Prep Profile - Brewster Academy
Five National Prep Championships.
Six NEPSAC Championships.
And, in the last decade, Brewster Academy has never gone consecutive seasons without winning one of the two. In fact, since 2010, they have never gone consecutive seasons without winning the national championship.
With Putnam Science and NMH looking to defend last year’s championships, Brewster has gone from the hunted to the hunter…and if history is any indication that’s not good news for the rest of prep school basketball.
Joel Brown is the most notable returner from last year’s squad and he returns with loads of confidence after a tremendous showing in the EYBL. The CIA Bounce guard was one of the most versatile stat stuffers in the league, averaging 15 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 steals while pushing his recruitment to the high-major level in the process. He’s joined in the backcourt by local product Zac Bennett, who is also the student body president at Brewster, and a quick, scrappy guard who has developed himself into a quality college prospect.
There have been some good recruiting classes over the years at Brewster, but the 2018 group is one of the best ever with four different incoming seniors ranked among the top 100 prospects in the country by at least one major national outlet.
Jalen Lecque may be the most well-known name. One of the most explosive athletes in the country, Lecque has been a YouTube sensation for several years now and has the size and developing power to back up his explosiveness on the perimeter.
Another consensus top 40 national prospect, Ohio State bound forward Alonzo Gaffney, is one of the most naturally gifted forwards in the country with an incredible combination of length, athleticism, and budding skill. Gaffney has been playing to rave reviews since his arrival in Wolfeboro and has the potential to be a big riser in his senior year.
Kai Jones is a senior from Florida who is still just 17 years old, skinny, and raw, but he might have as much sheer long-term potential as anyone on the roster. His athleticism, fluidity, and quickness for his size is absolutely uncanny. He already protects the rim, changes ends, and gets off his feet in a hurry to play way above the cup but he also has some touch to develop and is only just beginning to scratch the surface of his potential.
Anthony Walker is another late-blooming forward with a bright future. He was playing on his high school JV team in Maryland just two years ago but burst onto the scene this summer to push his recruitment to the high-major level.
Davit Kakushadze is a big wing from Tibilisi, Georgia who provides floor-spacing, shot-making, and some deceptive bounce while junior point guard Jamal Mashburn, the son of former NBA all-star Jamal Mashburn, is yet another nationally ranked prospect and sure-fire high-major prospect to join the team.
Other newcomers who could make an impact this year include: Ben Baker-McCann, an athletic southpaw guard from California; Delis Boggs, an aggressive and powerful guard who excels at getting downhill; and Josh Loblaw, a junior from Canada who will benefit from competing against this level of competition on a daily basis.
Of all the newcomers to join Brewster this year, the one with the highest national ranking is none other than local product Terrence Clarke. Still just a sophomore, Clarke’s game has matured by leaps and bounds over the last year as his basketball I.Q. and skill set are starting to catch-up to his perimeter size and versatility. He was as polished as anyone in the gym the day we watched and will be a critical part of the Bobcat attack.
Fellow sophomores Evren Ekinci, a product of Turkey’s u16 national team, and Gabe Beradi, a 6-foot-6 forward from California, are both solid prospects with bright futures.
Tradition…talent…athleticism. You name it. This squad appears to have it.
With no less than seven high-major prospects on the roster and at least ten scholarship players they’ll be able to come at opponents in waves. Their collective length and explosiveness should make them not just a highlight reel waiting to happen in transition but also a team with great defensive potential. Offensively, this might not be the best shooting team that Brewster has ever had, but if they buy into sharing the ball, there’s just too many weapons for most defenses to handle on any given night.
Jason Smith has built a squad that is loaded with firepower and full of motivation. They may not be defending any championships this year, but they’re defending a history that is the most prestigious in prep school basketball over the course of the last decade, and if history is any indication, you’d be foolish to bet against them.