With over 300 NCAA men's basketball coaches lining the walls of the Avon Old Farms Field House and over 500 NEPSAC student-athletes performing on three basketball courts over a three day period, it would be hard to call the NEPSAC Boys Basketball Showcase Event anything other than a massive success.
After a year of uncertainty, frustration, and constant pivoting, the Boys Basketball Coaches Association (NEPSBBA), with the help of Avon Old Farms Basketball Coach Matt Mihalich and the Avon community, produced a memorable and meaningful event to conclude the 2020-2021 school year.
“Once again, the NEPSAC live period event proved to be a valuable opportunity for our student-athletes,” Phillips-Exeter Boys Basketball Coach Jay Tilton expressed. “The volume of college coaches from top programs nationally afforded players of all levels the ideal stage to be evaluated. It paid huge dividends for our returning and new players alike.”
The inaugural event, which was hosted by Milton and Hamden Hall in June of 2019 was a two weekend showcase. An opportunity to hold such an event during the live recruiting period for scholarship basketball programs surfaced courtesy of a rule change by the NCAA. The rule modification shifted the conventional recruiting events from AAU, club teams and outside organizations to the hands of high schools.
“The Coaches Association [NEPSBBA] was able to offer a high quality showcase for our kids,” added Mike Hart, longtime Athletic Director and Boys Basketball Coach at St. Andrew’s School. “It was a tremendous event that rivals any other event nationally during the live recruiting period.”
Joining the NEPSAC student-athletes and NCAA coaches in the gym were a variety of media; including and not limited to, NEPSAC partners Impact Sports, BSN, and PlaySight (who livestreamed all of the games), along with reporters from Yahoo Sports, CBS Sports, New England newspapers, and additional media outlets across the country.
“One of the best parts about the event was seeing our coaches on the sideline again in person and doing what they love to do,” added NEPSAC Boys Basketball President Sean Kelly, who is the Athletic Director and Boys Basketball Coach at The Wheeler School. “This is the type of experience and positive momentum that is great for NEPSAC sports and the NEPSAC community as a whole.”
Click here to see a full gallery from the event.
Photo Credits: Impact Sports Network