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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 9th Grade Team Defends Title and Captures a Medal

BABC according to our rankings has the #1 9th grade AAU team in New England. BABC are the defending 2011 national champions and recently went down to Little Rock, Arkansas with a chance to repeat and defend their crown.

The talented group of young Men lead by wing players Bruce Brown and Terrance Mann are coming off a great showing at the Hoop Mountain Super Week before heading to Arkansas. Then add the low post presence of Marcel Pettway and you’ve got the recipe of a team ready to compete.

 BABC went 3-0 in pool play advancing to the championship bracket.  In bracket play BABC goes 2-1 before falling to the Titans in the semifinals by 2 (39-37). The Titans(TX) would lose to The City(NY) in the finals. The anticipated rematch between BABC and City(NY) did not happen. In the spring BABC(16u) got the best of City(NY), beating them at the BABC Shootout.

BABC came in 3rd place earning them a Bronze medal. Next stop for BABC is Orlando to compete in the Super Showcase. Good Luck!


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2012 BABC Boston Shootout

This past weekend Tufts University was host to the 2012 Boston Shootout. This year marked the 40th anniversary of the event and a number of the nations future bright stars. Teams that participated in the event were BABC(MA), Albany City Rocks (NY), Middlesex Magic (MA), CT Select, NE Playaz, East Coast Elite (CT), MB Nation(ME), The City (NY),USAD(CT) Eric Gordon All-Stars (IN), and Mass Rivals. BABC came away winners in the 15u, 16u, and 17u division but is was no easy task.

 

BABC 15U dominated their division including a blow out win against Albany City Rocks. The strength and athleticsm of  Terrance Mann, Bruce Brown and Marcel Pettway appeared to be a bit much to handle for any team in that age group. Brown and Mann kept the game entertaining as it seemed like everytime they touched the ball and made a play towards the basket it ended up being a Sportscenter hightlight. The of the weekend came from Bruce Brown as he flew over a East Coast Elite defender for a 1 hand slam(Video Can Be Seen Below).

BABC 16u match up against City(NY) had to of been arguably the best game of the scheduled event as it came down to the wire.  Damian Smith(BABC) and Miachael Williams(City) started off hitting consecutive baskets for their teams as many predicted from the start would end up being decided in the last possesion. City(NY) took a bad blow when Donovan Mitchell went down with a ankle injury before the end of the 1st half. The outside shooting of Michael Williams kept City lead through most of the 1st half. But once BABC started to go inside and feed Bonzie Colson he ate on the boards and made everything around the basket.  A Tyree Robinson tip in at the sound of the buzzer put BABC up by 2 going into halftime. The 2nd half belonged to Josh Wallace of City(NY) as the young wing player did everything from knocking down the pull up jumper, grabbing rebounds and defending in the post. BABC proved to be to much at the end of the day as they pulled away in the final minutes of the game securing a 5 point win against City(NY).

The 17u matchup between BABC and Albany City Rocks(NY) was a familiar tune as these two teams meet on the Nike EYBL circuit. Tyrese Hoxter Darien Fernandez were the Co-MVP’s of this game as they jumped out into passing causing multiple turnovers and showing great leadership. Hoxter had a number of above the rim dunks to lead BABC to a 64-51 win over City Rocks(NY)

Notable Top Performers:

’15 Aaron Falzon(NE Playaz) – The 6’7 forward is now considered a dual threat. This weekend we saw Falzon score most of his points in the paint. Something we haven’t seen much of as he’s kbnown for his great perimeter shooting.

’15 Bruce Brown(BABC) – Mr. Sportscenter is the next to blow in the BABC program. He showed a aggresive attack to basket punishing defenders at the rim for trying to contest his shots. (See Dunk Below)

’15 Terrence Mann(BABC) – Mann is beginning to come into his own. As of right now hes a slasher but  is starting to show confidence in his shot on the perimeter.

