Practices increase for Prep Basketball

Oct 20th, 2017 | By | Category: Athletics, On the Court

By Junhee Han, Staff Reporter

This year the Prep Basketball players are practicing hard, even after study hall. Many of them go to the gym to improve their skills shooting and handling the ball. There are 14 players, and three returners became captains, Jared Whitt, Malachi de Sousa and Anthony Nelson.

Coach Bill Barton is a main coach of the team. According to several players, coaches and captains lead their team nicely.

The season will start in mid-November, with the first game Nov. 15, so they are practicing hard to get better results than the team has seen in past years. Post Grad Jaiyer Jinwright is one of the new basketball players who is practicing hard.

“Everything is going well for the most part. As the pre-season progresses, the team has come together more and more,” Jai said.

After shoulder and knee injuries, he’s looking forward to a healthy season. He has a passion for basketball and wants to achieve a dream.

“I love basketball. This extra year is going to help me recover from my injury and prepare physically for college,” Jai said.

Jared Whitt, a post grad, is a captain of the team who leads team and has worked to bond the players.

“Along with working out together every day, we spend a lot of time together as a team in the dorms, dining hall, and in the classroom,” Jared said.

“Our goal is to win the NEPSAC AA championship,” Jared said. “The hardest part is facing the adversity that comes with having a group of guys from many different places and backgrounds, but we always find a way to get things done.”

This year’s team may have many different players but continuity in the quality of play is expected.

“There’s not much of a difference from last year; we have another group of good, hardworking individuals with a common goal.”

As the captain he feels a responsibility to his team and tries to help new players, as well as work on his own career.

“The most important thing in my basketball career is to use the game as a tool to go to a good school and get a good job,” Jared said.

All players are ready for the games to start in November, and this will be the first step toward their dreams.

Prep Basketball launches into new season

Nov 19th, 2015 | By | Category: Athletics, On the Court

By Hansen Ding and Sanghyun Han, Staff Reporters

Point Guard Loren Brill in the Nov. 13 game against Redemption Christian Academy. LMW photo

Point Guard Loren Brill in the Nov. 13 game against Redemption Christian Academy. LMW photo

South Kent School got the chance to hold its first Prep Basketball home game of the season Nov. 13 versus Redemption Christian Academy.

It was an amazing game and South Kent School easily got the victory with the score of 115 to 57. Elijah Hughes put on a show in the game and finished with 36 points.

Aziz Essa, one of South Kent’s starter players, was pleased with the first home game.  

“It was a really good atmosphere when play at home,” Aziz said.

Aziz, a sixth former, is playing in his third year on the Prep team. He still gets nervous as a starter and playing in front of a large crowd, but not for long.

“As a player you are always nervous, but once you played for a few seconds, you won’t be nervous anymore,” he said.

“The game was going  really well,” Aziz said. “Everybody got a chance to play, everyone contributed to the win. We won by a lot because of our good defense and good offense. It was a really good all-around play.”

As to what factors could be  improved by the team, Aziz noted the team is just starting.

“We only have played 2 games,” he said. “It’s still long way to go, and we (will) gel together better. We think we played well, but we can always get better.”

Taking a look at the Varsity Basketball team

Mar 3rd, 2013 | By | Category: Athletics, On the Court

The 2012-13 Varsity Basketball team. Photo courtesy of South Kent School

The 2012-13 Varsity Basketball team. Photo courtesy of South Kent School

Video by Cam Loomis

Every year about 13 students are chosen during a tryout for the Varsity Basketball team. This team is a step up from JV team and has a more competitive edge to win the HVAL Championship.

Richard O’Shaughnessy, a four-year boy and senior at South Kent, has been on the team for all four years. He has two HVAL championships under his belt from 2011 and 2012, plus a runner up from this year’s 2013 HVAL.

“In the league we have only two losses…but we have had a pretty good season so far,” said Richard, just before the championship game.

There was a new addition to this year’s team, with a new coach. Mr. William Morse, a veteran basketball player and head coach of the varsity team, took over Coach Gary Benz’s position from last year.

“He has a different style,” said  senior Kenan Williams.

Williams joined the team back in 2011, when he came to South Kent as a sophomore. Both Kenan and Richard said they had to adjust to Coach Morse’s different coaching style.

The team suffered a hard loss Feb. 23 against Chase Collegiate School. The final score was 53-58.

Dusan Perovic brings his European skills to the court

Dec 16th, 2012 | By | Category: Athletics, On the Court

Video and Text story by Nolan Long

Dusan Perovic played for three Montenegro national teams before coming to SKS. Photo courtesy of Dusan Perovic

Coming all the way from Montenegro to South Kent School, sixth former Dusan Perovic looks to improve his skills in the classroom and on the court.

