History & Alumni

Explore our program's legacy and the remarkable achievements of our alumni as they move through the college and professional ranks.

THE ROCK LIONSTHE STORY OF OUR PRIDE

Known for a tradition of excellence and unwavering commitment to nurturing top-tier athletes, The Rock launched its first basketball team in 1995.
Joel Embiid at The Rock

THE PAST

2023 NBA MVP Joel Embiid is one of many tremendous athletes to help shape the legacy of our program. Initially competing in Class 1A of FHSAA, The Rock and Head Coach Svend Wilbekin laid the groundwork for our winning tradition. The Lions reached the state finals for the first time in 2007 behind Vytautas Sulskis, our first basketball player to secure a Division I scholarship.

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THE PRESENT

Since joining the SIAA in 2012, The Rock has celebrated numerous state championships and national achievements. Today, Head Coach Justin Harden leads a program that consistently produces remarkable athletes and fosters a culture of teamwork and sportsmanship. The Rock has propelled more than 50 athletes to successful college careers and about 20 players to the pros.

Middle school team championship

THE FUTURE

Through our dedicated coaching, rigorous training, and steadfast focus on skill development, The Rock shapes the careers of many talented athletes and guides them toward success in various arenas. With a passion for the game and an unyielding pursuit of improvement, The Rock basketball program continues to inspire and empower the next generation of basketball stars.

STATE CHAMPIONS

The Rock's national team competes in the elite SIAA conference and has won the state title in multiple seasons.
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JOEL EMBIID
THE ROCK TO NBA MVP

“I loved it at The Rock. I got better every day in practice by competing. Coach Harden worked me, and I got a lot of minutes. I became confident.” — Joel Embiid

The Rock’s renowned alum transferred to our program from Montverde to seek more playing time. During his time at The Rock, Joel significantly contributed to the team’s 33–4 record and the school’s first state championship by averaging 13.0 points, 9.7 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks per game. His performance earned him recognition as a five-star recruit, paving the way for his collegiate journey at Kansas.

As a Jayhawk, Joel set freshman records for blocks, field-goal percentage, and rebounding. Despite an injury keeping him out of the Big 12 and NCAA tournaments, his resilience and skill propelled him into an exceptional NBA career. Joel went from never touching a basketball at age 15 to the NBA’s No. 3 draft pick at age 20.

Joel’s pro career includes multiple scoring titles, a series of stellar performances, and a commitment to representing the United States at the 2024 Olympics. His on-court prowess led to recognition as the NBA’s Most Valuable Player during the 2022-23 season — becoming the only MVP with a high school diploma from Florida.

Joel Embiid

JOEL EMBIID
THE ROCK'S MVP

“I loved it at The Rock. I got better every day in practice by competing. Coach Harden worked me, and I got a lot of minutes. I became confident.” — Joel Embiid

The Rock’s renowned alum transferred to our program from Montverde to seek more playing time. During his time at The Rock, Joel significantly contributed to the team’s 33–4 record and the school’s first state championship by averaging 13.0 points, 9.7 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks per game. His performance earned him recognition as a five-star recruit, paving the way for his collegiate journey at Kansas.

As a Jayhawk, Joel set freshman records for blocks, field-goal percentage, and rebounding. Despite an injury keeping him out of the Big 12 and NCAA tournaments, his resilience and skill propelled him into an exceptional NBA career. Joel went from never touching a basketball at age 15 to the NBA’s No. 3 draft pick at age 20.

Joel’s pro career includes multiple scoring titles, a series of stellar performances, and a commitment to representing the United States at the 2024 Olympics. His on-court prowess led to recognition as the NBA’s Most Valuable Player during the 2022-23 season — becoming the only MVP with a high school diploma from Florida.

Scottie Wilbekin

SCOTTIE WILBEKIN
LION-HEARTED GATOR

A two-time All-State honoree at The Rock, Scottie Wilbekin continued his impressive journey at Florida. Playing a pivotal role in the Gators' three consecutive NCAA Tournament Elite Eight appearances, he further solidified his legacy by leading the team to the Final Four in 2014 as a senior. Scottie’s efforts garnered many accolades, including SEC Player of the Year, SEC Tournament MVP, and various All-SEC and SEC All-Defensive honors. His professional journey includes multiple stints in the NBA Summer League and an exceptional career abroad in Australia, Greece, Israel, and Turkey. Known for consistent double-digit scoring across eight seasons in the prestigious EuroLeague, Scottie continues to collect club, league, and tournament MVP awards.

