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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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Elite 75 Standout Players

2013 Standouts

Kuran Iverson, As other media outlets turned there backs on the once #2 player in the country Hoop Dreams Magazine stood by his side while crowning him the #1 player in New England in the class of 2013.  Iverson can score with the best of them, while playing point forward keeps his teammates involved by consistently beating his defender off the dribble.  Iverson’s jump shoot looked better and it also seems like he has visited the weight room, David Stern will know his name if he continues to improve.

Kamali Bey, One word can describe his play, Efficient. Bey once herald as one of the state of Massachusetts up and coming gems, was sidelined by an injury that held the star out of action for quite some time.  Now back in action Bey showed why he was given that tag, scored the ball like he was playing horse with his little brother bucket after bucket.  Whichever program lands Bey will be more then satisfied.

Andrew Chrabascz, we like to call him the glue. He makes it work no matter the situation, back to the basket, or slashing down the lane for a two-hand dunk.  Chrabascz has the tools to play at any level because of his will to compete.  Has developed a mid range game as of lately.

Kahil Dukes, the sharp shooter is a volume shooter, but is also a shot maker.  Showed his point guard skills by keeping his team involved while taking over when the time was needed.  Dukes plan to have a top 5 by August and plans to decide which school he plans to attend

Sam Donahue left the event as one of the best shooters in the building; Donahue missed few shots, as he was red hot from the three-point arc. The downtown sniper used the one dribble pull-up to create space, which often freed up his teammates for wide open shoots.

2014 Standouts

Jared Terrell, showed why he is being recruited heavily as one of the best (SG) in the country, Terrell scored in all shapes and fashions. Pull up jumpers, three pointers from all over the court, as well as  his continued growth of athleticism by finishing with loud dunks. Terrell looks to have added more muscle to his already college ready body.

Elijah Rogers has been playing with a chip on his shoulder for the past few events that we have seen him in.  Rogers has gain more athleticism to go along with his consistent attacking style, Rogers plays hard on both ends of the floor.  Needs to develop a solid  mid range game to continue being a threat.

Paschal Chukwu, played to a different beat then he usually does, challenged all shots at the rim, as well as changed shots.  Has started to develop a consistent right hand jump hook, which looks to be his go to move at times.

 

Abdul Malik Abu, Once again proved that he belongs in the conversation as one of the top 50 players in the 2014 class.  Abu mixed it up today and gave us a preview of his step out three point game. Abu made more then eight three pointers throughout 5 on 5 play.  Not to mention his fearless loud dunks in traffic, Abu has great upper body strength, which allows him to score through contact; a go two move or two would help him scratch his potential.

Bonzie Colson showed his toughness while playing against bigger defenders, has a great feel for the game as he uses the rim to feed off the shot blocker.  What he lacks in size is equaled off by the size of his heart, never one to back down his upside looks great.

Damion Smith the do it all guard, scored rebounded and assisted on half of his teams points, we like to call him the “Junk yard Dog” as he has a great nose for the ball and plays hard from start to finish.  Has to strengthen his ball handling skills along with his jump shot which has looked better lately.

2015 Standouts

Bruce Brown, Showed why he has been declared the next one, showed high level athletic moves.  With a developed jump shot Brown will be a name to remember.

Terrance Mann has a great IQ for the game, both offensively and defensively Mann has the tools to become a high major prospect.  Strength is a concern at a young age; Mann has to be able to finish through the contact, a younger Gerard Coleman.