Noah pledges to play for South Carolina

Published 10:30 am Tuesday, October 3, 2023

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By John Henson 

Contributing Sports Writer

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A recruiting journey that took Harlan County senior Trent Noah around the nation and brought several Division I basketball coaches to Harlan concluded Sunday with Noah’s announcement that he will continue his basketball/academic career at South Carolina.

Noah, an all-stater the past two years and a five-year starter for the Bears, had narrowed his college choices to South Carolina, Stanford, Seton Hall, Western, Richmond, Saint Louis, Dayton and Butler before picking the Gamecocks in a ceremony at the HCHS auditorium.

“It’s been an awesome experience,” said Noah, who added that he considered “fit, style of play and where I was needed” in making his college choice.

Harlan County coach Kyle Jones noted before Noah’s announcement that Noah would be the first player from the county since Harlan’s Charles Thomas in the 1994-95 season to sign with a Division I school when he picked Minnesota. Thomas became the second Harlan County athlete to win Mr. Basketball honors.

The first Harlan Countian to be named Mr. Basketball, Cawood’s Phil Cox, was the last county athlete to sign with a Southeastern Conference school when he picked Vanderbilt in 1981 before going on to be a four-year starter and all-time leading scorer with the Commodores.

Noah will have the opportunity to play against some of the top programs in the nation, including Kentucky, at an SEC school.

“That definitely mattered,” Noah said. “I wanted to play at the highest level and play the best competition. That definitely factored into it, but I felt I couldn’t go wrong with South Carolina.”

Noah thanked family, friends, coach and teammates after announcing he would play at South Carolina, including his cousin, Noah, who died earlier this year. He noted she helped him when he first started playing basketball and was like “a second sister.”