Top Prospects in the VPA
Our latest mid-season glance inside one of New England’s six state association takes us to Vermont where there are a handful of players have thus far stood out as having the potential to take their game to the next level.
Kujtim Hashani & Kevin Garrison, Burlington – The defending division I state champs are off to an undefeated record to start the season, including a win over crosstown rival Rice Memorial, and this tandem is a big reason why. Hashani, a senior point guard, and Garrison, a junior guard, make an especially formidable one-two punch on the perimeter. Hashani is the consummate floor general with all the skills and instincts to run the show along with a wealth of winning intangibles. Garrison is a good athlete who can play above the rim and change the game on both ends of the floor with his defensive prowess.
Elliot Nelson, Rice Memorial – The Ben Shungu era is officially over at Rice and so Nelson, who has been an important contributor since he was a freshman, is now the undeniable focal point of the team. The junior is as complete a player as there is in the state. He’s a high volume scorer who can handle the ball, shoot it with range, create for his teammate and even gets his fair share of rebounds as he continues to evolve athletically. Nelson’s supporting cast including senior guard Alex Bond and sophomore Kam Farris.
Calvin Carter, Enosburg – The senior guard isn’t necessarily a name that is widely recognized beyond Vermont’s borders and is also limited by a relatively weak schedule inside the VPA but nonetheless has attributes that translate to the college level. He has a sweet shooting stroke, a developing weapon behind the three-point line and even some bounce around the rim.
Nathaniel Kingsley, Rutland – The senior is one of the top frontcourt players in the entire state but that doesn’t mean that his impact is limited strictly to the paint. He’s actually an inside-out scoring threat who has the face-up game necessary to translate his game, at his size, to the next level. He can stretch opposing defenses to the arc with his feet set but at this level is still at his best inside of about 15 feet. Sophomore Jamison Evans is emerging as a quality running mate despite being just a sophomore.
Best of the Rest
• Jens Ulrich-Verderber, BFA St. Albans – little bit of a sleeper who comes from good stock, has good size at 6-foot-6, a high I.Q. on the interior and the ability to face-up.
• Zach Reinhardt, Mount Mansfield – the junior forward joins Kingsley and Ulrich-Verderber as one of the more impactful frontcourt players in the state association.
• Alex Carlisle, St. Johnsbury – He joins Ferris (Rice) and Evans (Rutland) as three of the more intriguing sophomores in the state, all of which shoot the ball well from the perimeter.