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Tracking the Transfers

Now that school is back in session, here is a look at some of the noteworthy transfers that could impact the upcoming boys basketball season.

Markquis Nowell

From Bishop Loughlin to The Patrick School

After it was first announced in April that Nowell would transfer to national powerhouse Montverde Academy in Florida, Adam Zagoria reported in June that Nowell was enrolled at The Patrick School in New Jersey and would play there his senior year.

Nowell was one of the best point guards in the CHSAA during the last two seasons, and that speaks volumes considering he went up against the likes of Isaiah Washington, Jose Alvarado, Cole Anthony and Joe Toussaint. With Nowell running the show, Loughlin came within one possession of winning the City Championship in 2016 and they were ousted in the 2017 Semifinals by eventual champs Cardinal Hayes. The combined loss of Nowell and reigning CHSAA MVP Keith Williams is a lot for Loughlin to overcome, especially considering the strength of Archbishop Molloy and Christ the King in the CHSAA B/Q Division. The loss of frontcourt underclassman Richard Springs, who has transferred to The MacDuffie School, a prep school in Massachusetts, doesn't help.

Jalen Lecque

From Monsignor Scanlan to The Christ School (NC)

It seems like ages ago that Lecque announced that he was transferring out of Scanlan, but that is because his stock has soared since that time. Since his announcement, Lecque has become a national prospect.

Some may look at this as cause and effect (leave NYC for more exposure and the offers roll in), but we know better. Lecque was hampered with injuries during his time at Scanlan, but his upside potential was clear while he was on the court. Exhibit A is this dunk in the 2016 CHSAA A Division Semis against eventual champ Monsignor Farrell.

In its inaugural season in the grueling CHSAA AA Division, Scanlan not only proved it belonged, but that it was capable of beating the top teams in the league. Had Lecque returned, Scanlan would have been one of the most exciting teams in the city.    

James Bouknight

From LaSalle Academy to The MacDuffie School (MA)

Bouknight led LaSalle Academy to the CHSAA B Division City and State Championships, as well as the New York Class B Federation crown, scoring 27 points and grabbing 10 rebounds in the final game against Westhill.

Even with the graduation of point guard Bryce Council (Division II Georgian Court), LaSalle would have been an obvious favorite to repeat as CHSAA B Division Champs if Bouknight returned. His transfer will make the CHSAA B a more level playing field, even though we will miss plays like this:

Tykei Greene

From Thomas Edison to Long Island Lutheran

Greene attracted a lot of attention last year, leading Thomas Edison to a Queens Borough Tournament berth, where they fell to eventual champs John Bowne. Unfortunately for the Inventors, Greene will suit up for the LuHi Crusaders this season, complimenting a talented roster that includes Donatas Kupsas, Essam Mostafa and Andre Curbelo.

With Greene, Edison could have made waves in the PSAL A Division, despite Brooklyn Law & Tech being a heavy favorite (more on that below).

Kareem Reid     

From John Bowne to Putnam Science Academy (CT)

John Bowne captured the Queens Borough title in its first season playing in the Queens AA Division, topping Queens High School of Teaching in one of the most exciting games of the season. Reid played a big role in that effort, as did Alejandro Vasquez and Christian Hinckson. 

Alejandro Vasquez

From John Bowne to The Patrick School

Following Reid's transfer and the loss of Hinckson, who will do post graduate year at the Tilton School, it was reported that Vasquez transferred to The Patrick School. Vasquez scored a game-high 37 points in the PSAL Queens Borough title game against QHST.

Bowne would likely have been a favorite to win the Queens AA Division this season, but the loss of Reid, Hinckson and Vasquez will make that a much tougher proposition.

Hassan Diarra

From Holy Cross to Putnam Science Academy (CT)

A big loss for Holy Cross. Even though the Knights struggled in the CHSAA B/Q Division last season, having Archbishop Molloy, Christ the King and Bishop Loughlin twice on your league schedule is a punitive litmus test for any team. The Knights did knock off Long Island Lutheran (then number 3 in NYS) last year, and Diarra would have put Holy Cross in a position to play spoiler in the CHSAA B/Q this year. Challenging uphill climb without him.

David Grady

From Nazareth to Brooklyn Law & Tech

Grady is the only player on this list who will be playing high school ball in the five boroughs next season. It's hard to imagine Brooklyn Law & Tech fielding a stronger squad than they did last year, but the addition of Grady will compliment a Jets frontcourt that already boasts Victor Ogbo, and Larry Moreno is one of the best (if not the best) returning players in the PSAL A Division. Bottom line here is that Brooklyn Law & Tech will clearly be the team to beat in the PSAL A this season.

Reclassification

Many of the transfers referenced above involve prep school destinations. While defections to prep schools are not new for NYC high school basketball talent, the concept of "reclassification" is a fad that is catching on quickly. Half of the transfers mentioned above involve the player reclassifying down to become a part of the next class of college basketball prospects. Much more on this trend later. Stay tuned. 

We wish all of these players the best of luck at their new schools and hope they make the most of their opportunities.

An earlier version of this article reported that Christian Hinckson transferred from John Bowne to The Tilton School. That report has been clarified to reflect that Hinckson is doing a post graduate year. This article has also been updated to reflect the transfer of Alejandro Vasquez from John Bowne to The Patrick School.

 

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