Prep Profiles 23-24 - Worcester

Owen Carlson | Wednesday, December 27th, 2023

Prep Profiles 23-24 - Worcester

Worcester Academy, the reigning back-to-back NEPSAC Class-AA champions, has started the year on a great note with a renewed roster filled with high-level returners and some big newcomers. They have already begun signing players to continue their basketball careers in college. Let’s take a look at the intriguing lineup for this year…


“Worcester can never be counted out. Led by nationally ranked Georgetown-commit Kayvaun Mulready, they can play with anyone. James Jones brings a nice scoring touch from the CIAC, while Jake Blackburn puts his lights-out three point shot on display in a larger role this year. Many have raved about the potential of big men Payton Kamin & Ryan Sullivan, while 2026 Cameron Hailey is a lead guard to know moving forwards. Anthony DeJohn, Connor Swider, Michael Ellerbrook, Max Miller and Chris Leman have contributed big minutes as well. Keep an eye on Jamie Sullivan's squad in the second half of the season” -Dylan Thayer


3 Things You Need to Know About This Year’s Team


One 2024 already signed to a high major program:

Headlined by Georgetown-commit Kayvaun Mulready, this 2024 class is a small one, but one of the best in the NEPSAC. Mulready is the team’s only All-NEPSAC returner, as he earned All-NEPSAC Class-AA First Team honors following last season. Recently, he went off for 38 points with 6 threes in a big-time battle with The Phelps School at the Zero Gravity Prep Classic earlier this month. 

But it doesn’t end there, as James Jones has been a huge part of this year’s squad so far after winning a CIAC Division 1 State Championship with East Catholic last year, leading the team with 24 points and adding 6 rebounds in the State Finals as they beat Northwest Catholic by 2. Jones has received offers from Siena, FDU, Wagner, St. Peter’s, Sacred Heart, CCSU, Penn, Indiana State, Manhattan, Holy Cross, Bryant, and Columbia. 

Max Miller is the team’s only other 2024, and he has already proven himself on the grassroots circuit with Rens United. He also impressed at our Elite 75 College Showcase this past summer.


That’s only the beginning…

It doesn’t end there, as Worcester Academy actually has one of the most intriguing junior classes out there. Three have already received offers to continue their careers in college on full-ride scholarships. 

Jake Blackburn has received offers from Holy Cross and most recently Stonehill. He recently led the team with 17 points to beat Kimball Union in the finals of the annual Thomas Blackburn Tournament.

Connor Swider has received offers from Bryant and most recently Fairfield. He is the younger brother of Miami Heat forward Cole Swider who played for Villanova and Syracuse in college.

Payton Kamin has received offers from Western Illinois and Northern Illinois. He recently had 13 points in a battle with national powerhouse Vermont Academy. 

There’s even more in the class of 2025, as Ryan Sullivan stood out in a recent win over Master’s, leading the team with 17 points. Other notable 2025s include New Orleans-native big Chris Leman, All-League Honorable Mention football returner Griffin Collins, and returners Dylan Cote (reclassed from 2024) and Mike Ellerbrook.


But it still doesn’t end there…

Worcester Academy’s underclassmen have begun looking more and more ready to step up as they continue to grow. Their class of 2026 has some real names worth getting to know now. 

Cam Hailey was named to our Elite 75 underclassmen list after his performance at the Elite 75 Frosh/Soph Showcase this past fall. Anthony DeJohn was noted by our scouts as one of the best guards in the class of 2026 following the same event. Jordan McFadden is the team’s only other 2026. He helped lead Auburn High School to the playoffs last year as a freshman.

A quieter class of 2027, but we can likely expect to hear more from Cole Callahan and Cavan Gardner down the road…


3 Questions Heading into the Season


Can they continue meshing? 

With a lot of talent on the roster, especially with such a big class of 2025, it will be interesting to see how they can all play together throughout the year. Kayvaun Mulready has carved himself out as a leader… can anyone else use this season as a chance to step up to his level?


Can they maintain their current success? 

With big wins coming against some of the top-ranked preps in the country, where will they end up by the end of the season? As is the classic issue in the NEPSAC, it will be hard to compete with the highest level of talent and come out with a record that looks good, but it will be interesting to see how they can do.


How will they compare to last year?

Last season, the Hilltoppers finished second overall in the NEPSAC Class-AA after the regular season, but would ultimately go on to win their second consecutive NEPSAC-AA Championship behind NEPSAC-AA Player of the Year TJ Power who is now at Duke. They defeated St. George’s in the first round by a margin of 32. then Brimmer & May in the semifinals by 21, and finally Cushing in the championship game by just 2. Can they do it again this year? The outlook is not quite as bright, but they have shown that they can go up with just about anyone when at their best. 


So far this season:

The Hilltoppers currently have a 4-6 record at the time of this article’s writing, with big regional wins, including the victories over league competitors Master’s, Darrow, Kimball Union, and Lawrence Academy. This is another squad whose record does not match their level of talent, as they have consistently hung in the game with big time powerhouses such as South Kent, to whom they only lost by 6, and Phelps, with whom they had one of their best games so far this season, falling by just 4.