Being halfway around the world from home will not stop him from chasing something he has always wanted, which is scholarship to play basketball at an American college. There is better basketball in the United States and simply the opportunities are endless with a college degree once basketball comes to an end, he said.

Being a basketball star in his home country, where he played for the U-14, U-16 and U-18 Montenegro national teams, he decided to make the move to the United States with one goal – to get better.

“From the day I came, coach was always on me to play harder, to be tougher and stronger,” Dusan said. Compared to the basketball played overseas, strength is a must playing in America because it is a much more physical game overall.

“I’m not the strongest guy here but I still keep up with my hard work, and I’m trying to be as strong as everyone else,” he said.

With a coach that is constantly on him at practice, Dusan’s potential keeps rising. Coach Jefferson recruited him all the way from Europe because of how he feels he can be a big asset to the team, and said “he has a great feel for the game.”

Dusan’s style of game is a typical European style. His large frame makes him a threat in the paint, with his quick, skilled footwork. He also can step back and hit the 3 pointer, so the defender cannot take any breaks when guarding him.

“Like most European players he is a good shooter, so you have to close down on him,” said his teammate Reggie Agbeko, a post-grad originally from Ghana. “Inside, he has very good footwork, so you have to be patient with him and stay behind him.”

With the hard work and determination that Dusan already has, good things are sure to be not too far down the road.

Nolan Long looks for two-sport college career

Dec 15th, 2012 | By | Category: Athletics, On the Court, Student News

 Video and Text Article by Shane Rector

Post-Grad Nolan Long has aspirations of playing two sports at college. Photo courtesy of Nolan Long.

As many know, South Kent is a very prestigious school when it comes to sports. It is not every year though that the school gets a pro-level athlete, who plays two sports.

This year at South Kent, the baseball season is something many baseball fans are very anxious about, having acquired a pitcher drafted by a major league team, who throws a 90-mile-an-hour fastball. Fans have already seen the level of talent that the 6-foot-9-inch center brings to the basketball court.

Nolan Long, a former Waterford High School graduate, is at South Kent this year looking to take steps toward his dream. He wants his future to include playing both basketball and baseball at the Division I level next year. It is something both his father and uncle were able to accomplish, and both are supporters and role models in Nolan’s life.

“My father and uncle were both Division I basketball and baseball players, and that’s something that always motivated me,” Nolan said.

Nolan has always played both basketball and baseball since the age of 5 and said that he can’t imagine playing one without the other. He wants to play both for as long as he can, but intends to pursue a professional baseball career once basketball stops.

Nolan was selected by the San Francisco Giants in the Major League Draft in June. He also was already granted a scholarship offer to play baseball at the University of Rhode Island. Nolan was named to the all-state teams in both basketball and baseball last year. His team, the Lancers, won the Class M state basketball championship and he was named the Most Outstanding Player of the game, according to The Day newspaper in New London.

Coach Kelvin Jefferson, Nolan’s basketball coach, said that he is a great athlete and that he will be as successful as he wants to be at both sports.

“Nolan has the ability to throw the fastball at a very high speed and has the ability to change a basketball game with his tremendous size,” Coach Jefferson said.

It will be a challenge for Nolan to play both basketball and baseball in college, but Coach Jefferson said he knows Nolan is a hard worker and thinks he will be able to accomplish it.

Varsity Basketball defends the championship title

Dec 15th, 2012 | By | Category: Athletics, On the Court

Video and Text Article by Patrick DeAngelo

Kenan Williams taking a shot. Photo by Patrick De Angelo

South Kent School has a lot of successful athletic programs. One of these programs is the Varsity Basketball team. It has won more than one league championship title and this year are looking to add another one.

“After winning it two years in a row, hopefully we win it this year, having a three-peat,” said Kenan Williams, a sixth former, who is a point guard and captain.

Kenan believes that this year the team will have a successful season because the team has a lot of motivation coming into the season.

Even with high expectations, the Varsity Basketball team lost their first game, but after that the team has won two games.

“Even though we lost our first game, I think we can bounce back for that and have a successful season.” said Abel “Mickey” Watson, who is power forward and a fourth former.

The South Kent Varsity Basketball team isn’t just a team, it’s also a family.

“I consider Kenan my brother, from playing soccer with him and now basketball,” said Garrett Fox, who is small forward and a sixth former.

Garrett and Kenan played Varsity Soccer together during the fall. They have also played on Varsity Basketball together since they were fourth formers.

