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NLR boys basketball team honored for national ranking

The North Little Rock Charging Wildcats finished 12th in the country according to Scorebook Live/Sports Illustrated.

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The North Little Rock Charging Wildcats boys basketball team has made a name for themselves throughout the years in the Natural State. Now, they're getting national recognition. 

The Charging Wildcat community gathered in the school auditorium for a ceremony on Monday, in which they were honored for finishing 12th in the country according to the Scorebook Live/Sports Illustrated Power 25 boys basketball rankings. 

The rankings include public and private schools from across the United States. 

Scorebook Live's Dan Dickau, who also is a former Gonzaga and NBA star,  ays the team's talent and coaching really make the Charging Wildcats stand out. 

"They've got the talent to work together. It's mind-blowing for a high school to have two McDonald's All Americans on the same team. Kel'el Ware is an extremely talented big man who is going to Oregon. Then you've got Nick Smith Jr. who is one of the best young point guards that I've seen," Dickau said. 

North Little Rock also finished number one in the state of Arkansas. 

The Charging Wildcats were also thankful to have the recognition ceremony on campus in front of the student body who cheered them on this season. 

"To have an award ceremony during school everyone gets to come and watch us and see what we accomplish it's a blessing, especially for the stuff we did this year. A lot of people haven't done it in the state of Arkansas so it's something to look back on for life," NLR Senior and Arkansas signee Nick Smith Jr. said. 

"For them to be celebrated for a lot of sacrifices they've done as individuals, I just know how hard they work and it's really super cool," NLR head basketball coach Johnny Rice said. 

Up next, the Charging Wildcats will look forward to their state championship ring ceremony in June. 

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