New England is well known for its annual game of musical chairs each summer as the power of the local prep school scene creates more transfers, reclassifications, and post-graduate years than any other region in the country, but this year we are seeing an entirely new trend in the amount of mid-year, and in many cases even mid-season, transfers that are taking place.
Joseph Will Replace Size at Cushing
Cushing Academy looked like one of the bigger teams in class AA this year until they lost two six-foot-seven juniors when Egi Gjikondi moved to South Kent and Felix Magnusson returned to his native Sweden. The Penguins have still come strong out of the gate, opening with a 3-1 record, and help is on the way as Kaleb Joseph will be transferring into the school following the holiday break. The highly talented six-foot-two sophomore will be leaving Nashua South High School in New Hampshire and is expected to reclassify to the class of 2014 in September. Joseph was one of the top underclassmen talents in New Hampshire.
Madol Moving Across Town
The writing was on the wall. David Madol, who was the Class L Player of the Year last year at Trinity High School, was widely reported to be heading to Vermont Academy throughout the summer until his financial aid package changed that plan at the 11th hour. And although the broken prep plan caused Madol to return to the NHIAA, it won’t be to Trinity High School where Madol is the most recent casualty of the school’s unorthodox grading scale. Instead, the six-foot-six forward will join Manchester Memorial and team with Shomari Morgan and Wenyin Majak to form one of the more talented trios in the NHIAA.
Gibbons Leaves New England
While mid-year transfers are rare, transfers out of New England are even more uncommon as the abundance of local prep schools create plenty of options for kids looking for new surroundings. Ramon Gibbons has made himself the exception to that rule as the talented sophomore guard has left Charlestown High School and transferred to St. Benedict’s in Newark, New Jersey. St. Benedict’s established itself as a national powerhouse in high school basketball under Danny Hurley, who left following last season to take the reins at Wagner and was replaced by former Indiana assistant coach Roshown McLeod.
Tavares Gives New Bedford Second Boost
New Bedford already had their first piece of good news earlier this fall when junior guard Steve Wynn returned following a short lived stay at Lawrence Academy. They recently picked up their second big addition when Jules Tavares arrived at the school. Tavares began the year at Wilbraham and Monson following three years at Wareham High School where he scored 1000 points. An explosive scorer on the perimeter, Tavares should be one of the top players in the MIAA this year.
Wilbraham Adds Vilmont
While the loss of Tavares was no doubt a blow to Wilbraham and Monson, that blow was cushioned by the addition of Robinson Vilmont who recently transferred in from Malden High School and reclassified to the class of 2012. Vilmont, who will play basketball and baseball at W&M, is a talented attacking guard who can make shots from the perimeter as well as plays off his dribble.
Notre Dame Shuffle
Matt Porter has left Notre Dame Prep and is likely headed to CJEOTO. Also gone from Notre Dame Prep is URI bound swingman Trahson Burrell, who moved on to Summit Christian Academy in Michigan. Porter and Burrell have been replaced by the Fordham bound duo of Jeff Short and Devon McMillan, who began the year at Mack Academy in North Carolina.
The start of the season has also brought a string of prep products who have reclassified to the class of 2012 including Bridgton Academy’s Kareem Canty and the Notre Dame Prep duo of Sam Cassell Jr. and Myles Davis. Canty and Cassell could both potentially see their recruitment go to the next level while Davis already had a steady dose of recruitment from the highest levels.