Academic Magnet High School - North Charleston, South Carolina.


Academic Magnet High School - North Charleston, South Carolina.


Academic Magnet High School - North Charleston, South Carolina.


2023 Raptor Basketball Spotlight

Meet the 2023 Men’s Basketball Team

With the temperature dropping and fall sports coming to a close, the Birdcage is moving from D4 Stadium back to the Bonds-Wilson Campus for another big season in Raptor athletics- basketball. With tryouts and preseason workouts concluding, the roster has been set and the team looks forward for the upcoming season. With the loss of influential seniors and several changes in the team lineup, the men’s basketball squad looks to start off strong this year with both new and returning faces.

The former 2022-2023 basketball team

The roster has changed somewhat compared to last year. Compared to the six seniors who made the team last year, this year’s number has been cut in half with only three seniors making the cut. The first, James King, has played basketball for twelve years and looks forward to his final year of high school basketball and hanging out with his teammates while playing guard for the team. King has high hopes for his senior year, predicting the team will go 13-12. Lucas Browder is ready to bounce back after a long injury that prevented his return to the team last year, eager to resume his role at guard as well. Lucas has played basketball all his life and has already enjoyed the popularity of the new basketball team TikTok account (more on that below). Lucas predicts the team will go 2-23 this year. The last senior, James Prutting, is also a guard and ready to begin the season. He looks forward to playing for one last season at Magnet and spending time with his teammates. Prutting predicts a season record similar to Lucas Browder, saying the team will go 5-20. Overall, the seniors might not bring numbers but their presence on the court is evident.

The juniors make up the largest number of the team, with six players in total. The first, Noah Orza, is the creator of the team’s TikTok account and one of the team’s forwards. Noah requested that the account get a mention in the article.

Noah Orza, Lucas Browder, and James Prutting (left to right) performing a Fortnite dance for the team TikTok account

The account currently has seventy seven followers and posts many shorts featuring the various members of the team. The next Junior is Thomas Hershey, another forward, who looks forward to bonding with his teammates and can’t wait to create unforgettable memories. Thomas began playing when he was in the first grade and predicts that the team will go 15-10 this year. Tyler Nelson is yet another forward on the team, followed by Mercer Bundis at center. Andrew Russell rounds off the juniors at shooting guard, while SOA junior Dylan Sweeney is unfortunately out with a season ending injury. The juniors bring quantity and quality to the team and hope to set the team up for success this year.

The sophomores make up the second largest group on the team, only being one player shy of tying the juniors. The five players look forward to the season, with Billy Baer agreeing with James King’s prediction of 13-12. Billy looks forward to playing point guard this year and can not wait for the home game warm ups. I could not agree with Billy more as the moment when the team runs onto the court is a great feeling from the stands and I’m sure the team is even more ecstatic down on the court. The next sophomore is Bennett Bair, playing shooting guard for the team, along with Eli Sherman, an all around player who sees his spot at shooting guard, point guard, and small forward. Jaidon Daley also plays point guard, while Max Tippey follows through at center along with junior Mercer Bundis. Overall, the sophomores look to make their mark on the team and ensure they are remembered once the season is done. Lastly, the one and only freshman on the team, Charlie Pappas, plays small forward and can’t wait for his first year with the Raptor basketball team.

With the incoming season the players have their share of concerns. These concerns range from upcoming opponents to personal issues. Sophomore Billy Baer says his biggest worry with the upcoming season is getting playing time, while senior Lucas Browder says he worries about making layups. This confidence issue could be problematic, but practice seems to be proving perfect with the team. Opponents also seem to be playing a role in the team’s worries, as junior Thomas Hershey says Bishop England, Magnet’s ever present rival, is the game he is looking forward to the most, in part due to the heated rivalry and also because of his hope that this year will prove to be a win against the Battling Bishops. Fellow senior James King shares Thomas’ concern as he also says BE will be a big team to beat this year and that Hanahan High School will also present a challenge for the team as the Raptors went one for two against the team the previous year with many more veteran players. James Prutting is also ready to play Bishop England as he says that they should be the team’s biggest opponent but that the game should be enjoyable as it is on a Friday. These Friday games are always enjoyable as they tend to draw bigger crowds and thus bigger attention to the team. Another opponent that the team will need to watch throughout the season is Oceanside Collegiate Academy, yet another ever present opponent in Raptor athletics. The team looks to be in good shape this year, though, with their practices well underway and their first game being on the 17th, the last Friday before Fall Break, where they will play Cathedral Academy and their next game being on the 22nd against Stall. Their schedule can be found on MaxPreps and be sure to check them out and don’t forget to attend the games to support the team.

Make sure to check out the team’s MaxPreps page below, and the username for the team TikTok is @johnjohnsen70 and titled “academic hoopers.”

2023-2024 Academic Magnet Men’s Basketball

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