Former Bulldog And University Of Vermont Standout Now Playing For Iowa Energy
DES MOINES, IA–Some believe that playing professional basketball in something other than the NBA or in Europe isn’t worth mentioning. However, GMC Hoops disagrees. The site has already noted the exploits of former Colonia High School and Kean University standout, Vinnie Darpino, who is now playing in the Atlantic Coast Professional Basketball League. To pursue the game that you love while getting a chance to see other parts of the country while also getting paid sure beats working in an office cubicle.
Marqus Blakely is another former standout from the Greater Middlesex Conference, who is pursuing his passion at the professional level. Blakely, who led Metuchen High School to its first GMC Blue Division title since 1987, its first appearance in the GMCT Championship Game since 1988, and first sectional final appearance since 1988, is now playing for the Iowa Energy of the NBA’s Developmental League. The Energy is the minor league team for both the Chicago Bulls and the Phoenix Suns. Blakely actually started out in the NBA with the Los Angeles Clippers.
After making a solid impression in the Vegas Summer League, Blakely signed a two year, partially guaranteed contract with the Clippers. In Vegas over the summer, Blakely averaged 7.0 points per game, 4.8 rebounds per game, and 2.0 steals per game while shooting over 65 percent. He ended up being the last cut made by the Clippers, and was eventually drafted by the Bakersfield Jam in the NBA D-League Draft. The Metuchen native, who had a tremendous career at the University of Vermont, was projected as high as third on the draft board, but wound up being selected as the 12th pick by the Jam. His high flying routine appeared to be a great fit for the Jam, which is the minor league affiliate of both the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers.
At Bakersfield, which is currently in fourth place in the Western Conference, and recently clinched a playoff spot, Blakely played in 25 games including 13 starts. He averaged 23.2 minutes per game, 13.2 points per game, 6.1 rebounds per game, 1.7 steals per game, 1.4 assists per game, and 0.6 blocks per game. Blakely shot 121 of 220 from the floor for 55 percent, and connected on 81 of 133 from the foul line for just under 61 percent. On January 25th, Blakely was acquired by the Energy along with Stanley Robinson in separate trades. Robinson was acquired in a trade with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. Both are arguably the most talented players in the D-League.
At the time of the trade, the Iowa Energy was 19-7. Since then, it has won 16 of 22 games including 15 of 19 since a 1-2 start right after the trade. In those 22 games, Blakely has played in each contest including six starts. He is averaging 27 minutes per game, 17.0 points per game, 6.3 rebounds per game, 1.2 steals per game, 0.9 blocks per game, and 0.8 assists per game. The Metuchen native has made 151 of 219 shots from the floor for just under 69 percent, and 70 of 103 shots from the charity stripe for 68 percent. In total, Blakely has played in 47 games including 19 starts, and is averaging 25.0 minutes, 14.8 points, 6.2 rebounds, 1.5 steals, 1.1 assists, and 0.8 blocks per game. He has connected on 272 of 439 shots from the floor for 62 percent, and 151 of 236 from the foul line for 64 percent.
Former Wardlaw Standout Registers Career High And Leads Team In Blocks This Past Season
MANCHESTER, NH–Corey Boland continues the tradition of former players from the Greater Middlesex Conference that have gone on to play in the Northeast-10 conference. The last 1,000 point scorer at Wardlaw-Hartridge now plays at Southern New Hampshire. Boland is a sophomore at the school, and played in 19 games this season including 6 starts. He led the Penmen in blocked shots this season with 19 rejections while scoring a college career high 12 points in a victory over Southern Connecticut State on January 22nd.
The Union native averaged 15.2 minutes per game, 4.9 points per game, 3.5 rebounds per game, 1.0 blocks per game, 0.5 steals per game, and 0.4 assists per game. Boland connected on 37 of 83 shots including a three pointer for 44.6 percent while sinking 19 of 28 from the line for just under 68 percent. Besides getting his career high of 12 points against Southern Connecticut State, Boland also scored 8 points on a couple of occasions against Southern Connecticut on December 11, 2010, and Assumption on January 29th. The first player to score 1,000 points at Wardlaw since 1995 also had 7 points on two occasions this past season.
