Simi Shittu Headlines New England Showdown – Teams and Schedule Announced!
The New England Showdown, hosted by Vermont Academy December 17-18 will feature three programs from both sides of the border.
Representing Canada is Bill Crothers, Toronto Basketball Academy out of Ontario, and Quebec’s Jean De Brebeuf.
The American contingent includes Vermont Academy (Vermont), Sunrise Christian (Kansas) and The Masters School (Connecticut).
Collectively, these teams boast a plethora of next level talent that will take the floor in a cross-border battle.
#1 in America in Pre-season National Rankings by Prep Circuit, the home team Vermont Academy features two of Canada’s top prospects in Simi Shittu (#1, 2018) and Butler Commit Christian David (Top 5, 2017). Shittu and David are recognized as Top 10 and Top 100-ranked prospects in America respectively.
“We are trying to figure out who we are…but I really like this group…there are so many weapons,” said Head Coach Alex Popp.
“I think we are as good as anybody…I know we are as good as anybody. Once we are healthy…sky is the limit.”
Shittu, who is being recruited by UConn, Alabama, Notre Dame, Kentucky and the entire PAC 12. The Burlington, ON product will ultmately attend the school of his choice and is expected to have a massive season for VA.
David, who is successfully rehabbing from a torn ACL in March, has already been practicing with the team. Coach Popp will count on his senior guard for leadership and playmaking ability.
Vermont Academy NCAA Commits
- 6’7 Christian David – Butler
- 6’8 Jordan Nwora – Louisville
- 6’7 Marcus Santoa-Silva – VCU
- 6’4 Corey Romich – Jacksonville
- 6’6 Bailey Patella – Vermont
Jean De Brebeuf (Montreal, Quebec)
Brebeuf, representing QC could have the strongest group from the North, 5-0 on their respective season thus far, and feature an impressive line up of talent.
Starting with Richmond commit 6’7 Nathan Cayo, Brebeuf has ample size at the guard and wing positions, including a crop that will be returning next season–2018’s 6’5 Emmanuel Bandoumel, 6’6 Guillaume Pepin, and 6’4 Anthony Fisiru.
“I have a nice problem next year,” explained Head Coach Mike Chmliewski, referring to his returners.
“We’re very competitive, we can win any game we’re in. The thing about the States is you can’t take and possessions off, because its so athletic…the game can turn quickly.”
The Brebeuf program has been producing over the last several years, gaining experience statestide while also graduating notable prospects to the division one level, including last year’s A10 Rookie of the year Joseph Chartouny of Fordham.
Although under the radar in the American landscape, this team has a chance to make a real statement at the New England Showdown.
Toronto Basketball Academy (Toronto, Ontario)
Toronto Basketball Academy brings ample size at every position and are lead by their seniors–6’3 PG Cordell Veira, 6’7 forward Jace Colley, 6’4 do-it-all wing Lascel Tyndale, and 6’5 sniper Adham Eleeda.
“We have a lot of depth, length and athleticism. You could expect us to commit to defence especially,” explained Head Coach Adeel Sahibzada.
Last year’s group brought a tenacity that this team is still developing, according to Sahibzada.
“We need to add some grit; progress has been evident early on in the season as we have competed against some quality competition.”
2018 6’6 wing Patrick Emilien has been TBA’s biggest surprise thus far, bringing versatility on both ends of the floor and beginning to produce in double figures regularly.
Emilien will be a factor this season, boding well for TBA’s future.
Bill Crothers Colts (Unionville, Ontario)
Bill Crothers headlines with national team member Stefan Smith, committed to Vermont University for th 2017-2018 season. Smith, orginally part of the 2018 class, will move forward in his career, considering his 90% average and maturity level.
“He’s got just an insatiable work ethic..unmatched. He’s a 30 year old in a 16 year old body. He found a school that’s a good fit and he’s happy about it,” explained Head Coach Charles Hantoumakos.
Joined by Smith in the back court is uncommitted Jamal Mayali, a 6’2 senior guard with craft and play making ability.
Rising 2019 6’6 wing Emmanuel Miller and 2018 6’5 wing Jayden Coke will provide contributions on both ends of the floor, counted on to lock up defensively..
“I think its a team that’s been through the grind. This team is selfless…we have good shooters, slashers, rebounders and defenders.” said Hantoumakos.
“As far as playing on the big stage, everyone that I have on this team has the experience.”
Previously, Crothers has taken on the likes of top American programs like Findlay Prep, Brewster and Northfield Mount Hermon to name a few.
“As far being phased, none of us are.”
Sunrise Christian (Bel Aire, Kansas)
Sunrise is scheduled to take on Jean De Brebeuf and TBA. The roster includes two committed players in Bryan Trimble (Florida State) and Eric Parish (Akron).
In addition, this teams brings a plethora of D1 bound prospects.
“Our challenge is trying to get them to mesh and make them team oriented. It will be about building team chemistry,” said Head Coach Kyle Bankhead.
- DJ Wilkins, a knock down shooter and the team’s best on ball defender, being recruited by Oral Roberts and Evansville.
- David Jenkins Jr – Boise State, St Bonaventure, Middle Tennesse
- Stefan Mitchell – Valpo, Northeastern, Boise St
- Samba Enjei – Florida Gulf Cost, South Dakota, Toledo, Fordam
- Derick Walker – Arkansas, Georgia, has taken visits to Ball State, Akron, and UIC.
As far as the competition they will be facing?
“We have Canadian kids on our high school team…I know there’s a tonne of talent up there.”
The Masters School (Connecticut)
The second NEPSAC contingent at the New England Showdown, The Master’s School finished 9-8 in league play last season, and 18-12 overall.
TMS Graduated five players, three of which moved on to the NCAA D1 level. That said, Head Coach Tobias Caesar feels confident about the 2016-2017 group.
“This year has more depth.”
The Master’s School will be lead by Ben Eke, Nadir Dixon-Thompson and Michael Richardson.
Eke is a 2019 6’2 guard being recruited by Stanford, Yale, Columbia, and Colgate.
2018 6’9 forward Dixon-Thompson has Boston U, Rider, Jacksonville, and Central Connecticut State on his radar, while 2017 6’0 G Richardson has received interest from Rider.
“We’re going to look to play fast, look to score quickly, pressure in the half court and will be guard oriented,” said Coach Caesar.
TMS is intrigued by their match up as they will take on Bill Crothers and Jean De Brebeuf.
“With the way basketball is exploding in Canada, its gives us a chance to play different competition, as well as receive exposure to Canada,” Caesar told NPH.
“I’m excited for it and glad we were able to make it work.”
New England Showdown Schedule
SATURDAY, DEC 17
2PM: Masters School vs. Bill Crothers
4PM: Sunrise Christian vs. Jean Brebeuf
6PM: Vermont Academy vs. Toronto Basketball Academy
8PM: Masters School vs. Jean De Brebeuf
SUNDAY, DEC 18
12PM: Sunrise Christian vs. Toronto Basketball Academy
2PM: Vermont Academy vs. Bill Crothers