’15 Marcel Pettway(BABC) –  The ultra big low post presence is to much to handle for most big men in his age group. Pettway has great foot work and can also defend on the perimeter.

’15 Jared Reuter(NE Playaz) – Can put the ball on the floor and create his own shot on the drive. Reuter finishes with contact and converts everything into a old fashion 3 point play.

’14 Kerem Kanter(NE Playaz) – Kanter finishes everything around the rim. Has great hands and loves to finish with the baby hook. Once his defensive intensity matches his offense then he’ll be close to unstoppable.

’13 Tyrese Hoxter and Darien Fernandez(BABC) – Hoxter showed a great handle for the ball as he will be asked to do so next year for Charlestown. Was a vocal leader on defense and offense. Fernandez finished above the rim and was a pest on D causing multiple turnovers.

’14 Damion Smith(BABC) – A talented all around athlete who makes every shot look good when leaving his hands and a exceptional rebounding guard.

’15 Tyree Robinson(BABC) – The human highlight reel as we like to call him as he finishes everything with two hands above the rim whether there is a defender in the lane or not. Also a good shoot blocker for a small forward.

’14 Bonzie Colson(BABC) – Similar to Kanter, Colson has great has and almost finishes everything at the rim. But at this stage of the game Colson is a better rebounder.

’15 Johnny Joseph(BABC) – The lead guard is a wizard with the ball in his hands and is the engine that makes the team go. Has an incredible motor and love for the game that most playes don’t have at this age. Joseph never wants to come out of the game and almost picks apart defenses single handily.

‘ 14 Tyler Nelson(BABC) – When BABC  needed a big  shot Nelson was their for the calling. Knocking down outside shots to always keep BABC close during crunch time.

’13 Rene Castro – Continued to run the show for BABC and put up the best offensive performance of the weekend scoring 41pts in a contest against USAD(CT). In a game where BABC was short handed and was forced to play 4 on 5 and pulled off the win.

Eric Paschall, Donovan Mitchell and Michael Williams(City NY) – a group of 2015-’16 guards that have have basketball IQ ahead of their class. Paschall is 6’4 and plays on the block but stepped out a few times to knock down the 3. Also finishing for multiple above the rim plays through traffic. He has the making of a very promising prospect. Mitchell who is finishing up his 8th grade year has a developed body and game of someone already at the prep level. Mitchell has great perimeter game and is a floor general at  his young age that always keepes the defense on their toes. The city of NY is calling him the next best prospect to come out of there. Michael Williams is a knock down shooter who can not be left open. Even if Williams is not open his ball handling finds a way for him to create space to make it seem like he’s open most of the time.

’13 Isaiah Lewis(NE Playaz) – The New York guard has a knack for the putting the ball in the basket. When nothing was falling for the Playaz you can count on Lewis to create something.

’13 Zakarie Irvin (Eric Gordon All Stars) – The Michigan commit is a wing player but was forced to run the point as his team as short handed. Irvin is a good catch for the Wolveriens, the transition into the point guard role wasn’t a bad one for it was hatrd to tell that it wasn’t his natural position. A prospect that can hit the outside jumper and uses his length to grab rebounds on the offensive glass or second chance points.

’14 Dimitri Floras(MA Rivals) – Continues to impress throught the spring AAU season. Floras has a quick dribble drive move that he fishes with a tear drop in the lane. His outside extends beyond the college 3 point line. Would like to see Floras turn it up on D.

’14 Josh Sharma (MA Rivals) – The 6’10 center has also improved throught out the spring starting to be a great finisher around the basket. Sharma is exceptional on the defensive end altering shots and being quick his to clear out players on the block for a rebound.

’14 Matt Barr – A fierce shooter from outside. Plays on the wing and is a bit undersized. Would need to transition his game into the point guard role to be effective at the next level.

’13 Shadell Millinghaus – The guard was a complete blur to whoever was defending him. A super sthletic prospect that ran the point for his team but is a 6’2 combo guard that just does everything you ask.

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