“We won the championship title for soccer, now we have to win it for basketball,” Garrett said.

Coach Will Morse trains with the Varsity Boys almost everyday of the week so that the South Kent Varsity Basketball team will have a successful season. It is Coach Morse’s first season with the team.

JV Basketball team attracts many different nationalities

Dec 10th, 2012 | By | Category: Athletics, On the Court

Video and Text Story by Matheus Oliveira

JB Basketball practices in the gym. Photo by Matheus Oliveira

South Kent sports always give students a chance to experience a sport each season. The boys who come to the school from a different country may never have tried a new sport, but this term there are 16 players who are getting that opportunity.

Junior Varsity Basketball is a group of players representing many different cultures from all around the world. Most of them are from the other side of the world, countries such as China, Japan, Vietnam, etc.

A lot of these players don’t really have the much experience in basketball. Part of the fun of the team is learning how to play the game. Mr. John Funk, the head coach, guides the students in the basics of learning how to dribble and shoot.

Most of the boys on the team this year are actually experiencing the game for the first time.

“It’s my first time playing basketball but I really like it, and we will have a good season,” sixth former Long Hoang said. Long, whose first sport was always soccer, which he won the championship on the varsity team this year.

“I would say that the team is as good as last year’s skill wise, but I think we will have a good season,” sixth former Gehrig Deaver said during the beginning of the season.

College coaches regularly visit Prep Basketball fall practices

Nov 17th, 2012 | By | Category: Athletics, On the Court

Shooting Guard Braiten Madrigal makes his way around a Post University opponent.

Video and Text story by Patrick DeAngelo

South Kent School has been hosting college coaches during the fall since it began its Prep Basketball team in 2004. The history of the program has included getting players into Division I schools and into the NBA, Coach Kelvin Jefferson said.

“The goal of preseason is to improve their bodies and improve their games,” Coach Jefferson said.

South Kent regularly attracts the attention of college coaches.

“It has a lot to do with the history of the program, college coaches knowing that they are going to get quality players, quality students, guys that know how to work hard, being at a boarding school, guys that know how to be away from home for while” he said. “They want to recruit our guys.”

Shooting Guard Braiten Madrigal, a post-grad from California, said there are a lot of college coaches at their pre-season open gym sessions.

The main reason for coach visits during the fall is because the coaches have more flexibility with their time. High school basketball and college basketball regular seasons start around the same time in November, so the college coaches have to get their recruiting visits done in September and October.

Braiten estimated there were “more than 50″ coaches who visited during the season. Coach Jefferson said the number was actually double that.

“We have had over 100 colleges in the gym this fall,” Coach Jefferson said.

Point Guard RJ Taylor, a sixth former from Wingdale, NY, said there were regularly a number of visiting coaches.

“We have practice three times a week and we would have at least four college coaches there,” RJ said.

The colleges that visited this year included Penn State, Xavier, Yale, Illinois State, Arizona State, Providence, Washington, Drexel, Binghamton, Hartford, Stony Brook, Columbia, Brown, Dartmouth, New Haven, Maine, Boston College, New Hampshire, Fairfield, Sacred Heart, Quinnipiac, Arkansas, the coach said.

 Two of the team’s players have already committed to attend college. AJ Edwards has agreed to go to Yale and Kamall Richards to Xavier University, Coach Jefferson said.

Both schools came to campus to recruit these players, he said.

Prep Basketball: prepared for the next level

Mar 6th, 2012 | By | Category: On the Court

Documentary video by Danny DeRocco, Advanced Digital Communications

Chris Ortiz, a forward and a post-grad, puts the ball in over a Brewster Academy opponent.

For many, when they hear South Kent, they think of basketball – a game these boys have shaped their lives around.

They came to this school to be basketball players, with hopes they will carry on the legacy of past teams.

Prep Basketball ended its 2011-12 season with an 18-11 overall record. The final game was a tough 1-point loss, 69-70, to New Hampton in the NEPSAC AAA quarterfinal playoff match Feb. 29 at Endicott College in Beverly, MA.

JV Basketball improves skills

Mar 6th, 2012 | By | Category: On the Court

Video and Text Article by Jacky Han

Weijia Ren shoots the ball in a JV Basketball game. Photo by Andy Tang

JV Basketball is a team sport that teaches players how to play and improve their skills. Success is not measured solely by the wins and the losses on the schedule but the individual growth the each player has and the collective effort of the team.

This year’s team had a different type of practice compared to last year’s, when players would scrimmage for 45 minutes. This year the team was coached by Mr. Michael Daniels, who taught the team to run plays and execute on offense.

The team this year did not have a very successful season like last year. The final game record was 3-7.

