Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Boys basketball report: Norfolk Academy coach, Hampton player reach career milestones

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Norfolk Academy coach Eric Acra reached a milestone last week when he won his 300th career game.

“The coolest part was all my former players reaching out to congratulate me and I was able to let them know how they were such a huge part of all of this,” he said.

Norfolk Academy (15-7) beat Walsingham for the 300th win on Tuesday and then followed that up with a win over Nansemond-Suffolk Academy. The Bulldogs have won five in a row, and seven of their last eight. Since January, their only losses have come against ranked teams (Norfolk Collegiate, Peninsula Catholic, Catholic and Kellam).

Acra has had many stars come through his program, including David McCormack and Mark Williams. Both players transferred before graduating, but began their high school careers at Norfolk Academy.

As a junior, McCormack transferred to Oak Hill, one of the nation’s most successful high school basketball programs, where he became a McDonald’s All-American. He went to Kansas and helped lead the Jayhawks to a national championship and was named to the all-tournament team. He is currently playing professional basketball for Galatasaray Ekmas in Turkey.

Williams also began his high school basketball career at Norfolk Academy before he transferred to IMG Academy and also became a McDonald’s All-American. He went to Duke and declared for the NBA draft after his sophomore season. He was selected in the 2022 NBA draft with the 15th overall pick by the Charlotte Hornets and has been sidelined most of this season with an injury.

Acra also played at Norfolk Academy under legendary coach Dave Trickler, who won 533 games from 1966 to 2001.

One of his teammates was Gov. Glenn Youngkin. They helped lead the Bulldogs to the TCIS, Virginia Prep League and state title in 1985.

Norfolk Academy’s boys basketball coach Eric Acra won his 300th career game.

“As for Youngkin, he could play,” Acra said about Youngkin, who averaged 25.8 points that season and was named All-TCIS and earned a basketball scholarship to Rice University. “We had some great showdowns against Norfolk Catholic back in the day. We still keep in touch as well.”


Hampton’s Malik Johnson hits milestone

Hampton senior Malik Johnson scored his 1,000th career point last week in a win over Gloucester.

Johnson, a 6-foot-3 guard, leads the Crabbers in scoring (14.2 ppg) and steals (2.4 ppg). He also averages 4.6 rebounds and 2.3 assists.

“I’m very proud of Malik, even with this being the only year I have had with him, it feels like he has been a Crabber,”  said Crabbers coach Eric Brown about Johnson, who played his first three seasons at Phoebus. “This is a great accomplishment for Malik and his family as they have supported him in all his travels. Hopefully this won’t be the last of his awards this season.” 


Big game this week

King’s Fork hosts Western Branch in the final regular-season game. The game begins at 7:30 p.m.


Hampton held its top spot in Hampton Roads, led by Malik Johnson. (Billy Schuerman / The Virginian-Pilot)
Hampton held its top spot in Hampton Roads, led by Malik Johnson. (Billy Schuerman / The Virginian-Pilot)

Top performers

• Cox’s Ben Nacey scored 33 points in a loss to Kempsville.

• Booker T. Washington’s Zymareon Mitchell had 32 points, eight assists, four steals and three blocks to lead the Bookers over Armstrong.

• Kempsville’s Savon Sandiford scored 32 points in a losing effort against Landstown.

• Oscar Smith’s Jacobi Harper had 28 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Tigers over Indian River.

• Lafayette’s Jarquez Garrett had 28 points, seven assists and four rebounds to lead the Rams over Bruton.

• Indian River’s Davion Riddick scored 27 points in a win over Lakeland.

• Veritas Collegiate’s Marcquell Freeman scored 27 points to beat Christchurch.

• Lake Taylor’s Rodney Baines had 26 points and eight rebounds to help the Titans beat Manor.

• Churchland’s Sincere Jones had a big week with 26 points and 14 rebounds over Granby, and 19 points, 13 rebounds and seven blocks to upset Norview.

Larry Rubama, 757-575-6449,


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