NCAA Final Four– Boarding School Flavor

Final Four- boarding school flavor

If you follow NCAA men’s basketball, you might notice a small, steady- but large, in a disproportionate sense- number of high caliber basketball players whose biographies include boarding school. This year is no exception.  

Quietly and very well, boarding schools have been educating students destined for NCAA Division I basketball programs- especially the New England schools that play in the upper two basketball divisions- Classes A and B.

On first thought, this practice garners a “huh?” But, it makes good sense and provides a great opportunity for players.

Every New England Class A and B boys basketball team, usually contains a handful or fewer players who will move from their boarding school to an NCAA division I program each year. This year three players with boarding school experience are in the Final Four:

UCLA’s Aflred Aboya who attended Tilton School.

Kansas’ Brady Morningstar attended New Hampton School and Sasha Kaun is a graduate of Florida Air Academy (for more on Sasha Kaun check out this recent Yahoo! Sports’ article).

A quick read through some men’s NCAA Division I rosters yield several boarding schools. Here in Mississippi, you’ll find Kodi Augustus at Mississippi State. He did a PG year at Maine Central institute.

You’ll find players of this caliber attending each of the NEPSAC class A and B schools. Many of these students attend boarding school to improve their academic preparation and gain a wealth of other benefits along the way- the consistent boarding school structure, study skills, small classes, academic focus, test preparation. The high caliber of basketball contributes to the deal.

Then, you get to the obvious question, why do boarding schools have these high caliber athletic programs? First, basketball is not alone. Boarding schools have collegiate caliber athletes across the board. Men’s and women’s hockey is very strong in boarding schools. From Class A and B basketball, schools get a strong winter program which can help provide a rallying point during a long winter and a higher athletic profile.

You’ll even hear Dick Vitale mention a boarding name when excitedly talking about a kid. Dickie V. and his colleagues usually garble the school name; they always say “_____ prep” even though prep or preparatory isn’t in the school name of nickname.

There’s nary a school out there that wouldn’t like to hear its name mentioned on a national telecast on winter afternoon or during the Final Four.  

On To the NBA (post collegiate)

Several boarding school collegians have made their way into the NBA. We’ve begun a list of players and their schools and hope to add to it over time. Here’s a partial list:

Carmelo Anthony, Oak Hill Academy
William Avery,  Oak Hill Academy
Caron Butler, Maine Central Institute
Sam Cassell, Maine Central Institute
Francisco Garcia, Cheshire Academy
Josh Howard, Hargrave Military Academy
Jarrett Jack, Worcester Academy
DerMarr Johnson, Maine Central Institute
Rashad McCants, New Hampton School
Brad Miller, Maine Central Institute
Cuttino Mobley, Maine Central Institute
Rajon Rondo, Oak Hill Academy
Craig Smith, Worcester Academy
Jerry Stackhouse,  Oak Hill Academy
Marcus Williams,  Oak Hill Academy

Direct to the NBA
With the changes in NBA position several boarding school students have moved directly from high level prep school basketball directly to the NBA. Boarding school contributes structure and maturity and, if the player possesses the athleticism and ability, he can move directly to the hyper competitive adult world of the NBA. Players recently moving from boarding school to the NBA include:

Andre Blatche, South Kent School
DeSagana Diop, Oak Hill Academy
Stephen Jackson, Oak Hill Academy
Josh Smith, Oak Hill Academy
Dorell Wright, South Kent School
Korleone Young, Hargrave Military Academy

About the Author
Brian Fisher

A product of both private and public education, Brian Fisher served as a teacher, coach, dorm parent, and administrator at three different boarding schools. Brian also fills the role of Director of Development at Wolfeboro, The Summer Boarding School, in NH along with being a partner at AdmissionsQuest.

  • Jack209

    These types of athletic activities in these boarding high schools are very beneficial for development of students. This article is very nice and presents a bright feature of boarding schools.


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