Monday, August 29, 2016

Boys Basketball Class of 2018 Recruiting Rankings Released

Since 2009, the New Hampshire Notebook has been the authority on NH basketball recruiting. Like we have since 2009, we continue to rank the top players in each class. We do it for 2 reasons. First, to give these kids exposure to the hundreds of college coaches who frequent the site. Secondly, to motivate the players to work hard so they move up higher on the list (and if they're ranked #1 to motivate them to work hard to keep the spot).

Kids, there's always someone else out there working harder than you - maybe even someone outside of NH. After all, these are recruiting rankings, and college coaches recruit kids from all over the country - heck, all over the world, not just NH. So stay hungry and stay humble. For every tweet you make that's a jumper you could have taken in the gym.

That being said, this is a very exciting time for NH basketball. More local kids are getting D-I and D-II offers than any time in recent memory. The Class of 2016 alone produced five scholarship players.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Sam Carey Classic 2016 - Girls Game Recap

Props to Mike Stys, Luke Bonner and the rest of the gang who put on the Sam Carey Classic to include a girls all-star game in the event for the first time in 2016. Of the event's three games that were played on Friday night, the girls all-star game was the most competitive game from start to finish - and had more passing!

One team consisted entirely of local NH prospects, while their opponent was all players from out of state (mostly Massachusetts). The NH Team made an impressive 2nd half rally, but fell short in a thriller, 59-57.

The NH Team trailed by as many as 16, 55-39 with 7:20 left in the 2nd half. It looked like the game was all over at that point. Give the NH Team credit for battling back, as they went on a 14-2 run, cutting the lead to 57-55. The comeback was led by seniors Abby Streeter (Nashua, NH) of Lawrence Academy, Rebecca Ripley (Stratham, NH) from New Hampton School and junior Eva Hodgson (Rindge, NH) also from New Hampton School. Streeter is committed to Rhode Island, Ripley is committed to Miami and Hodgson holds 9 D-I scholarship offers.

Sam Carey Classic 2016 - Boys Game Recap

This past Friday night was the 5th annual Sam Carey Classic, held at Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester. Mike Stys in conjunction with Luke Bonner and the Rock On Foundation do a great job with this event, which honors and the memory of the late Sam Carey. Carey, a former standout forward at Manchester Central and SNHU lost his life in a motorcycle accident in 2011. Proceeds from the event support Carey's family, and also to the Rock On Foundation which builds and renovates basketball courts for the area's youth.

It's a great cause and fans get to see some great basketball as well. This was the first year that the event featured a girls all-star game, in addition to an alumni game and boys all-star game.

Between the girls, boys and alumni, never before has there been that much NH hoops talent playing on the same court on the same night. It was truly a historic night for NH basketball. All three games were oozing with local talent and were played at a high level. If you add up the money in scholarship offers from all the NH boys & girls who played Friday night you could solve U.S. debt. It's crazy to think of all the talented local players in the Classes of 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. It is the golden age for NH basketball.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Gendron Brothers Commit to Brown

It's an extremely impressive achievement to get accepted by an Ivy League university. It's also an extremely impressive achievement to play Division I college athletics. For the same kid to do both, well that's an even greater accomplishment. For two brothers to both make this dream a reality - well, that makes this one of the best stories of the year.

The Gendron brothers from Bedford have done it. They're both committed to Brown University - Gardner (pictured above) will play football and Colby will play lacrosse. Both brothers will also attend Phillips Academy in Andover, MA prior to enrolling at Brown. Gardner, who graduated from Bedford High this past spring, will do a PG year this year. Meanwhile, Colby is repeating his junior year at Phillips Academy this year - so he'll be there for 2 years before enrolling at Brown.

Both brothers are multi-sport athletes. Gardner (6'5" 262 lbs.) was a standout player in both football and lacrosse, while Colby (6'7") was a force to be reckoned with in both lacrosse and basketball.

The Gendron brothers get the job done - in multiple sports - and in the field as well as the classroom. They're good role models for other kids. Congratulations and best of luck to both of them at Phillips Academy and then at Brown.

On a side note, the loss of Colby really hurts Bedford's chances in D-I next season - both in basketball and lacrosse. He would have been one of the NHIAA's top players in both sports. Once again, it is hard for the NHIAA schools to compete for all that the nearby prep schools have to offer - both academically and athletically. If you have the opportunity, it's tough to pass up.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Yarmo and Hughes Embark on Admirable Journey

Chase Hughes and Brycen Yarmo. Two outstanding football players and exceptional young men. They will both play D-I FBS college football. Hughes is headed to the University of Wyoming and Yarmo will attend Brigham Young University (BYU) as a preferred walk-on for the football team. But first they will both embark on a 2-year Morman Mission, and then enroll at their respective schools during the fall of 2018. Both players are also great friends off the field.

