Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Prep School Update

I know that I usually just cover NHIAA teams and players on this site, but today I wanted to recognize some of the kids who are NH residents who are currently playing basketball in the prep school ranks.

Players go prep for all different reasons, and just because the decide to go prep doesn't mean they should stop getting recognition. This article covers both girls and boys athletes.


Class of 2011
Scott King, Holderness School - King is currently playing his second season at Holderness after transferring from Pinkerton Academy. King wasn't even starting as a junior at Pinkerton, but he has really worked on his game, and has gotten the opportunity to play with Holderness and also with the Mass Rivals AAU team. He has turned into a 6'8" kid who can drain the outside shot at will, put the ball on the floor and also battle under the boards. He has committed to play basketball for Division I Stony Brook University.

Jordan Laguerre, New Hampton School - After he outscored Manchester Memorial all by himself 26-25 in the 2009 Class L championship game everyone knew this kid was going to be a Division I player. It was just a matter of where he would go. The University of New Hampshire made him a scholarship offer, but after transferring from Trinity High to New Hampton and going toe-to-toe with the best players in the country on the AAU circuit it was clear that Laguerre had bigger fish to fry. He was at the least an Atlantic-10 player, and possibly Big East or ACC bound. Over the summer he committed to the University of Massachusetts, of the A-10. The 6'1" guard is one of the most talented, explosive players NH has produced in recent years.

Tommy McDonnell, Bridgton Academy - McDonnell, a 6'3" combo-guard, is currently doing a post-grad year at Bridgton after graduating from Oyster River High in the spring. He was a first-team all-state player last year, when he led the Bobcats to the Class I semi-finals. McDonnell is an explosive guard who can handle the basketball well and use his quickness to get by people off the dribble and make plays.

Class of 2012
Michael Lombard, Proctor Academy - Lombard is a multi-sport athlete who is playing both football and basketball at Proctor. The 6'3" forward transferred to Proctor after playing his first 3 years at Pelham High. He is a strong, powerful forward who has the strength and toughness to play under the basket, but also has the ability to play on the perimeter and knock down the outside shot. He is a smart player and a very hard worker. Which sport will he play in college? Only time will tell, who knows, maybe both.

Showly Nicholson, Phillips Exeter Academy - Over the last couple of years Nicholson (from Manchester, NH) has been attending one of the best academic prep schools in the country in addition to playing against some top notch competition on the basketball court. Nicholson is a 5'10" point guard who is lightning quick, and excels at penetrating into the lane and finding the open man.

Kevin O'Connor, St. Paul's School - The 6'6" forward transferred to St. Paul's after playing his first 3 years of high school ball at Stevens High in Claremont. O'Connor is a solid inside player who has good footwork and works hard.

Kaleb Tarczewski, St. Mark's School - Outside of Matt Bonner, Tarczewski is the best basketball player NH has ever produced. He is currently the #8 ranked player IN THE ENTIRE COUNTRY for the Class of 2012. He already holds scholarship offers from schools like Indiana, UConn and Georgetown, and he is also being recruited by Duke and Kansas. The 7'0" center from Claremont, NH transferred to St. Mark's following his sophomore season at Stevens High.

Class of 2013
Kaleb Joseph, Cushing Academy - Joseph transferred to Cushing over Christmas break, after playing his freshman season at Nashua South. The 6'1" point guard is quick, athletic, has a good handle and plays with a bounce in his step which allows him to get int the lane and make plays. Joseph has a very high upside, and has a very good chance at being a scholarship player down the road.

Tate Jozokos, Governor's Academy - You have to be an outstanding athlete to be a star player in three different sports as a freshman. Jozokos did just that last year at Kingswood, as the starting quarterback for the football team, the starting point guard for the basketball team, and in lacrosse he was the Division III offensive player of the year. He did all of that as a freshman, and now this year he is a varsity player in all 3 sports at a prestigious prep school. On the basketball court, Jozokos is a tough, hard nosed competitor who can handle the ball well and has a solid pull-up jumper in the mid-range area.

