Just a couple weeks before the start of season, and the landscape for NH high school basketball has been shifted in a big way. One of the top players in the state has returned from prep school to his hometown NHIAA school.
Craig Preston is back at Manchester Memorial. The Crusaders are now contenders in D-I, and Preston is a preseason Player of the Year candidate.
"I am very excited to be coming back to Memorial High School for my senior year" Preston told the NH Notebook. "I feel that we are going to have a successful season and will be a tough team, to say the least. Despite losing some key players from last year, this young team is going to be athletic and can really run the floor."
Running the floor is what Memorial has been known for, especially these past couple of years under head coach and Athletic Director Jack Quirk. Key returning players who join Preston include senior guard Jake Carrier, plus Michael Roumraj and Zach Lubin. Preston and Carrier form one of the most explosive backcourts in the state.
"Last year I was at St. Mary's in New Jersey and had college coaches in the gym" Preston said. "I have had some D-I and D-II colleges showing some interest so far, but no commitments. I will be doing a post-grad year following my senior year."
Preston is a 5-foot-11 point guard who can distribute and handle the basketball, drive the lane and has a deadly long range jumper. He played for Memorial his first two years of high school before transferring to prep school. Now he's back to the school where his father Scott Preston played (he also played for Coach Quirk). Scott Preston is also Craig's AAU coach with the Mass Evolution.
"I am really looking forward to this upcoming year and looking to be back up in Durham by the end" Craig Preston concluded.
Here's a look at what opposing D-I teams will have to deal with this winter.