Hughes is 6'1", 205 lbs and projects as a linebacker for Wyoming. He was the best LB in NH last year as a senior for Bishop Guertin. Yarmo is a 6'6", 240 lbs. tight end. He played at Alvirne High before doing a post-grad year last year at Phillips Exeter Academy.

"I'm very excited to announce that I've accepted a walk on roster spot at BYU, from the OC Ty Detmer #GoCougs" Yarmo announced via Twitter.

Detmer is a former NFL quarterback. The above picture is of Detmer, Yarmo and BYU tight ends coach Steve Ckark.

"I can't believe this is it" Hughes commented, also on Twitter. "Tomorrow I will be leaving on my mission to teach the people of El Salvador the true gospel of Jesus Christ for two years. I have been waiting for this moment for my whole life and wouldn't trade this opportunity for anything. Thank you to everyone who has supported me in my journey in life, school and football. I will miss my family and friends very much, but it's time to play for the lord's team. This will be my last tweet for awhile. Until we meet again."

Congratulations and best of luck to both of these young men with the journey they are about to embark on. This takes a lot of courage.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Graham is the Most Clutch Shooter in the NHIAA

Cody Graham's Twitter handle is @codyclutch23 and he lives up to it. Graham led Portsmouth to an undefeated D-II state title this past season as a sophomore. He has continued to light it up on the AAU circuit, running with the NH Spartans, coached by Chris Coates and Lewis Atkins.

Check out this video. It's from the Adidas Uprising Tournament. NH Spartans vs. Empire Basketball, a team from California. It was a tight battle. Graham hits not one but two HUGE three-pointers in overtime to lead the Spartans to the win. Check out the video, at the 5:00 mark is where he hits a three to put the Spartans ahead, and at the 10:00 mark is where Graham drills the game-winning shot from downtown.

Not only is Graham clutch, but you also have got to love the swagger he shows, as he stares back at the opponent's rowdy fan section after hitting both shots. He's tough, fearless and confident. He's a fun player to watch.


Bufalino is one of NH's Most Underrated Prospects

Since he's from a town in the middle of nowhere (Peterborough, NH) and attends a school that doesn't get a lot of media publicity (St. Paul's School), Vincenzo Bufalino has flown under the radar. But make no mistake, this kid can flat out play. The 5-foot-11 point guard is a tough kid, who knows hot to create offense - both for himself and teammates.

Take a look at his junior season highlight video: http://bit.ly/2aUW402

Most impressive is that he's got not one but two plays in there where he's taking a charge. Not only that, but Bufalino makes numerous high level passes and shows a very quick release on his outside shot. He's definitely a player that should be on the radar of college coaches from the Class of 2017.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

NHIAA Continues to Lose Its Top Players to Prep School

Ronnie Silva, Bol Akot, DJ Frechette and Matt Corey. If you asked me to look ahead and predict who the top players in NHIAA D-I boys hoops would be during the 2016-2017 season, all four of the aforementioned players would be on my short list.

Frechette would have been a candidate for D-I Player of the Year, Silva and Corey would be preseason all-state picks and Akot (Manchester, NH) would have been one of the state's most highly touted incoming freshmen. All four of these talented kids are headed off to prep school.

Frechette transfers from Nashua South and will repeat his junior year at Governor's Academy in Byfield, MA. Frechette reclassifies to 2018. Fellow Nashua product Silva (Nashua North) will do the same, reclassifying to 2018. Silva is headed to Bradford Christian Academy. Nashua North and South would have been two of the favorites next year in D-I. Londonderry would have also been one of the favorites next year, but Corey is transferring from there to Worcester Academy. Corey will repeat his sophomore year and reclassify to 2019. Frechette and Silva are AAU teammates with the DC Blue Devils, while Corey plays for the Rivals Basketball Club.

Then there's Akot. Akot dominated middle school basketball last year while playing for Hillside in Manchester. Akot had a huge summer on the AAU circuit, making the top 40 all-star game at the CP3 Rising Stars national showcase. He'll never play a game in the NHIAA though, as Akot is headed to Proctor Academy where he'll play alongside Derry's Geo Baker (Rutgers commit), Londonderry's Caleb Green (Holy Cross commit) and Manchester's Tshiefu Ngalakulondi (over 10 D-I offers).


Monday, August 8, 2016

Green Accepts Offer, Commits to Holy Cross

What a great story. Two kids (one from Derry and the other from Londonderry) who are best friends and grew up playing basketball together have both accepted Division I offers. First it was Geo Baker committing to Rutgers and now Caleb Green of Londonderry has accepted an offer from Holy Cross.