As a freshman, Boland played in 27 games for the Penmen including one start. He led the team in field goal percentage by going 55 of 99 from the floor for 55.6 percent. In 2009-10, Boland averaged 5.3 points per game and 3.3 rebounds per game. He notched his previous career high of 11 points on February 20, 2010 against Stonehill. This past season, Southern New Hampshire was 11-15 overall including a 7-15 mark in conference play. Two seasons ago, the Penmen were 15-14 overall including a 9-13 mark in the Northeast 10.
Former Bishop Ahr Standout Turns In Solid Effort At Freedom Conference School In 2010-11
WILKES-BARRE, PA–After having a standout season at Bishop Ahr his senior year in 2008-09, North Brunswick native, Matt Fiorino, has continued to play hoops at Division III King’s College. This past season, Fiorino helped the Monarchs complete a 15-10 overall record including a 7-7 record in the Middle Atlantic Conference. Fiorino played in 23 of King’s 25 games including 20 starts.
In those 25 games, Fiorino averaged 27 minutes per game, 11.1 points per game, 1.3 assists per game, 0.8 rebounds per game, and 0.5 steals per game. Ranked third on the team in scoring this season, Fiorino also had an assist to turnover ratio that was just under 2.0. His forte has been to shoot the basketball well, and this past season, he didn’t disappoint, particularly from long distance. Overall, Fiorino shot 82 of 169 from the field for 48.5 percent including a 63 of 131 showing from beyond the arc for 48.1 percent. The sophomore guard also went 29 of 39 from the foul line for 74.4 percent.
Fiorino ranked fourth on the team in minutes, third in scoring, sixth in assists and steals, eighth in games played, third in field goal percentage and free throw percentage, and first in three point field goal percentage. Some highlights from the season for Fiorino was a 14 point effort on 5 of 7 shooting including three straight treys in a 57-48 loss to Albright on November 23rd, a 20 point performance on 7 of 10 shooting in a 99-53 victory over Albany Pharmacy in the Wilkes-Barre Challenge at Wilkes University on January 3rd. Three weeks later, Fiorino pumped in 16 points on 5 of 9 shooting from the floor including 4 of 6 from beyond the arc in a 78-66 victory over Penn State-Wilkes Barre. Two days after that, he had 22 points on 7 of 10 shooting from the floor including 6 of 9 from three in an 83-79 victory over Penn College. On January 29th, Fiorino topped his previous game’s effort with 24 points on 8 of 14 shooting including 5 of 9 from three point land in a 115-111 double overtime loss to Manhattanville College.
Fiorino finished the season strong by scoring in double figures in 11 of his last 12 games for the Monarchs. A teammate of his was forward, Kevin Conroy, who led Chatham to the Group II State Championship over Haddonfield back in 2007. As a freshman, Fiorino played in 24 games, ranked third on the team in three pointers with 27, and shot 42.2 percent from long range. He averaged 4.7 points per game, and 1.1 assists per game. A major in accounting, Fiorino is also doing very well in school with a GPA just under 3.7.
Former Timothy Christian Hoops Standout Excels For Defenders And Earns Honors
CLARKS SUMMIT, PA–During the course of the season, GMC Hoops had received information on the exploits of former Timothy Christian School standout, Tommy Waszaj, who finished his senior year at Baptist Bible College. A native of East Brunswick, Waszaj earned NCCAA East Region Second Team Honors.
Waszaj, a 1,000 point scorer at TCS, who comes from a prolific basketball family that includes his older brother Jairo, another 1,000 point scorer at the school, played in all 25 games for the Defenders including 12 starts. The 6′2″ guard, averaged 26.3 minutes per game, 12.6 points per game, 1.6 assists per game, 1.4 rebounds per game, and 0.6 steals per game. His assist to turnover ratio was just under 1.0. Overall, he shot 42 percent from the floor including a 39.3 percent showing from three point range. Waszaj was also 50 of 59, or just under 85 percent from the foul line.
