Prep Profile - New Hampton School
As we continue our tour through Class AAA of the NEPSAC we’ll head to New Hampton School where head coach Nick Whitmore begins his second season at the head of the program.
In some ways though this second season is more of a new beginning than last year was as almost the entire roster has turned over and quite a bit of young talent has joined the program.
It’s a short list – Shandon Brown.
Brown is the only returning player from last year’s team and ultimately responsible for showing the newcomers “the New Hampton way” that was first coined under former head coach, and current Dartmouth assistant, Peter Hutchins and carried over when Whitmore took over.
If the open gym we attended was any indication, that culture remains very much intact, and truthfully that isn’t much of a surprise given that Brown is one of the most well-known leaders in New England. Beyond that, the George Washington commit is a highly competitive and experienced guard who has seen the highest levels of competition during both the prep and EYBL seasons.
In other words, what NHS may lack in quantity of returning players, Brown compensates for with quality.
Stanford commit Keenan Fitzmorris is the most notable newcomer. The 6-foot-11 forward is both long and skilled. A true senior, Fitzmorris does need to add some muscle to his frame before he’s capable of battling in the Pac 12 but he’s been shooting the three much more effectively than advertised since his arrival and has tools inside the lane as well.
Joining Fitzmorris on the frontline will be 6-foot-8 post-graduate Roy Grigsby, a Colorado native who will play the part of a stretch-four-man here with his prowess from behind the three-point line.
Another post-graduate flame-thrower is Mason Webb, who comes to New Hampshire from Oklahoma. Webb is just one of several newcomers on the perimeter that also includes Alex Ionesco, Brad Leventhal, Matt Glassman, and Rex Walters. Ionesco and Leventhal both fall into the same mold of skilled and heady guards while Glassman is a local product known for his work-ethic and toughness who comes over after graduating from Lawrence Academy last year. Walters is a two-sport star, who is doubling on the gridiron this fall, and the son of former NBA player and current Detroit Pistons assistant coach Rex Walters.
Whitmore has added four multi-year players to this season’s roster all of whom have a chance to develop into high level recruits. Mika Adams-Woods is a well-known product of upstate New York who was the City Rock’s starting EYBL point guard last year. Joining him in the class of 2019 is Bas Leyte, a 6-foot-10 forward from the Netherlands, who is both skilled and cerebral with a very clear upside.
Another international import, Kerem Ozturk from Turkey, gives the Huskies a crafty point guard in the class of 2020 while Rhode Island native Dyondre Dominguez is also on board as a reclassified sophomore and showing some high level potential with his length, athleticism, and southpaw touch.
The amount of new faces is the most obvious theme with this group, but equally important is that this is a team that is young relative to the rest of the league with several underclassmen and true seniors expected to be consistent parts of the rotation.
While the names of the back of the jerseys may have changed, there are still going to be plenty of similarities here with recent NHS teams and not just with regard to the culture they are working to extend but also with their collective skill and style of play.
The Huskies are very likely the best three-point shooting team in Class AAA and they have a chance to be one of the better passing teams as well. They’ll need to rely on those things attributes and stay committed towards building that culture even as they’re about to enter a season where the level of competition is beyond what anyone, except Brown, has seen before.
What they may lack in experience they’ll compensate for with skill, and ideally culture. This is going to be a team that is capable of beating absolutely anyone on any given night given their ability to make shots and they have also built a bridge to a very bright future with their young talent base.