THE ROCK IN MARCH MADNESS

Mitchell Wilbekin

MITCHELL WILBEKIN

Mitchell earned his spot on the National Team as a seventh grader. As a senior during the 2013-14 season, he became The Rock’s all-time leading scorer and earned SIAA Player of the Year honors. After four years at Wake Forest, Mitchell graduated as the Demon Deacons’ sixth-leading 3-point shooter. Following a successful pro career in Europe and the NBA G League, he now works in the Memphis Grizzlies front office.

Jamari Wheeler

JAMARI WHEELER

The Rock won a school-record 35 games in Jamari’s 2016-17 senior season, where he averaged 16 points, six assists, five boards, and four steals per game. At Penn State, he earned two Big Ten All-Defensive Team honors before ending his college career at Ohio State with an NCAA Tournament berth in 2022. Jamari now plays pro ball in Europe and joined other Penn State alumni in The Basketball Tournament.

Alec Oglesby

ALEC OGLESBY

Alec emerged as a three-star recruit during The Rock’s run to the 2018-19 state championship. As a senior, he registered averages of 24 points, five rebounds, and four assists. Alec made an early impact in college by appearing in 27 games as a freshman at Cleveland State, including the 2021 NCAA Tournament. He continues to shine in his second season at Stetson, with an average of 11.5 points per game.

Bryan Greenlee Jr.

BRYAN GREENLEE JR.

As a three-year starter for The Rock, Bryan played a pivotal role in the school’s 2019 state title as a senior. He transferred to FAU after a year at Minnesota. As a junior, Bryan led the Owls in 3-point shooting on the way to C-USA regular season and tournament championships — along with a magical 2023 NCAA tournament run to the Final Four that included.a 16-point performance in the Elite Eight.

THE ROCK IN THE NCAA

  • Dallas Jones, Anderson
  • TJ Hurley, Vermont
  • Kyle Duke, North Carolina A&T
  • Sasha Letino, Wingate
  • Trell Washington, Eckerd
  • Alec Oglesby, Stetson
  • Jalen Speer, Florida A&M
  • Antrell Charlton, Fordham
  • Jaden Campbell, Samford
  • Bryan Greenlee Jr., Minnesota, FAU
  • Zimife Nwokeji, Dayton
  • Dardan Kapiti, FAU, Eastern Kentucky
  • Daylin Lee, Notre Dame College
  • Brandon Kenyon, IUPUI
  • Simeon Kirkland, UAB, New Orleans
  • Daniel Mading, UC Riverside
  • Jamari Wheeler, Penn State, Ohio State
  • Shaq Rombley, Lincoln Memorial
  • Pape Diatta, Georgia
  • DeVaughn Jenkins, Angelo State
  • Mitchell Wilbekin, Wake Forest
  • Christian Benzon, Evansville
  • Glenn Feidanga, Long Island
  • Alain Chigha, Quinnipiac
  • Joel Embiid, Kansas
  • Ousmane Ba, Lee, St. Mary’s
  • Dennis Mavin, FAU, FIU
  • Scottie Wilbekin, Florida
  • Patrick Konan, New Hampshire
  • Vladyslav Kondratyev, Bryant
  • Anton Tuz, Tusculum
  • Vytautas Sulskis, Youngstown State
  • Bartas Visinskis, Barry
  • Moussa Camara, Binghamton
  • Andrew Brantley, Southeastern
  • Josh Bowling, North Florida

VYTAUTAS SULSKIS
PIONEERING THE ROAR

In the early years, Vytautas led the Lions to the school's first state finals in 2007 and earned Class 1A Player of the Year honors. After leaving Youngstown State as an all-time great, he returned to Lithuania to play professionally in the country's top league. Years later, Vytautas added league MVP and defensive player of the year honors to an ongoing career spanning more than 10 years.

THE ROCK IN THE PROS

  • Sasha Letino, Sweden
  • Dardan Kapiti, Kosovo
  • Marcus Gomis, France
  • Jamari Wheeler, Slovakia
  • Shaq Rombley, Germany, Austria
  • Vasilije Janjetovic, Bosnia
  • Pape Diatta, Czech Republic
  • DeVaughn Jenkins, Kosovo, Serbia, Slovakia, Finland
  • Mitchell Wilbekin, NBA, Turkey, Kosovo
  • Christian Benzon, Denmark
  • Joel Embiid, NBA
  • Dennis Mavin, Germany, Georgia
  • Scottie Wilbekin, NBA, Australia, Greece, Israel, Turkey
  • Patrick Konan, Thailand
  • Vladyslav Kondratyev, Ukraine
  • Vytautas Sulskis, Lithuania
  • Moussa Camara, France
Vytautas Sulskis
The Rock School

THE ROCK LIONS

9818 SW 24th Ave.
Gainesville, FL 32607
(352) 331-7625
contact@therockhoops.org

THANK YOU SPONSORS

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