New Hampton School (N.H.) announced that senior forward Mike Auger has officially signed his acceptance letter and enrollment agreement for the University of Pennsylvania, and is now officially part of the Quakers' 2014 recruiting class after committing last September.
Because its member schools do not offer athletic scholarships, the Ivy League does not honor National Letters of Intent, which is the formal process used for a majority of schools competing in the NCAA.
Here is the full press release, courtesy of New Hampton communications director Will McCulloch:
NEW HAMPTON, NH. –- New Hampton School senior Mike Auger '14 of Hopkinton, New Hampshire, recently signed his acceptance letter and enrollment agreement for the University of Pennsylvania. A recruited student-athlete, Auger will play for the Quakers beginning in the fall.
A former Hopkinton High player, Auger has spent the last three years attending New Hampton School, where he is a member of the Men's Varsity A Basketball team and a residential house proctor. Auger, a 6-foot-7 athletic forward, has overcome multiple shoulder injuries over the last four years to emerge as an emotional leader and inside presence for the Huskies. He scored 19 points in a victory over league foe Bridgton Academy before the Holiday break. Auger chose Penn over Holy Cross and Dartmouth.
"I am looking forward to playing for Coach (Jerome) Allen and the coaching staff there and playing in the The Palestra and being a part of the rich basketball tradition," said Auger. "I want to be able to make a difference right off the bat. I liked the feel of the university, the people, and Philly is a great city."
Auger will enroll in the College of Arts and Sciences but has a desire to move into the Wharton School of Business. He believes his New Hampton School experience has prepared him in a variety of ways for the college classroom and Division I basketball.
"Taking high level International Baccalaureate classes has prepared me for college and I don't know if I would be able to go to an Ivy League school if I didn't have those classes," Auger explained. "From a basketball standpoint, playing with high-major Division I players every day since I was a sophomore prepared me for the level of the competition. Working with Coach (Pete) Hutchins so much and being in this basketball environment gave me opportunities that I couldn't get at my local high school or even other prep schools.
"I was able to develop as a player because of the access to the gym here and also having a coach who is willing to get in the gym with you anytime, in the summer and in the mornings. The way he models his program is after a college program with a lot of film work and scouting reports. Our practices are like college practices."
Auger credited his parents and his coaches for providing the necessary resources and opportunities to become one of the few New Hampshire products who get the opportunity to play Division I basketball.
"They always pushed me academically, allowed me to travel around the country playing AAU, and helped me go to New Hampton, which was huge considering the investment," Auger said. "My AAU coach Vin Pastore also has been a big influence. He took me under his wing and really helped me develop."
A three-year veteran of the NHS program, Hutchins believes Auger will make an impact at Penn quickly because of his style of play.
“Mike Auger represents a new approach to recruiting for our basketball program in that he spent three years here whereas many of our players in the past were postgraduates," Hutchins said. "I admire his perseverance and maturity as well as his ability to improve given the two major setbacks with shoulder injuries that kept him off the floor for more than a year. I could tell from the moment Mike visited Penn that it was the place he wanted to be. Penn fans will love Mike's effort and toughness.”
Penn Coach Jerome Allen is a graduate of the university and a former NBA standout.
"The biggest thing I see in Coach Allen is that he is a really straightforward person and cares about his players as people not just basketball players," Auger said. "He's a real straight-up guy."