Waszaj led the team in many statistics including scoring (12.6 ppg), field goal attempts (246), field goals made (103), three point attempts (150), and three point field goals made (59). He was also second in free throw attempts and free throws made while third on the team in three point field goal percentage and second in free throw percentage. He was also second in minutes played, fifth in assists, and fourth in steals. His highest scoring game of the season was 31 points in a 82-69 victory against Centenary College on December 2, 2010. In that game, Waszaj, who had team high in scoring eight times this season, made 10 of 21 shots from the floor including 6 of 14 from beyond the arc, and made all five of his free throw attempts.
The Defenders were 7-18 overall this past season including a 5-13 record in the Colonial States Athletic Conference. Waszaj had a teammate from TCS on the team as Christian Attlesley is a junior at the school, and averaged 18.2 minutes per game, 5.1 points per game, 3.4 rebounds per game, 0.5 assists per game, and 0.5 steals per game. Other players from the GMC in the CSAC are: Lamar Fisher (Cabrini), Larry Lenanhan and Timmy Brix (Centenary).
SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ–On Sunday, GMC Hoops was notified by South Plainfield boys basketball head coach, Bob Conway, that the Tigers will be one of the GMC teams competing in the Kean Spring League at Kean University starting April 25th. The league will continue to be run each week until May 25th. There will also be playoffs. The squad will be a mixture of varsity and other players in the program that are willing to work on their game. The Tigers will be coached by former SPHS standout, and MCC player, Shamai Santiago. GMC Hoops plans to be down at this league on Wednesday night’s mostly until the Hoop Group Headquarters league finishes up the week of May 16th.
Space Is Limited Though For A League That Has Reached Capacity Each Of The Past Three Years
SOUTH AMBOY, NJ–Last week, GMC Hoops was contacted by Tom Reilly of the Raritan Bay Summer League, which will be firing up again later this year for another season of summer hoops. There will be divisions from 3rd Grade up to High School. Space will be limited though. The league usually has between 25 and 30 teams compete each summer, and it fills up fast. More details will be forthcoming about the league. If you have a team, and are interesting in competing in this league, please contact Tom Reilly at email@example.com. Once again, the site will be there during the course of the summer to cover the league.
NEPTUNE, NJ–On Monday night, GMC Hoops obtained the full schedule for the 2011 Hoop Group Headquarters Spring League, which began this week. South River, the only GMC team in the league, is one of 12 teams competing. Below is the full schedule for the Rams.
2011 Hoop Group Headquarters Spring League–South River Schedule
- March 28th–South River vs. Middletown South, 8:00 PM, Celtics Court
- April 4th–South River vs. Ocean Township, 9:00 PM, Knicks Court
- April 11th–South River vs. Wall Township, 9:00 PM, Knicks Court
- April 18th–South River vs. Manasquan, 8:00 PM, Celtics Court
- April 25th–South River vs. Asbury Park, 7:00 PM, Celtics Court
- May 2nd–South River vs. Tropics, 9:00 PM, Knicks Court
- May 9th–South River vs. Neptune, 8:00 PM, Celtics Court
- May 16th–Showcase Games–Matchups to be determined
View all the information on the High School Leagues run at the Hoop Group Headquarters.
NEPTUNE, NJ–On Monday night, GMC Hoops began its offseason hoops coverage with a trip down to the Hoop Group Headquarters for the opening night of action from the Spring League being run there. South River, the only GMC team in the league was in action, and lost to Middletown South of the Shore Conference by the score of 48-35. In total, there are 12 teams in this year’s league, and they are all competing in one division. Below is the list of all the teams in the league:
2011 Hoop Group Headquarters Spring League–Teams
- Asbury Park
- Middletown South
- Ocean Township
- Point Pleasant Boro
- South River
- St. Rose
- Wall Township
GMC Hoops plans to be down at the Hoop Group Headquarters each Monday night for coverage of this league.
