Be Seen Prep Profile - Williston Northampton
The Williston Northampton School returned to the Class A finals last year, their third trip since 2015 and first under head coach Ben Farmer.
Farmer has kept the program at a high level while implementing his own style and the results have shown, not just in wins and losses, but also in terms of player development and college placement.
This year’s roster would have been poised to be among the best in Class A again this year.
They return a strong veteran core, have added immediate impact post-grads as well as some talented young players to build around moving forward.
Andre Washington is back for his third year and coming off a commitment to Long Island over the summer. Despite having his recruitment behind him, Washington still played like he had something to prove when we visited the gym. He controlled the flow of the game, made shots and plays alike, and did so while playing the right way. In total, it was a strong showing that proved just how much he had improved since last season.
The theme of improvement was consistent among all of the team’s returning players. Tanner Thomas looked to be in the best shape of his career to date. He’s remained strong but sculpted his frame in a way that prepares him for the next level. He plays with an aggressive scorer’s mentality and is impacting the game in more versatile ways than he did a year ago.
Up front, Badou Ba is still relatively new to the game, but he’s got obvious physical tools, has made clear strides in the last year, and is bound to keep improving for the foreseeable future. He’s powerful from head to toe and can really run the floor. He plays hard and is developing an ability to play with his back to the basket.
Like Washington, Maleek McNeil has been a staple of this program since he was an underclassman. The two-sport star is a high-level college football recruit and has spent the fall on the gridiron, but there’s no doubt he’d be a major presence on the hardwood again this season.
The roster has been bolstered by a trio of post-grads and former Mansfield High School star Sam Stevens is the most notable of the group. Stevens is well-known to be one of the best shooters in the region. He’s also a late-bloomer who sprouted up several inches in high school and graduated at just 17 years old. So far this fall, he’s worked to diversify his scoring arsenal and continue to expand his athleticism while maintaining the outstanding fundamentals and habits that make him unique.
Riiny Giir may be the most intriguing long-term prospect on the roster. Physically, he’s the player that grabs your attention as soon as you walk into the gym. He’s got good size at 6-foot-8, long arms, and a frame that he is clearly working to develop in the weight room. He’s also got some touch and skill, as he showed by knocking down several tough shots from behind the three-point line. Put those tools together and you can bet he’ll be a prospect that college coaches continue to monitor as the year goes on.
Shane Regan is another post-grad and he provides an immediate burst of offensive punch. The strong and aggressive southpaw plays with an aggressive scorer’s mentality and showed he could get buckets in different ways when we watched. He was one of the more dangerous offensive threats on the team and will clearly add immediate value this year.
Vermont native Tyler Morehouse is a solid player. He’s skilled with a good shooting stroke and showed that he knew how to play as well. He only has to keep filling out and growing into his body, which is only a matter of time at this point.
There’s a pair of new underclassmen in the program as well and both Paul Ippolito and Connor Jenkins have a chance to develop into very good players. Ippolito is a charismatic and creative point guard who is skilled and plays with a lot of flair with the ball in his hands. Jenkins has good size and strength for his age and is working to extend his game and become a true big wing.
In total, this roster is ten-deep. They feature program veterans who have made undeniable strides over the years, incoming post-grads who will make an immediate impact, and a solid trio of youngsters who will build a bridge to the future as Farmer has built a program poised to stay among Class A’s best on an annual basis.