Prep School Hoops

Mike Moffett

 by Mike Moffett
Weirs Times Columnist

Granite Staters rightly take pride in Concord High grad Matt Bonner playing 12 seasons in the NBA. But did you know that no less than TEN alumni from Wolfeboro’s Brewster Academy have played in the NBA? Check out Brewster’s web site. The school’s captured four National Prep Championships since 2010, as well as five New England Prep School Athletic Conference (NEPSAC) Class AAA Championships since 2008. Over the past decade, Brewster’s averaged over 30 victories per year (305-50) for a winning percentage over .860. The Bobcats have captured six regular season NEPSAC Class AAA Championships since 2008. And Brewster’s advanced to the National Final Four in each of the past eight years.
Besides Brewster’s ten NBA alumni, over 50 others have played professionally in other leagues around the world, including the NBA Developmental League—not to mention the numerous Bobcat grads who’ve played college ball at every level.
Who knew?
Brewster head coach Jason Smith is in his 17th season as Brewster’s head hoop coach, having compiled a 414-109 (.792) record during his first 16 seasons.
But our Lakes Region prep school basketball universe includes much more beyond Brewster.
New Hampton’s Huskies also have a wonderful basketball tradition—going back to when my dad starred there 70 years ago. Current head coach Nikolas Whitmore—a former director of basketball operations for the University of San Francisco—runs a top-flight program as well. Like Brewster, New Hampton features a galaxy of alumni stars who’ve excelled at every level—like Noah Vonleh (Class of 2013). The ninth overall selection in the 2014 NBA Draft, and a current Portland Trail Blazer, Vonleh played at Indiana University before heading to the NBA.
Speaking of Indiana University, one of New Hampton’s hoop alums is one Patrick Knight—son of the IU icon. You can be sure that Hall of Fame Coach Bobby Knight wouldn’t let his son go just anywhere.
If you want to see Brewster take on New Hampton, then you’re in luck because the Bobcats travel to New Hampton to take on the Huskies tomorrow (Friday, Feb. 10.)
But there’s more. There’s also Tilton Prep!
Coach Marcus O’Neil is in his 13th season with the Tilton Rams, whom he led to the NEPSAC Class AA titles in 2011 and 2015. Tilton has some wonderful hoop alums as well, like Worthy Patterson, who went on from Tilton to play at UConn and then the NBA. Tilton will play in New Hampton’s prep tournament from Feb. 17-18 and will host Brewster on Feb. 20.
So arguably Brewster, New Hampton, and Tilton combine to make our Lakes Region the “center of the prep school basketball universe.”
Because most of the local prep stars are not native New Hampshirites, they haven’t received the same attention as Bonner. But the cornucopia of local hoop talent is truly amazing.
Who knew?

Sports Quiz
Who won the men’s tennis single title at Wimbledon in 1985 at the age of just 17? (Answer follows)

Born Today …
That is to say, sports standouts born on February 9 include former Dallas Cowboy quarterback Danny White (1952) and former New York Met star Mookie Wilson (1952).

Sportsquote
“I’ve discovered that prayers work best when you have big, talented players.” – Notre Dame football coach Knute Rockne

Sportsquiz Answer
Boris Becker.

Michael Moffett was a Professor of Sports Management for Plymouth State University and NHTI-Concord. He’s co-author of the critically-acclaimed and award-winning “FAHIM SPEAKS: A Warrior-Actor’s Odyssey from Afghanistan to Hollywood and Back” (with the Marines)—which is available through Amazon.com. His e-mail address is


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