Sam Cieplicki Makes Decision | Saturday, February 16th, 2008

Sam Cieplicki Makes Decision

Sam Cieplicki is the type of player that coaches love.  He makes open shots, has a terrific understanding of the game, and makes good decisions with the basketball.  So you can bet no one was more upset to see him go down with a season ending knee injury than New Hampton Head Coach Pete Hutchins.  It is also a good bet that Cieplicki will soon be a valued piece of the Tom O’Shea’s rotation after having recently deciding to attend St. Michael’s. 

For Cieplicki, the opportunity to play for the Purple Knights will give him a chance to play in his home state of Vermont for the first time in several years.  The Vermont native began his career at Rice High School in South Burlington where he starred during his freshman and sophomore seasons.  But when his family moved to the Albany area just prior to his junior year, he transferred to Jamesville-DeWitt High School for his final two years of high school.  Last season was a special one for Cieplicki and his teammates as they went 20-2 and spent the majority of the season ranked as the best team in the state of New York before losing sophomore superstar Brandon Triche to an injury and consequently getting upset in the sectional finals of the state tournament. 

Fast forward a few months and Cieplicki found himself at the New Hampton School in New Hampshire as a post-graduate. 

“Coming to New Hampton has been a good learning experience for me,” he said.  “I’m playing against high major guys in practice every day.  At first it was an adjustment process to get used to that, but ultimately it made me a better and more confident player.” 

The 6’3” guard should be confident as he has quietly developed a reputation as one of the NEPSAC’s best pure shooters and zone busters, which is certainly a skill that will prove useful at St. Michael’s. 

So what does the Vermont native expect in his first season back in his home state? 

“I think I can come in, work hard, and help the team in some way,” Cieplicki said.  “Hopefully coming from New Hampton and competing against great players every day it will make the transition a little easier.” 

So will making shots, having a terrific understanding of the game, and taking good care of the basketball.  In other words, don’t be surprised to see Cieplicki having more of an impact than even he may expect.