GMC Hoops Play-By-Play–South River vs. Middletown South–Hoop Group Headquarters Spring League–March 28, 2011March 30, 2011 on 12:06 pm | In Hoop Group Headquarters Spring League, South River Hoops | Comments Off
NEPTUNE, NJ–On Monday night, GMC Hoops took the long trip down Route 18 South to the Hoop Group Headquarters in Neptune after work to take in the final 23:30 of the contest between South River and Middletown South in the opening night of the 2011 HG Headquarters Spring League. The Rams are one of 12 teams participating in the league, and the only GMC team competing. Below is the play by play from the action that we saw.
3:30–Arrive–MS leads 12-10.
2:22–MS–three pointer for a 15-10 lead.
1:00–MS–three pointer for an 18-10 lead.
0.0–SR–Tim Darrar shot attempt misses…18-10 MS at the half.
19:30–SR–gets on the board with a score.
18:25–MS–two FTs for a 20-12 lead.
18:00–MS–scores on a field goal for a 22-12 lead.
17:00–SR–goes on 4-0 run to close within six at 22-16.
16:29–MS–Three pointer from left corner–25-16 lead.
16:18–MS–layup for a 27-16 lead.
16:00–MS–offensive rebound and follow for a 29-16 lead.
15;09–Official stoppage–MS apparently was called for a backcourt violation, but the official recognized that a SR player knocked the ball out of bounds
13:34–MS–fouled on the floor after getting a rebound of a missed SR shot.
13:09–MS–out hustles SR for loose ball and saves it off an SR player.
12:33–MS–player fouls Tyler Harris.
12:09–SR–Harris fouls MS player after rebound of a missed SR shot.
11:14–SR fouls MS player.
11:05–MS–reverse layup off baseline drive for a 31-19 lead.
10:50–SR–Harris has a nice dish to teammate for a layup for a 31-21 MS lead.
10:23–SR calls timeout after an MS score for a 33-21 lead–got a kind bounce on an off balanced floater.
9:47–MS–forces turnover thanks to great hustle.
8:59–SR–deflects pass out of bounds.
7:53–MS–called for foul.
7:32–SR–Harris makes three pointer from right wing for a 33-24 MS lead.
7:09–MS banks in floater from right side for a 35-24 lead.
6:58–SR–Harris drills three pointer from right corner for a 35-27 MS lead.
6:12–MS–draws foul on shot attempt off spin move–makes 1 of 2 FTs for a 36-27 lead.
4:33–MS–connects on line drive jumper for a 40-27 lead.
4:15–SR–Erick Gomez scores on spin move in left low block
4:03–MS–drives in for score from left side for a 42-29 lead.
3:12–SR–Harris scores on offensive rebound and putback for a 42-31 MS lead.
2:45–MS–layup for a 44-31 lead.
2:30–MS–breakaway layup off a rebound for a 46-31 lead.
2:00–SR–scores for a 46-33 MS lead.
38.0–MS–blocks SR shot attempt.
20.6–MS–steal for a layup and a 48-33 lead.
1.4–SR–Danny Boychuck scores on an offensive rebound and putback for the 48-35 final score.
GMC Hoops will be back out at the Hoop Group Headquarters next Monday night to see the Rams in action.
Video Highlights–Cardinal McCarrick vs. St. Anthony’s–Non-Public B State Championship–March 12, 2011March 26, 2011 on 5:41 am | In Video Highlights, Cardinal McCarrick Hoops | Comments Off
Here are video highlights from the Non-Public B State Final between Cardinal McCarrick, the Non-Public B South sectional champion, and St. Anthony’s the Non-Public B North champion. The Friars, which were coming off a 62-45 victory over St. Patrick’s of Elizabeth in the Game of the Year, got out to an 18-8 first quarter lead, and never looked back as they rolled to a 75-28 win. Junior swingman, Kyle Anderson, a transfer from Paterson Catholic, led the way to earn team MVP honors with 22 points and 5 rebounds while junior point guard, Ahmid Williams led McCarrick with 9 points, 4 assists, and 2 rebounds.