It's rare for a kid from NH to get a D-I basketball scholarship. It's even more rare for it to be a point guard. Well, NH has just produced two D-I point guards from the same class - from the next town over from each other - with their commitments coming less than two weeks apart. Both Green and Baker will be seniors this year at Proctor Academy.

"I called the Holy Cross coaches on Friday night to let them know about my decision" Green told the NH Notebook. "Their new coaching staff is bringing a change of culture there. I hope to go in there, help them succeed and make it a basketball school. I'm excited and so is their coach."


Saturday, July 30, 2016

Announcement

Okay everyone. Here's an update on the 'State of the NH Notebook'. A few months ago I took a new full-time job in Andover, Massachusetts - my previous full-time job was in Portsmouth. This was a significant step up for me career-wise. In order to be closer to my new job - and to move in with my girlfriend (who I plan on marrying someday) I relocated from Portsmouth to Newburyport, Massachusetts. Not only that, but if anyone reading this has ever had to commute from that part of Massachusetts to NH, they know that the drive home has tons of traffic on 93, 213 and 495. This makes covering 6:30 or 7:00 games around NH less than a logical proposition.

Since February / March of this year, I have put serious thought into shutting this site down for good.

I didn't do it. Why not? Because the passion for covering NH high school sports still burns inside of me. And there might not be many, but I know that there are people out there - somewhere - who do appreciate the coverage we provide.

While I will keep the site going, because of where I am now working and living, I will take a step back. I'll still be running the NH Notebook, and I'll continue to covering NH high school sports - just not to the same extent that I have over the previous seven years. I'll still cover some games, but not nearly as much. I'll be doing less game recaps and more feature stories. I'll be focusing more on NH basketball recruiting. I'll be covering less NHIAA and more prep school hoops.

Roughly two weeks ago marked the seven year anniversary of the New Hampshire Notebook. I'm proud of the work we've done to promote NH high school sports. I'm proud of the depth of coverage as well as the un-biased coverage we've provided. I'm also proud of the fact that we have always done this to recognize the kids - not to make money.

Thank you for your support,
Jeremy Leveille

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Baker Accepts Scholarship Offer, Commits to Rutgers

Geo Baker (Derry, NH) is a great role model for younger players coming up in NH. He has worked his tail off to get to where he is today. Baker has picked up so many Division I scholarship offers he has lost count!

"It's either 24 or 25" Baker told the NH Notebook on Thursday afternoon.

For a guard from NH, that's an unprecedented number. Baker has developed into one of the most sought after recruits in the country from the Class of 2017. Earlier today on Twitter, he announced his commitment to Rutgers University.

"I'm so excited - this is a dream come true" Baker told the NH Notebook. Coach Pikiell told me he really stresses hard work - they want to be in the gym. He stressed that to me and everyone else on the team. I really liked that, because that's how I am - I'm always in the gym working. Secondly, Coach Pikiell and assistant coach Knight - they're both guard coaches and my game fits their style of play. Lastly, the level of competition was a factor. At Rutgers, I'll play against teams like Michigan and Michigan State."


Monday, July 11, 2016

Stock Continues to Rise for Baker & Green

The recruiting stock continues to rise for local products Geo Baker (Derry, NH) and Caleb Green (Londonderry, NH). Check out this video, courtesy of Hoop Dreams magazine.

Green and Baker have been working hard on their games - on the court and in the weight room. Great players and great kids who are role models for younger players coming up through the ranks. Both players hold numerous Division I scholarship offers, as they enter their senior year at Proctor Academy.

Anyone who's interested in the local hoops scene in NH should check this video out!


Friday, June 24, 2016

Streeter's Determination & Work Ethic Earn Scholarship at URI

Hard work and determination. When you have that, anything is possible. Abby Streeter (Nashua, NH) is proof. Streeter, a 5-foot-10 sharpshooting wing, went from coming off the bench for Bishop Guertin High as a sophomore to a junior with a boat load of D-I scholarship offers. The improvement Streeter made in the span of just a year was simply amazing. Now Streeter has made her college choice.

"Beyond thankful for all the great relationships I have had through my recruiting process, and a big shoutout to my coach Scott Hazelton who has gotten me to this point" Streeter posted on Twitter - a tweet that garnered 146 likes and 55 retweets. "With that being said, I would like to announce my verbal commitment to play Division I basketball at the University of Rhode Island in the A-10 conference. I could not be more blessed to fulfill my dream of playing basketball at the college level! Go Rams!"

Hazelton, who has coached her for the past three years with the Rivals Basketball club, called Streeter the "ultimate gym rat" in a tweet congratulating her on the accomplishment.

Streeter transferred from BG to Lawrence Academy following her sophomore year. She'll play her senior year at Lawrence before moving on to URI. Some of the other schools which offered her included Delaware, Fordham, Iona, UVM, Brown and BU.

