Another Good Year for New England Basketball
2014 was another great year of basketball in New England and as we look back on the year that was we also look forward on the year to come.
In just two months both the high school and prep school seasons will come to an end, culminating with one of the most exciting times of year.
Brewster Academy was the big winner in 2014, earning both the NEPSAC’s highest crown as well as the National Prep Championship, and as we enter the new year they’ve returned to a familiar place atop most unofficial prep school polls.
There are also several potential repeat champions in the public school ranks including the likes of Sacred Heart (CT), Rice Memorial (VT), Putnam (MA), Houlton (ME), and Bishop Hendricken (RI), who are just some of the contenders for more than 20 state champions up for grabs.
Almost immediately after one season ends, another will begin as AAU and grassroots teams will get right to work. This year’s April evaluation period will include two weekends, the second and fourth of the month, all surrounding the Northeast Hoops Festival, which once again promises to host all of New England’s top programs as well as similar caliber teams from the greater northeast region.
Once the travel season begins, it will also signal the beginning of another type of new year as we’ll officially turn the page on the class of 2015 and begin to look forward towards the rising senior class of 2016, who will become the priority for college coaches and recruiters.
Spring will begin to give way to summer with other top events like the annual Memorial Day Super 16 Showcase as well as the New England Elite 75 Showcase and then the July evaluation period will be right around the corner, where New England programs will once again cover the country in search of exposure.
Simultaneously, we’ll be in search of the best up and coming prospects with the annual Elite 75 Stars of Tomorrow Camp, which this year will be expanded to included rising 9th – 11th graders as well as a session for rising 5th – 8th graders.
When summer turns to fall it, college coaches will again make the rounds to open gyms throughout New England, anxious to check out the incoming talent to arrive for next year’s prep school season, and by then we’ll have essentially come full circle with November’s National Prep Showcase and December’s Zero Gravity Prep Invitational and the Scholar Roundball Classic setting the tone for the season to come.
As we look forward to what’s on the horizon, there will inevitably be many headlines along the way.
2014 was a year in which Donovan Mitchell joined Jalen Adams at the peak of the high school basketball world while guys like Steve Enoch, Tyrique Jones, and Wenyen Gabriel all made big names for themselves as well. Who will follow suit in 2015? Only time will tell.
Similarly, prospects like Nicholas Mayo, Guilien Smith, and Matt Greene went from virtual unknowns in the 2015 class to division I players. Who will rewrite that tail in the 2016 class? Only time will tell.
Finally, 2014 was also a year in which New England was not only well represented on a national level by the quality of our individual players and prep school programs, but also at the grassroots level. BABC and Expressions brought two New England based squads to the Nike EYBL while the Mass Rivals and New England Playaz represented the region on the Adidas Gauntlet and Under Armour Association circuits respectively. That was just the tip of the iceberg as the Middlesex Magic captured a championship at the Hoop Group’s most prestigious summer tournament while Maine Athletic Club went on to a big finish at AAU nationals while numerous other programs including Metro Boston, USAD, CT Select, CT Elite, High Rise Team Up, MB Nation, BV Chaos, Basketball 2 the Limit, and Mass Premier Elite all produced scholarship players.
Which programs will rise to the top in 2015? Which will produce scholarship level players in 2015? Only time will tell.
Those are just some of the questions that will be answered over the course of the next 12 month as we say goodbye to what was another collectively successful year for New England basketball and look forward to even more to come.