA sectional finals.
"He's a really cool guy. I really like him," Pride said of Blackwell.
Jalen Hawkins, shown blocking a shot by CBA's Kevin Underwood last season, scored 32 points per game for Utica Proctor. (Scott Schild | sschild@syracuse.com)
Hawkins, another All-CNY choice who earned fourth-team, Class AA all-state honors last spring, scored 32 points per game for the 16-5 Raiders. Hawkins eclipsed the 40-point mark four times.
"I've got to get out and get more exposure for myself," Hawkins said Thursday night.
Hawkins, who is listed at 6-4 on the Central team roster, plans to spend two years at the boarding school that specializes in developing players for college.
Along with more exposure, Hawkins listed playing against better competition and being seen by more college coaches as benefits of City Reach United.
"I'll miss them a lot," Hawkins said of his teammates. "We went to war together, but I've got to separate myself to get better."
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