Syracuse Basketball: Big battles for 4-stars Nigel James, Kiyan Anthony

Syracuse basketball (Syndication: Westchester County Journal News)
Syracuse basketball (Syndication: Westchester County Journal News) /

Syracuse basketball 2025 four-star priority recruits Nigel James and Kiyan Anthony, who both hail from New York state, will compete against some of the country’s top high-school teams during the 2023-24 season.

The 6-foot James, a 2025 four-star point guard and a top-100 national prospect, and the 6-foot-5 Anthony, a 2025 four-star shooting guard and a top-40 overall player, are both juniors at the powerhouse Long Island Lutheran High School in Brookville, N.Y., which is a member of the 10-team National Interscholastic Basketball Conference (“NIBC”), arguably the top high-school hoops league nationwide.

As an NIBC member, Long Island Lutheran is expected to have some of its games in 2023-24 broadcast on national television, so it will be fun to watch James and Anthony battle elite competition.

Long Island Lutheran was a top-five national squad in 2022-23, finishing second in the NIBC regular-season standings and playing in the 2023 GEICO Nationals. High-school basketball experts project the Crusaders as a preseason top-five group ahead of 2023-24, and we’re starting to get an idea about some of Long Island Lutheran’s schedule for the upcoming term.

Syracuse basketball targets Nigel James and Kiyan Anthony will vie for a national championship as juniors.

I noted in another recent column that Long Island Lutheran is part of the 2023 Hoopfest in Paradise on December 15 and December 16 in Nassau, Bahamas. Other participants in this event include the Link Academy in Branson, Mo., which won the 2023 GEICO Nationals this past spring.

Per social media, Long Island Lutheran will participate in this year’s The Bash from December 7 to December 9 in Columbia, S.C. Three other NIBC schools will play in this showcase, and they are the Oak Hill Academy from Mouth of Wilson, Va., the Sunrise Christian Academy in Bel Aire, Kan., and the Legacy Early College in Greenville, S.C.

The host squad of the 2023 Bash is Ridge View High School, which by the way is an excellent high-school basketball program.

Additionally, noted high-school hoops analyst Samad Hines said on X that Long Island Lutheran is planning to host the juggernaut Montverde Academy in Montverde, Fla., on February 16.

Montverde won the NIBC regular-season crown in 2022-23 and went to the 2023 GEICO Nationals. The Eagles’ 2023-24 roster includes three players who held Syracuse basketball scholarship offers, and they are 2024 five-star big man Derik Queen, 2024 four-star point guard Robert Wright III (verbally committed to Baylor) and 2024 four-star point guard Curtis Givens III.

In late August, Hines published his updated preseason top 25 for the 2023-24 stanza. Among some of the teams noted above, Montverde checked in at No. 1, Link at No. 2, Long Island Lutheran at No. 3, Sunrise Christian at No. 11 and Oak Hill at No. 22.

James was offered a scholarship from the ‘Cuse coaching staff in late August, when he played in the team’s annual Elite Camp. He took an official visit to the Hill in mid-September. James’ offer sheet also includes Virginia Tech, Oklahoma State, Seton Hall, George Mason, Iowa, Marquette, UMass, Minnesota, Providence, Rutgers, St. John’s, Southern California, Wake Forest, Xavier, Manhattan, Saint Joseph’s and UAB, among others.

Orange coaches offered a scholarship to Anthony last November. He has said he will take an official visit to Syracuse basketball at some point, along with Florida State from October 13 to October 14, as well as future trips to Indiana and Michigan.

Anthony’s offer list features West Virginia, UCF, Michigan, Maryland, Dayton, Florida State, Pittsburgh, Albany, Illinois, Indiana, Tennessee, Seton Hall, UMass, Providence, Memphis, Bryant, George Mason and Manhattan.

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