Saturday, July 14, 2012

Boys Basketball Commitment Catch-Up

The NH Notebook has received confirmation of four more local products from the Class of 2012 have committed to continue their basketball careers at the collegiate level. Marcus Swedberg from Moultonborough Academy has committed to Division II Merrimack College, Nashua South’s Anthony Muccioli is taking his game to Division III Fitchburg State College and Chris Light from Pinkerton Academy is headed to the Community College of Rhode Island. Also, former Trinity and Manchester Central guard Wol Majong has committed to Colby Sawyer.

Muccioli, Light and Swedberg were clearly three of the top players in the NHIAA last season, and have all worked very hard to become college players. Muccioli and Light were both 1st team all-state players in Division I, while Swedberg was the Division IV Player of the Year. Majong meanwhile was an honorable mention all-state player in 2010-2011 (would have been 2nd team if voting was done after tournament like it should be) and then played this past season at New Hope Academy, a prep school in Maryland. Muccioli, Light and Majong were all teammates on the Bishop Elite AAU team last spring/summer.

Swedberg joins Silvere Aluko from Trinity as the only NHIAA players from this year’s class who will be playing at the Division II level. Swedberg is a very versatile 6-foot-7 forward. It is rare (especially in NH) for a kid his size to be able to shoot the basketball and put it on the floor like he can. He has a killer pull-up jumper with a high release, he has a rapidly developing post game and is also a fierce rebounder. He led the Panthers to a 22-0 state championship season in 2011-2012 in D-IV, with his father Matt Swedberg (former standout player at Plymouth State) as the head coach of the team and his two younger brothers Drew and Riley as teammates. Merrimack competes in the Northeast-10 Conference.

"Marcus will add some size to this guard-dominated class” said Merrimack head coach Bert Hammel. “He will be a good teammate, has a good shot and is crafty in the post."

Muccioli was a four-year varsity player at Nashua South, and really took his game to a high level as a senior following a breakout AAU season with the Bishop Elite in 2011. Before last summer he was known as a lock down defender and tough slasher, but last summer he improved his outside jumper immensely and used that as a weapon during the high school season. Now with the ability to drain threes or take his man off the dribble with great quickness and the ability to make some athletic finishes inside Muccioli became a nightmare to defend. Last year Fitchburg played in a lot of high scoring games, so Muccioli should fit in nicely. The Falcons compete in the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC).

Light also enjoyed a breakout senior season in 2011-2012. He was the leading scorer in Division I and led the Astros to a 13-5 record. So many players nowadays will either drive all the way to the rim or shoot the three, the mid-range game is a lost art. That’s why Light is such a valuable player, because his mid-range game is his best asset. He’s very good at hitting the foul line jumper, and has a very high release which is nearly impossible to block. He can also post up smaller defenders or take bigs off the dribble. Light finishes well inside and has a plethora of dribble-drive moves, spins and turnaround shots in his arsenal. He is part of a very talented incoming freshman class at CCRI.

Majong’s breakout season was in 2010-2011 at Trinity, when he transitioned his game from the off-guard position to the point and led the Pioneers to the D-I title game. He really developed the ability to penetrate into the lane and create offense, both for himself and teammates. It opens up the whole offense when you have a guard who can consistently make a second defender come over and play him, as someone else will always be open. And if no help comes Majong can hit the pull-up or take it all the way to the rim. He’s very athletic and makes good decisions with the basketball. Majong is a 6-foot-2 combo guard who is also a tough defender. Colby Sawyer is located in New London, NH and Majong will play for them alongside former Milford High standout forward Kyle Nelson who will be a sophomore this fall.

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