2011 Rankings Released in New Hampshire
It was five years ago that Naadir Tharpe first arrived on the exposure scene. The Worcester native made a highly anticipated debut at the 2007 New England Elite 75 Showcase as the youngest player in the field. In the years since he has gone on to fulfill his potential, becoming not just the best point guard in New England but also one of the very best in the entire country.
Tharpe, who heads to Kansas next year, is best known for his ability to win basketball games. He has achieved unprecedented success on both the prep and grassroots scenes, leading Brewster to the 2010 National Prep Championship and winning a host of titles with his New England Playaz squad.
Equally impressive has been Tharpe’s ability to turn his weaknesses into strengths over his career. Always someone who had the ball on a string with easy creativity and unquestionable court vision, Tharpe has become a consistent shooting threat from the perimeter, strengthened his body, and learned how to play the pick and roll.
One of his favorite targets in that pick and roll was his Brewster teammate Jakarr Sampson, who finishes the year as the second ranked player in New Hampshire. A consensus top 40 recruit in the country and part of Steve Lavin’s first recruiting class at St. John’s, Sampson is an athletic six-foot-eight player capable of playing either forward position.
Third ranked Markus Kennedy is another favorite target of Tharpe’s, having starred with him both at Brewster and with the Playaz. A big man with a stunning combination of size and mobility, the future Villanova Wildcat is a constant mismatch problem who can’t be defended in single coverage but is too good of a passer to be doubled.
New Hampton’s Jordan Laguerre is the state’s fourth ranked player. Headed to UMass next year where he is expected to make an immediate contribution, Laguerre is one of the most dynamic players in the region, capable of creating offense virtually on demand. His prowess has been proved many times over not just with New Hampton but also on the AAU circuit as he thrived time and time again with his Mass Rivals program.
We return to Brewster to round out the top five with Pittsburgh bound swingman Durand Johnson. Teammate Elijah Carter comes in at six followed by Holderness big man and Expressions alum Imoh Silas who gave Siena a steal with his commitment this fall.
In total 30 players were ranked in New Hampshire’s final listing in the class of 2011. Other New England natives include Scott King, Gabas Maldunas, David Madol, Ryan Kilcullen, Connor Green, Mike OLoughlin, John Wickey, Sean McClung, Jamie Holder, Steve Spirou, and Dan Brooks whils Madol, Green, OLoughlin, Wickey, McClung, Holder, and Spirou are all New Hampshire natives.