“This year we didn’t have a really competitive team. I think we just won two games, but play on the team is really good. We have really fun training sessions. Everybody tries to learn something on the team. The students are well engaged with the JV Basketball team,” said Anil Ozer, a Fifth Former from Turkey, who was also a leading scorer on the team.

“Basketball is a group sport and we need to play it as a team. Our coach is really good. He makes our team strong. We won some games by playing as a team,” said Ziaqio Han, a two-year participant of the JV Basketball program.

Varsity Basketball clinches league title…again

Mar 6th, 2012 | By | Category: On the Court

Video and Text Article by Jesse Schwartz

Varsity Basketball's R.J Taylor dunks in a game.

Heading into the basketball season no one knew if the South Kent’s Varsity Basketball team would be able to repeat the winning season of the year before.  As the regular season moved on, people began to realize that the players continued to work very well as a team.

“Our regular season went good,” said star power forward Garrett Fox, from Manhattan, NY.

The Varsity Basketball team ended up its regular season with a 7-1 record going into the playoffs.  They also lost five non-regular season games, which were irrelevant to making the playoffs.

There were a couple things the players needed to work on before they played their first game against Harvey in the first round of the playoffs.

“We got to improve on turnovers and transitioning better on offense,” said point guard and captain of the team, Kenan Williams, Brooklyn, NY.

The Cardinals ended up being tied for first going into the playoffs.  The only way both teams could solve the problem of finding out who was moving on, according to league rules, was they had to flip a coin.  Chase, the other first place team, ended up winning the coin toss and won the first seed, which placed South Kent as the second seed.

After the players had worked extremely hard in practice, they were ready to battle Harvey in the semi-finals.

“Our first playoff game was against Harvey, and it was a good one…everyone chipped in and everyone hustled hard,” said shooting guard Nino Hernandez from Newark, NJ “We’re trying to repeat our championship like we did last year after winning this game.”

The team’s confidence was up, building the momentum from the semi-final.  The Cardinals eventually won the league championship against Chase Collegiate, 69-62.

Prep Basketball aims to clinch Class A championship

Feb 3rd, 2012 | By | Category: Athletics, On the Court

Video and Text by Kyle Wehmhoff

Forward Ricky Ledo in a recent game against Brewster Academy.

There are eight games left in the regular Prep Basketball season to show everyone South Kent basketball is a championship team. Prep basketball is currently 11-4.

Kelvin Jefferson, head coach for the Prep basketball team at South Kent, is confident that the team will win this year’s are going to win a championship. The Prep Basketball team is always a huge competitor in its league. With Mr. Jefferson’s recruiting from around the world, he always finds the top players.

“So far, I am happy with my team. Everyone is coming together and playing well,” said according to Coach Jefferson.

Ricky Ledo is expected to be a NBA future draft player. He is a top player on the Prep basketball team. Ricky is a 6’6” forward from Providence, RI, who is a Sixth Former. He has committed to play next year at Providence College on a full scholarship.

Ricky said he has been playing basketball since he could walk. Ricky Ledo who is also confident that his team will win a championship.

“I think we’re going to go all the way this year and win the championship,” Ricky said.

Riley Kirsh, a Prep Basketball player from Madison, CT, who learned recently he will be out for the rest of the season because of an ACL tear said the team has really come together. Even though he knows he can’t play, he is more than confident that his team can do it.

“We’re going all the way this year. We’re going to win a championship,” he said.

Prep Basketball has been impressing those who follow NEPSAC Class A basketball all year. In December, ESPN College Basketball Recruiting commented on the Hoop Mountain Prep Classic at Marianapolis Prep School.

“The marquee matchup of the event saw Ledo’s South Kent squad against Tilton. In a game full of stars, Ledo was the best player on the floor,” ESPN’s Adam Finkelstein wrote. “After a slow start that included just one bucket in the first 15 minutes, Ledo rattled off 19 straight points to close the first half, giving South Kent a double-digit lead that it wouldn’t relinquish. When he gets into a rhythm there’s absolutely no stopping him and he proved it on Sunday. His once-inconsistent jumper is now a true weapon to match his dribble-drive attack, and when he’s a willing distributor he only makes himself that much more effective.”

South Kent headed to the National Prep School Invitational at Rhode Island College in Providence, RI, over Long Winter Weekend. On Feb. 2, SKS faced La Jolla Prep from California and on Feb. 3 the team played NIA Prep from New Jersey.

Sports Lingo: what are those athletes saying?

