Lodge finds a home at St. JosephsPublished 7:21pm Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Markell Lodge has spent a majority of his high school years bouncing around trying to find the right home, but that won’t be a problem upon graduation this June.
In September, Lodge, a former P.S. Jones Middle School star who will be playing basketball at his third different high school this winter, committed to play for famed hoops coach Phil Martelli at St. Josephs in Philadelphia next year.
“I always had a dream to play for a D-I program and what made me commit to St. Joseph’s was the coaching staff,” Lodge said while watching the Pam Pack football team take on North Johnston in its regular season finale with his parents Melvin and Eva Lodge.
Lodge’s father Melvin said that while there’s a part of him that wishes Markell chose to play closer to home, he was thrilled to see him move on to the next level.
“I’m happy to see him achieve his goal,” Melvin said. “He started out playing when he was young and this is something he’s worked hard for.”
The 6-7, 200-pound Lodge grew up in Washington and played for the Demons in seventh grade, but transferred to The Miller School in Virginia with hopes of drawing more attention to his hoops game. After three years at The Miller School, Lodge crossed over to Christian Faith Center Academy in Creedmoor, N.C. last season and after one year decided to jump-step over to the Pace Academy in Carrboro for his senior year.
Despite his globe trotting, Lodge said he still visits Washington whenever he gets a chance.
“My feelings towards Washington are really good,” Lodge said. “I had a lot of teachers and coaches that had my back and had me working hard in the classroom.”
Despite his love for Washington, Lodge said he was persuaded to check out The Miller School after talking to the father of another former Washington hoops star whose stint at The Miller School helped him land a scholarship from Maryland.
“What brought me to The Miller School was Omar Parker (father of Mychal Parker),” Lodge said. “He was the one that helped me get better and helped me work on my game and one day he asked me to come with him to see a game at Miller when Mychal was there. The next thing I know the coach saw me and liked me and I was there.”
Markell’s father Melvin said the transfer was a tough transition, but he felt like it was the right move.
“It was kind of hard at first, we were going to Miller twice a month and during basketball season we were going there at least two or three times a month,” Melvin said. “At Miller, they were very good academically, and also he was playing against the best competition.
“He was getting more recognition at Miller. There would be five or six scouts at every practice. There was always a scout there at practice.
“Scouts were coming in to look at (current Kansas Jayhawk) Andrew White, but they were also looking at ’Kell as well. He got his first offer from George Mason when he was a sophomore, but it started because they were looking at Andrew.”
Lodge, whose highlight reel dunks can be seen all over the Internet, also played on the 17U U.S. Adidas Nation team and said he plans on majoring in sports management at St. Josephs.
While Lodge has become accustomed to living out of a suite case the last few years he said he is looking forward to have one address for the next four.
“I have a good coaching staff that’s going to be there in Coach Martelli and (assistant) Coach (David) Duda,” Lodge said. “They’re going to keep me working hard on and off the court and I’m looking forward to staying there all four years.”