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Final Four: Ex-Stars From Region Set For First NCAA Clash Between Duke, UNC

AJ Griffin (left) and RJ Davis AJ Griffin (left) and RJ Davis
AJ Griffin (left) and RJ Davis Photo Credit: Duke/UNC
RJ Davis RJ Davis
RJ Davis Photo Credit: UNC
AJ Griffin AJ Griffin
AJ Griffin Photo Credit: Duke University

After taking their talents to North Carolina, a pair of former downstate New York high school basketball standouts from the region are bringing a little bit of March Madness back to their hometowns.

Westchester County natives RJ Davis, of White Plains, and Ossining resident AJ Griffin, who both attended Archbishop Stepinac High School in White Plains, are looking for their “one shining moment” as they get ready to face one another in the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament with a spot in the finals on the line.

UNC will face off against Duke with a tip-off scheduled for 8:49 p.m. on Saturday, April 2 following the Kansas-Villanova semifinal game, both on TBS and TNT.

A freshman forward, Griffin will lead Duke against Davis and the University of North Carolina in the first-ever matchup between the two teams in the NCAA Tournament, whose heated rivalry dates back decades.

Davis, who is the all-time leading prep scorer in Westchester history and 2020 Gatorade High School Player of the Year in New York, has starred as a sophomore at UNC, earning Academic All-ACC team honors while averaging more than eight points a game for the Tar Heels.

He was named New York’s Mr. Basketball by the Basketball Coaches Association of New York, the first player in his school’s history to win the award, and played in the McDonald’s All-American Game.

A freshman, Griffin, named to the ACC All-Freshman Team and an honorable mention for All-ACC, was a five-star forward coming out of Archbishop Stepinac and ranked as the No. 9 player in ESPN 100’s ranking for the class of 2021 before choosing to attend Duke.

Griffin has averaged nearly 24 points per game on 50 percent shooting.

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