Prep Profile – Lawrence Academy

New England Recruiting Report | Monday, November 30th, 2009

Prep Profile – Lawrence Academy

Lawrence Academy last captured championship gold in Class C of the NEPSAC in 2007 when they defeated St. Mark’s in the final.  In 2008 St. Mark’s turned the tides and defeated Lawrence Academy in the championship game.  At this time last year most people assumed that 2009 would be the rubber match with no other contender projecting able to knock off either of the powerhouse programs. 

The regular season played out as most expected as both teams were dominant throughout their respective schedules.  But things would quickly change in the first round of the Class C tournament when Lawrence ran into a hungry Holderness team who ended up scoring an upset and preventing the much anticipated final match-up. 

This year’s Lawrence Academy team is out to make amends.  With arguably Class C’s most dynamic backcourt returning, head coach Kevin Wiercinski has enough firepower to contend with anyone. 

Shabazz Napier and Denzel Brito headline the team, the former returning for his second season at LA and the latter being the veteran of the club.  Napier has come a long way in the last year, not only emerging as one of the top guards in New England, but in the entire country.  He scores at will, throwing daggers from behind the three-point line and showing a crafty and underrated dribble drive game. 

Brito is equally capable of making opponents suffer.  Best known for his slashing ability, he and Napier compliment each other very well on the perimeter.  But Brito’s influence spreads far beyond his ability to score the ball as he is also a good defender and will inherit the leadership role left behind by graduated senior Daryl Cato-Bishop. 

Another guy poised for a big season is junior Marcus Grant.  The two sport star is coming off a tremendously successful summer in which he earned an invitation to the Reebok Breakout Camp, a national camp for the country’s top underclassmen, and garnered division I attention in July while running with his Metro Boston crew.  Not only does Grant have an emerging offensive game, but he is one of the elite defensive players in all of Class C. 

While the three guard backcourt of Napier, Brito, and Grant will certainly be Lawrence’s biggest strength this year, their frontcourt is capable of holding their own.  Dan Giovanchini is a rugged and tough face-up forward who plays bigger than he is on the glass, shoots the three-point shot consistently, and is another good defensive player. 

Anchoring the team at the pivot position will be Sarkie Ampin who returns for his senior season.  Ampin showed flashes of realizing his potential last year as there were times when he was a monster on the glass and a shot blocking machine.  Strong and bouncy, the New York native is capable of impacting the game on both ends and if Lawrence Academy is to challenge for a championship he will be the key as he will have to hold of guys like St. Mark’s Nate Lubick and Holderness’ Imoh Silas

With St. Mark’s returning a loaded line-up and Holderness having only gotten better since their run to last year’s finals, Lawrence Academy will have some strong competition in Class C this year.  But with the league’s most explosive backcourt, a very talented starting line-up, and several excellent defensive players this year’s LA team has all the tools to return to their glory days.