A great kid - a great player - a great story.

Here are some of Streeter's video highlights.




Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Morris to PG at Loomis Chaffee

Brennan Morris was a three-year varsity player at Pinkerton Academy, including his senior season in 2015-2016 when he emerged as one of the state's top prospects. Morris has drawn lots of recruiting interest as a result, but he's decided to do a post-grad year next year in order to give himself more options as well as better prepare himself for college - both academically and athletically. Per his AAU coach with the DC Blue Devils, TJ Thompson, Morris will attend and play basketball at the Loomis Chaffee School in Connecticut next year. He's now in the Class of 2017.

Morris is a 6-foot-5 wing who can shoot the heck out of the basketball as well as take it to the hole. With his size, rugged frame, versatility and ability to shoot the basketball he is a sure-fire scholarship level prospect. Here is a video that shows Morris in action this AAU season, posted on Twitter by Coach Thompson: https://twitter.com/dcbluedevilsNH/status/727534246525583360

Not only that, but Morris finished his academic career at Pinkerton with a 4.6 GPA, ranked 9th in a class of 749.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Milliman & Merguerian Leaving Hanover for Prep School

The trend of top local high school basketball talent leaving the NHIAA for prep school continues. Hanover High made it to the girls Division II state title game this past March. However, a return trip to the finals in 2017 just got much more difficult. The Marauders just lost arguably their two best players to prep school.

"The 'rumors' are true" said Hanover High girls basketball head coach Dan O'Rourke, who is widely regarded as one of the top girls coaches in the NHIAA. "Junior Caroline Merguerian is going to KUA (Kimball Union Academy). Freshman Silke Milliman is going to Northfield Mount Herman."

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Goffstown Girls Basketball Controversy - Ball is in Balke's Court

By: Jeremy Leveille
The famous saying in sports is, 'winning solves everything'. Unfortunately, that's not that case at Goffstown High School. Despite the fact that the Goffstown girls basketball team just won the D-II state title (the program's first championship since 1988) they are now mired in turmoil. This is more controversy than any team that has won a state title in my nine years of covering NH sports.

Goffstown girls basketball head coach Deanna Goodwin and assistant coach Katherine Goodwin (Deanna's sister and best friend) stepped down just days after celebrating a state title.

"I am saddened to say that what you heard is true - my sister and I have decided to step down from our coaching positions at GHS" Deanna Goodwin told the NH Notebook on the eve of the school's winter sports banquet.

Not only did the Goodwin sisters win a title this year, but they made the finals last season. In five years at the helm, Deanna Goodwin took over a previously struggling program and turned them into a winner.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Hoops Notes

We ran a story earlier this week on Trinity High senior Ashley Hill and her commitment to play college basketball at Clarkson. Here are a few more notes from around the state.

Congratulations to Keith Brown from Pelham High and Rebecca Ripley of the New Hampton School for being named the boys and girls NH Gatorade Player of the Year, respectively. Brown led Pelham to back-to-back NHIAA D-III titles, and just days after the 2016 title game he committed to Endicott College. Ripley meanwhile, committed to the University of Miami last year.

A couple other commitments to make note of - Brett Hanson (Manchester, NH) of the Tilton School is taking his game to Florida Southern College. Florida Southern is a D-II program and Hanson will be a scholarship player there. He led Manchester Central High to an undefeated season in 2013-2014, and played at Tilton for the past 2 years.

Additionally, Lebanon High senior guard Austin Whaley will play his college ball at Calvin College in Michigan. This, according to his AAU coach TJ Thompson of the DC Blue Devils. Whaley has a versatile skill set and played in four Final Fours for Lebanon. On the girls side, Katie Valcich of Winnacunnet has committed to attend and play ball at Endicott College. Valcich was a 3-year starting point guard at Winnacunnet and led them to 2 Final Fours.

As far as offers, Abby Streeter (Nashua, NH) a 5-foot-10 wing from the Class of 2017 has added another D-I school to her list. The Lawrence Academy standout has recently been offered by Delaware. Delaware joins URI, Fordham, Iona, UVM, Brown, and BU on Streeter's list of schools who have offered her a scholarship. Streeter played her freshman season at Nashua North and her sophomore season at Bishop Guertin before transferring to Lawrence.

Lastly (for now), we have news of 2 prep school transfers. DJ Frechette (Nashua, NH) an explosive shooting guard who is one of the NHIAA's top players is leaving Nashua South and is headed for the Governor's Academy. Frechette reclassifies to the Class of 2018. On the girls side, 6-foot-2 forward Ashley Evans (Londonderry, NH) will join Streeter at Lawrence Academy, where she will be repeat her freshman year. Evans, who has a ton of upside, reclassifies to the Class of 2020.