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Wilbraham and Monson Academy “Prep Profile”

When a basketball program loses as much as six seniors to college, arguably the best player on the team transfers, and overall becomes younger, the last word that comes to mind is contender. Naturally, phrases like; a rebuilding year, inexperience, excusable, a throwaway season does come to mind. After stopping by on campus to watch an open run, we at HDM now know that these groups of Titans are the real deal.

Coach Sparks and Mannix, has managed to assemble arguably the most versatile, talented, and most important youngest basketball team Wilbraham and Monson has seen. Most Notably in the front court, a very deep group of big men, a frontline deeper than any other team in the NEPSAC regardless of class.

Playing at both four and five position will be a very scary defensive tandem of newly reclassified import Goodluck Okonoboh and 2014 returning big man Djery Baptiste.

Okonoboh as everyone knows when playing alongside another defensive big is a very good weak side, help defender. His shot blocking and overall athletic ability will allow Djery and the rest of the big men to take more chances on defense. This season look for Goodluck to show his offensive skills and leadership. Playing at the center and forward position will be the new Djery Baptiste. According to Coach Sparks Baptiste has put on 40 pounds of muscle. His overall basketball skills have improved as Djery is now much more physical and confident.

At the forward spots will be 2014 transfer Kerem Kanter. Kanter who stands at 6’7” offensively is a very skilled big man, with a great soft touch around the basket (ala Pau Gasol). His knowledge of the game allows him to make good moves around the basket, and always places himself in great position for rebounds and put backs. With his skill set look for him to play both the three and four position.

Rounding out the big man core will be BABC’s and returning 2015 forward Marcel Pettway. Last season Pettway was arguably the biggest surprise, as he was able to hold his own against some of the country’s best big man as a freshman. With a deeper front court this season Pettway is able to focus and play more at his natural position Power Forward.

Not to be outdone, Wilbraham’s group of guards is just as versatile as their front court. 2015 guard from the Dominican Republic Luis Monteiro and 2013 Kamali Bey can play all three guard position. Monteiro standing at 6’7” is long guard with a lot of skill. Offensively Luis could be as dangerous as Ricardo Ledo but looks to pass more. His passing and ball handling ability may gain him the starting point guard position. Defensively his length and mobility is going to cause problems for smaller guards. Senior Kamali Bey the undoubted leader of this team has come back to school this year focused. To help his recruitment Bey is now 20 pounds lighter and has tightened up his ball handling to spend time at the one. During five on five in the open run Bey was the most vocal and encouraging player to his younger teammates. Matched up against a loaded team consisting of Goodluck, Djery, and Luis; Kamali willed his team into 2 to 3 straight victories.

Post grad, 6’0 Kevin Perez a physical guard from New York may serve as backup to Luis and Bey at the one and two spot. Perez is a physical guard with a good shot; majority of his minutes should come from playing backup point guard. Rounding out the guard position is Durfee transfer Curtis Cobbs 2015 and Earl Stephen.

This Wilbraham and Monson team that Coach Sparks and Mannix assembled is going to be a fun team to watch for some years to come. The real question is how this relatively new team will gel together to compete in a very competitive AA NEPSAC Class.


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BABC Are Your 2012 10th Grade AAU National Champions

The most heralded AAU program in New England raises another banner. The BABC sophmore team has won their 2nd national title in back to back years as a group. A number of these players have been in the winning circle before(Bobby Ahearn,Johnny Joseph,Curtis Cobb and Tyree Robinson), after winning the freshmen national title in 2011. This championship is marks the 3rd in a row for the program in the sophmore division.


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3-Peat For BABC

The most heralded AAU program in New England raises another banner. The BABC sophmore team has won their 2nd national title in back to back years as a group. A number of these players have been in the winning circle before(Bobby Ahearn,Johnny Joseph,Curtis Cobb and Tyree Robinson), after winning the freshmen national title in 2011. This championship is marks the 3rd in a row for the program in the sophmore division.

BABC won a hard fought 61-55 overtime win over Team Charlotte but not before a nail biter in the semis down in Orlando, Fl. With a big contribution from Bonzie Colson who finished with 23 points and 21 rebounds in a overtime win against Albany City Rocks that helped his team advance to the finals.

In the finals BABC trailed until the finals against Charlotte where they battled back from a 8 point deficit. Before the sound at the end of regualtion down 3 Jonny Joseph puts in a NBA range 3 to send the game into overtime.

“I just knew it was going in” an excited Johnny Joseph replied when asked what he felt when releasing the shot.

Tyler Nelson came up big knocking down a number of 3’s to finish with 16 points and Tyree Robinson anchored the defensive charge with a number of blocks. Congratulations to coach Eggie Mcrae a former player of the BABC program on winning his 2nd national title.


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RI HAWKS HALLOWEEN HOOPFEST Recap

 

Spotlight of the day: Curtis “Mr. 3” Cobb  # 26 2014 Played well beyond his years, shoot the ball with perfection.  Cobb showed that he belonged in the conversation of elite shooting guards, and proved it today playing against some of New England’s best guards.  Cobb scored a game high 18pts against the New England Playerz, the game was controlled by BABC for most of the game as they defeated the Playerz 55-52.

NE Playaz 67 – RI Hawks 66

BABC 55- Playerz 52

BABC 48 – RI Hawks 43

Others that caught our eye:

Jaquil Taylor: (# 7 2014) Ran the floor well, contested shoots, looked great taking the 15ft shots, could have done much more damage in the post with a few more touches.

Henry Bolton: (# 29 2014) Will be a name to remember, played like a true big time guard, and didn’t back down from any competition, knows how to put the basketball in the basket in all sorts of ways.  Which ever assist coach lands this guy as a steal will surely become a head coach one day.

Jarred Reuter:  (# 1 2015) Played as he always does like an animal, creates so much space when he makes a move, its nearly impossible to guard him.  Rebounds like he is playing in college already and can start the break as well.

Bonzie Colson: (# 13 2014) Played like a champion that he is, doing all the little things to make his team win, Colson is a winner and proved that today and last summer by  winning a 15u national championship.

Aaron Falzon: (# 3 2015) Was terrific in both games, able to step away from the basket and drain the three point shot.  he has a very high ceiling and showed that he can guard on the perimeter at times.

Tyree Robinson: (# 6 2015) Robinson was kangaroo like when on the receiving end of the drop downs, as he quickly dunks the ball with high energy.  He consistently gets BABC’s famous press started. 

Jalen Adams:  (# 31 2014) Mr 2 Ez made his BABC debut today, and nothing came EZ as he struggled in the fast paced game and didn’t get a rhythm going, Adams didn’t look like a top 25 player when he played against other top 25 players.  Needs to work on his shot selection.

Kahari Beaufort : “Mr Twitter”  (# 14 2014) Did not live up to the hype, scored a total of 14 pts in two games combined.  Beaufort usually has a motor and plays hard at all times, today was a different story, witness him arguing with his coaches, taking his chair and sitting away from his team, that shows poor character that’s a part of the game of basketball being discipline.  he did not perform like a top 25 player.