Richard O'Brien, Brewster Academy - Brewster Academy has arguably the best prep school basketball program in the country, so if you're serious about playing hoop you can't do any better than going there. O'Brien is a tough, scrappy point guard who started for Bedford High last year as a sophomore, and decided to transfer to Brewster shortly before the school year began. He is 5'10", is a solid shooter, handles the ball well against defensive pressure, and is a good on the ball defender. Cracking the rotation at Brewster will be tough, but there's no debating this kid is a hard worker.


Class of 2011
Karima Gabriel, Peddie School - Gabriel (the older sister of current Trinity High sophomore forward Mabor Gabriel) is a player with tremendous upside due to her quickness and athleticism which are both very high for a 6'2" player. Karima is a former standout at Trinity, and she has committed to play at Division I George Washington University starting next season.

Mel Giegerich, Tabor Academy - Giegerich is a 6'5" center (that's right, 6'5") who runs the floor well and has a nice, soft shooting touch around the rim. The former Kingswood High standout has committed to play her college basketball at Division I Davidson University.

Class of 2012
Madeline Blais, New Hampton School - I would be VERY surprised if Blais doesn't end up being a Division I player. The former Exeter Blue Hawk is 6'0" and has the skills of a 2-guard. She is a lights out shooter and can also put the ball on the floor and go by people. Last spring I saw her play in an AAU game against a team that included the likes of Tiffany Ruffin, Christiana Bakolas and Emily Siegart - Blais went off for over 25 points in that game. She can flat out score the basketball, and with her size she is a match-up nightmare.

Samantha Brenner, New Hampton School - Brenner, a 6'3" forward, is another player with a shot at playing Division I college basketball. She projects as a solid face-up 4 at the next level, with the ability to run the floor and hit the mid-range jumper very effectively for a player her size. Brenner is a Nashua resident, she has a high ceiling and is always working on her game.

Kaley Marston, Tilton School - Definitely one of the most improved players in the area over the course of the last few months. The 5'6" Marston was unknown to many going into last spring, but she had a big AAU season with the NH Rivals where she improved by leaps and bounds. She is now a very capable floor general with a solid pull-up jumper and also a very tough defender. Marston (pictured above, right) transferred to Tilton this year, coming over from Bishop Brady. I could see her as a solid point guard in the NE-10.

Class of 2013
Alex Cohen, Tilton School - Cohen is a 5'9" combo-guard who played her first 2 years at Bishop Guertin before transferring to Tilton this season. Cohen (pictured above, left) is a very smart player, she's a tough defender and a knock down shooter. She will be able to play at Tilton for 3 years, plus 2 more years of AAU ball. Cohen is a gym rat with great work ethic, so you can expect her to take advantage of this opportunity. Down the road I could definitely see her playing in the NE-10.

Katharine Fogarty, Governor's Academy - Fogarty is another player who has D-I written all over her. She's only a sophomore at Governor's, yet she is already 6'2" and can drain threes in addition to playing inside. If that's not upside I don't know what is. Fogarty has a big, strong frame, which she uses to control the boards. But she can can also step outside and hit the outside shot, utilizing a very high release. Fogarty played her high school ball at Con-Val in Peterborough, NH before transferring to the Governor's Academy.

Class of 2014
Elisabeth Giegerich, Tabor Academy - While most of the players on this list played at a NHIAA school first and then transferred to a prep school, Giegerich (Mel's younger sister) is one player who is a prep player from day 1. She is a freshman at Tabor, and at 6'0" it is clear that size runs in the family. Over the summer Elisabeth was a member of the NE Crusader team that got 3rd place in the 13U AAU Nationals. You can bet Kingswood wishes she was playing for them though, as she would form a nice 1-2 inside duo with 6'0" junior Brittany Roy.

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