We continue to see many of the top high school basketball players from New Hampshire leave the NHIAA for prep schools. By now I think we all know what the positives and negatives are for such a move. With prep schools you face better competition and get more exposure. And for kids who go to prep school for a post-grad year it gives them a nice transition year in going from high school basketball to college. The positives of high school basketball is that you save A LOT of money and you get a better chance for playing time.
Then you also have social factors. These prep schools are boarding schools. Kids often times aren't ready to 'leave the nest' when they go off to college, let alone make that move when they are only 15 or 16. Plus they have to leave their friends from back home. Most of these prep schools are in small towns and obscure locations - the kinds of places where there isn't much to do except do school work and play basketball. Some kids might get bored and restless in this environment whereas for some it gives them the structure and discipline they need to stay out of trouble.
In the last couple weeks there have been a number of local players commit to prep schools for next year. Here's a look at four of them.
Curtis Arsenault, 6'1" Guard/Forward, Phillips Exeter Academy (Class of 2013)
Arsenault received his acceptance letter to Phillips Exeter on the same day he led Berlin High to the 2012 Division III state championship - not a bad day! He will compete for a starting spot for PEA, with the graduation of former Bishop Guertin standout Connor Green. Arsenault will look for minutes on the wing alongside Maine native Chris Braley, who will be a senior next year and already has a couple scholarship offers. Arsenault is a solid all-around player who plays the game with heart and always gives 100%. But he's been playing way up north in Berlin, in one of the NHIAA's smaller school divisions and hasn't played for a major AAU program, so the post-grad year at PEA will be good for him to not only see a higher level of competition to transition to the college game but will also provide him with more exposure than he was getting at Berlin.
Trevor Glassman, 6'2" Guard, New Hampton School (Class of 2013)
Glassman was an all-state player this year as a senior, and helped lead Bedford to the Division II title game. He then had a very strong showing in the D-I vs. D-II game at the Granite Games a couple weeks ago, dropping a game-high 23 points in a game which featured the top senior players in the state. He will need to bring his 'A' game next winter, because he's joining a New Hampton program that is not only one of the best in New England but the entire country. This year NHS was led by point guard Olivier Hanlan (committed to Boston College), forward Zach Auguste (committed to Notre Dame) and the super sophomore trio of Noah Vonleh, Jared Terrell and Mike Auger (from Hopkinton, NH) who are all future Division I college players, plus freshman center Jeremy Miller. This is a team LOADED with young talent, and Glassman will be competing for minutes in the back court on a team that is sure to once again be one of the top squads in the country.
Ian Sistare, 6'1" Guard, Northfield Mount Hermon (Class of 2016)
As first reported by NH Sportspage, Sistare has recently decided to leave Trinity High after just one season and transfer to NMH. There's no question that Sistare was one of the top freshman players in the NHIAA this past season. Not only did he make the transition from middle school to high school varsity basketball but he also had to play a position he wasn't used to - point guard. He made both transitions smoothly, and now he will try to adjust to an even higher level of play by going to prep school. NMH is another that is one of the perennial power programs in New England. He will have to compete for minutes in the back court with some very talented players, who will be coming to NMH from all over the country.
Max Kirsch, 6'2" Wing, Phillips Exeter Academy (Class of 2016)
Talk about a sticky situation. As first reported by the Eagle Tribune, Timberlane High boys basketball coach David Kirsch was told by school's administrators that he would not be invited to coach next season after word got out that his son Max had been accepted into Phillips Exeter. Max started this year as a freshman for Timberlane and averaged 7.8 points per game. Max is a smart, blue collar player and like Sistare he was one of the top freshman players in the NHIAA this season. But he was accepted into PEA at the end of the season and then his father was released from his coaching duties after just one year on the job. Max will repeat his freshman year at PEA starting in the fall. It might be tough for him to get too many minutes this upcoming winter with Braley and Arsenault on the wings, but those two will both be graduating in 2013 so Kirsch could possibly be a 3-year starter once they are gone.