Feb 3rd, 2012 | By | Category: Athletics, On the Court, On the Ice, soccer

Video by Kevin Golden

Prep Hockey players Zach Carrano and Matt Swett are two of those who share their sports’ lingo.

Kevin Golden interviews several SKS student-athletes about some of the words and phrases specific to their sport.

Prep Basketball looks to end of season

Jan 3rd, 2012 | By | Category: Athletics, On the Court

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Video and Text by Jesse Schwartz

Tre Oliver slam dunks during an early season home game. Photo by LMW.

After the first games of the season, fans are looking for great things from the Prep Basketball team this year.

Mr. Kelvin Jefferson, the head coach, and the rest of the coaching staff have brought players to South Kent from all over the world. They spent the fall preparing and hosting college coaches for visits. The team’s current record after the Christmas break is 5-4.

Coach Jefferson teaches the players the mental aspect of work ethic.  Winning games comes from working harder than the other team.

“This team has a lot of depth at every position. We can play various lineups and still be very effective,” said Coach Jefferson.

Coach Jefferson has faith in his team for this upcoming season. After 17 years as a coach, his ability to recognize and build a talented team of players has been honed to a skill that spectators saw during the early home games in November.

Chris Thomas, a 6’5” PG out of Denver, CO, is one of the “all-stars” on his team this year.

“We expect to win. We’ve been working hard in practice,”  he said.

Chris appreciates Mr. Jefferson as a coach and how determined he is to win the championship this year.

“Mr. Jefferson is a good coach,” Chris said. “He’s a hard one, but focuses a lot on defense.”

Many of the players on the team recognize the coach’s talents.

“He’s not just a good coach on the court, but off the court as well. He wants you to go to class as well as be respectful to your teachers,” Chris said

Chris has received a lot of scholarship offers from many different NCAA DI basketball schools and hopes to play in the NBA someday.

Isaac Freeman is a 7’0” PG out of Virginia.  Isaac is the team’s go-to guy down low in the post for this upcoming season.

“We’ve been working hard. We started off in early September in the open gym. We did conditioning, as well as weight lifting,” Isaac said.  In practice, Isaac is a workhorse and when he’s on, no one brings him down.

“The team looks good. We just need to move the ball and get down the floor,” said Isaac, who is also known by his nickname Izzy. He believes this will be the year Prep Basketball will bring the championship home.

This could be Prep Basketball’s year

Jan 22nd, 2011 | By | Category: Athletics, On the Court

By Sean McVey Staff Reporter

Guard Ge'Lawn Guyn on the court. Photo by Leo Qixiang Fan

This could be the year. The Prep Basketball team has already established itself as one of the elite programs in the country, but yet it is still in need of a title. Could this be the year?

The team has established its great reputation with the help of its coach, Mr. Kelvin Jefferson.

Mr. Jefferson is a 1995 graduate of Southern Connecticut State University and a native of Norwalk, CT. He began his coaching career at Wesleyan University in 1995-96, then moved on to Salem State, under Head Coach Tom Brennan. After going through colleges such as Colgate, Stony Brook, and American University, he has a long coaching career along with great experiences that he brings to the team. He is a perfect fit for this elite Prep Basketball team.

Mr. Jefferson is the base of the program, but there’s much more needed to have a successful program than just a good coach.

He has recruited the top basketball players from all around the world, from Montenegro to Japan, along with many student athletes from many different states.

“I want to say we have three guys on this team that are top 100 players in the country” said Coach Jefferson.

Many of his former players are playing at many Division I colleges, such as St. John’s, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, and Louisville. He has done an outstanding job of putting kids into the best colleges for their success.

The team is now 11-6, with a loss to Hargrave Military school, which is one of the top ranked teams in the nation, and losses to MCI, Winchendon, Notre Dame, and NIA school.

“We play the toughest schedule in our league, so that will hopefully help us in the end,” Coach Jefferson said about the schedule.

“Everyday, we practice hard, going against real good players,” said Sixth Former Anthony Jernigan, a guard on the team.

So the Cardinals are still one of the most elite teams in the nation, and with this comes elite players.

Many players have already committed to top Division I colleges. Post Grad Ge’Lawn Guyn, at 6’2 and 175 pounds, who starts at guard for the team, is already committed to Cincinnati with the rest of the season to go. He is a big leader on the team and contributes big in every game.

Sixth Former Maurice Harkless, the starting 6’8-185 pound forward, has committed to St. John’s, a top Division I college. He has proved himself all season by grabbing multiple rebounds in each game, as well as putting in many points in the paint.

All other starters have Division I caliber skill and have all talked to Division I colleges. This all shows the talent of the Cardinals basketball team this year. So maybe it will be the year of a title.