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O’Dowd’s Ashley transferring to Findlay Prep (UPDATED)

Former Bishop O’Dowd basketball star Brandon Ashley is transferring to Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nev. Ashley mom’s, Lashiem Clark, and Findlay Prep coach Michael Peck confirmed the transfer.

I’ll post more later. If Findlay Prep sounds familiar, it’s the school Jabari Brown transferred to in the summer of 2009, only to later transfer out and enroll at Oakland High.

Here’s what I wrote for tomorrow’s paper.

Basketball star Brandon Ashley, a 6-foot-8 power forward, is transferring from Bishop O’Dowd High to Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nev., for his senior season. His mother, Lashiem Clark, and Findlay Prep coach Michael Peck confirmed the move Thursday.

Clark said the decision was made Tuesday. Ashley is in Chicago for the Amar’e Stoudemire Skills Academy and could not be reached for comment.
“He will develop at a faster rate and also at a steady rate,” Clark said of the motivation to transfer. “Most importantly, the academic move is lateral.”
Clark and Ashley recently visited Findlay Prep and were sold on the idea of transferring
“We both fell in love,” Clark said. “We just think it’s a good move for him. Not to slight Bishop O’Dowd at all. It’s a great school. We can’t say one bad thing about them.”
Ashley is ranked by ESPN as the No. 6 overall prospect in the 2012 class and the No. 2 overall power forward. He helped the Dragons reach the California Interscholastic Federation Division III boys state championship game the past two years.
“Obviously, he’s a very talented basketball player,” Peck said. “What’s even more important is he’s just a solid person. A good kid, good student, he’s well-rounded and has a great support system with his mom back at home.”
Peck said the players Ashley will face daily in practice and throughout the Pilots’ competitive schedule should help prepare him for college.
“From a playing standpoint, it’s going to make him better,” Peck said. “He’s not going to have to wait for the one game every eight or nine games where he’s got someone to challenge him. He’ll see that every day in practice.”
Findlay Prep is a basketball academy and the players attend the Henderson International School. The team plays a national schedule and the players live together in a large home near the school.
Bishop O’Dowd coach Doug Vierra spoke warmly about Ashley, whom his team will certainly miss.
“Brandon’s been a huge part of our basketball family for the last three years and a huge part of our success,” Vierra said. “I think I’m not alone in speaking well of him and his time with us. Everybody on the team wishes him well for his future.”
Ashley averaged approximately 15 points and 10 rebounds for O’Dowd this season and was a first-team All-East Bay selection for the second straight year. Cal-Hi Sports named Ashley its Division III state player of the year and the junior player of the year.
His season was capped with a 28-point, eight-rebound performance in a 64-59 state title game loss to Lutheran-La Verne in which he was lauded for his performance against Grant Jerrett, a 6-8 Arizona commit to whom he’s been compared.
Ashley is the second East Bay player in recent years to transfer to Findlay Prep. Jabari Brown transferred from Salesian in the summer of 2009 and played half a season with the Pilots before moving back home and enrolling at Oakland High. Brown led the Wildcats to the Oakland Section title this year and will attend Oregon in the fall.

Jimmy Durkin

Jimmy Durkin is a sports writer for the Bay Area News Group.