HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — West Virginia 2015 basketball commitment Levi Cook of Liberty Raleigh High announced Tuesday he is heading to Huntington Prep School for this upcoming season.

Cook, who is rated as the 14th-best center in the country for the class of 2015 by Scout.com, will play for coach Rob Fulford.

“Last weekend I had heard that he was looking at a few schools out of state, and he tweeted (Monday) night that he was going to go to either a school in Florida or somewhere in Maryland,” Fulford said on the MetroNews Statewide “Sportsline” Tuesday night. “So I told him to reach out to me and I responded to him on Twitter. It was quick, and a situation for him where leaving the state of West Virginia just didn’t make sense when we are sitting right here.”

Cook committed to WVU in September 2012 as a sophomore. But at 6-foot-10, 300 pounds, Cook figures to benefit from facing players more at his level in size and skill set.

“He’s 6-foot-10 and there aren’t too many of those in West Virginia,” Fulford said. “I have some 6-foot-7 guards coming in and it’s just a different mindset that he will have to have now because he’s going against someone his own size, not someone who is 6-foot-2.”

Cook should also benefit from the conditioning program at Huntington Prep as well.

“The potential is there, he just has to get his body right with a better strength and conditioning program,” Fulford said. “We have a nutritionist that is actually our strength and conditioning coach and I think that will help him get that portion of his game intact. He has a lot of potential, it’s just tough for him to really see what he can do on a day-to-day basis right now.”

As for Huntington Prep, the prep school in the past has declined to accept athletes from West Virginia in order to avoid friction with area high schools. However, Fulford made an exception for Cook because he was likely heading out of state anyway.

“I still would say I am opposed to (taking kids from the state), but I think this situation was a little different,” Fulford said. “I don’t think a kid should have to leave the state, and that was the case here. He was leaving West Virginia and heading to another state. We had to act pretty quickly and didn’t have much of a window. But, it’s not going to be a yearly thing where a kid just says he will be leaving West Virginia so he can go to Huntington Prep. That won’t be the case.”

 

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  • Aaron

    Also, I guess this puts a big kibosh on young Mr. Cook's football playing days....

  • Jimmy T

    Actually, the Huntington Prep kids take classes at St. Joseph's High School in Huntington.

    So, it's not like some of the infamous basketball prep schools you're thinking of...

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  • Hoffy

    Don't know much about the prep school beyond the website and Wikipedia, but I'm supposing if this particular situation is in the best interest of the kid and his family, good for them.
    However, I do take a jaded look at "prep" schools such as Huntington, and my possibly mistaken perception of them being not much more than a glorified "puppy mill" for teenage athletes. Seems the primary goal is athletic achievement; not academic and holistic.
    Nothing against the kid, nor the school, mind you, but I am skeptical.
    I did have to laugh, mind you, that the coach said he doesn't want to poach players from the state in the interest of fairness.
    Really?
    I'm not quite there with that, because it seems with a paucity of talent that the state has on a high school level compared to where Huntington Prep has been recruiting and their subsequent results, that is probably a factor.
    Call it disingenuous, but I'm not quite sold on what I've read in the quoted statements from Mr. Fulford in Mr. Cullen's article.
    No insults intended, just a humble observation.

    • Aaron

      I wonder about the academics portion of this school. The web site states they are Huntington St. Joesph Catholic High Scool students and must adhere to their rules and regulations.

      If that is the case, then their academics aren't a walk in the park as is the case at many Prep schools.

      One does have to wonder though as there is no oversight for participation, if that truly is the case.

    • wvrefugee

      You are spot on. They take ACT Prep classes so their scores will rise and qualify them then play hoops most of the time.

  • WVUGRAD1995

    Even a Mullens boy knows the WVU is in State!!!!!! Rob is, and has always been, a little slow!

    • chad

      Uhmm, I believe Rob is talking about the prep schools Cook was planning on attending (one in Florida, one in Maryland) not WVU