Boston High School: A.J. Brodeur

NMH's Brodeur scores first D1 offer

August, 12, 2013
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Northfield Mount Hermon incoming Class of 2016 center A.J. Brodeur picked up his first Division 1 scholarship offer today, from Holy Cross.



"When I got the phone call, at first I had a smile on my face for about a half hour," Brodeur told ESPNBoston.com. "It feels good. I was happy, I was really excited."

The 6-foot-8 Brodeur is one of the most promising young stars in Massachusetts, considered a high-ceiling prospect after a monster sophomore campaign at Algonquin Regional this past season. The Tomahawks captured the No. 1 overall seed in MIAA Division 1 Central this season thanks to Brodeur, who averaged 17.5 points, 14.4 rebounds, 8.5 blocks and 4.5 assists; that also includes four triple-doubles of points, rebounds and blocks. He earned a spot on ESPN Boston's annual MIAA All-State Team for his efforts.

Brodeur, a Northborough resident, is transferring to NMH for this school year and re-classifying to the Class of 2016.

The offer comes as both a breath of excitement and a sigh of relief for the Brodeur family. Raised by a single mother, A.J. is about to part ways with his older brother, Jackson, who is headed off to the University of Southern California this fall.

"It feels really good knowing that I won't have to pay for college," he said. "My mom is a single mother, and my brother's going off to college -- it's hard enough doing that. And to have the opportunity to play college basketball is great."

Our MIAA All-State Boys Hoops Team

March, 26, 2013
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THE SUPER TEAM

All-StateG – Malik James, Jr., Brighton
The 6-foot-1 point guard was named ESPN Boston’s “Mr. Basketball” last week after an explosive playoff campaign that saw him average 20 points in six games and deliver the Bengals the MIAA Division 2 state championship, their first state title in school history. James is expected to finish up his high school playing career at a prep school next season.

All-StateG – Darien Fernandez, Sr., Wareham
One of the state’s flashiest lead guards, the 5-foot-7 Fernandez once again took the South Coast Conference by storm with his no-look passes and rainbow jumpers. He averaged 23 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and five steals as the Vikings went unbeaten through the SCC for the second straight year, and returned to the D3 South title game for the third time in four seasons.

All-StateF – KayJuan Bynum, Sr., Springfield Putnam
The 6-foot-3 Bynum was a physical presence on the boards, leading the Beavers in rebounds in the MIAA Division 1 state title game as they downed Mansfield in an overtime thriller. For the season, Bynum led the Beavers in scoring (15.7 points), ranked second in steals (2.5) and rebounds (9.6), and shot 39 percent from three-point range (40-for-103). Bynum is headed to Southern Connecticut State in the fall, where he will play linebacker on the football team.

All-StateF – Chris Bardwell, Sr., North Andover
In one of the most remarkable transformations in years, the 6-foot-5 Bardwell went from a benchwarmer on Central Catholic as a junior last year, to MVP of the state’s most competitive league, the Merrimack Valley Conference, as a senior at North Andover. For the season, Bardwell averaged 21 points, nine rebounds and 1.5 blocks as the Knights reached their first Division 2 North title game in six seasons.

All-StateC – Tyler Gibson, Sr., Rockland
The 6-foot-6 senior lived up to the hype garnered after an explosive summer, leading the Bulldogs to a South Shore League title and D3 South semifinal appearance. He averaged 21.4 points, 15.3 rebounds, 4.8 blocks and 2.1 assists per game while seeing many a double-team. That includes at least eight games with 20 points and 20 rebounds. Gibson is signed with UMass-Lowell for next season.

BEST OF THE REST

All-StateRiyadh Asad, Sr. G, West Springfield
One of the most talented lead guards outside of the Eastern Mass. region, Asad led a deep and talented West Side backcourt to one of the top seeds in Division 1 West, where they lost to eventual state champion Putnam in the semifinals. For the season, he averaged 19.4 points per game.

All-StateJaleel Bell, Sr. G, Wayland
One of the most decorated players in school history, the 6-foot Bell leaves Wayland as a two-time Dual County League Small MVP, and three-time DCL Small champion. The four-year starter led the state in scoring average this season (27.4 points per game), and leaves Wayland with 1,244 career points.

All-StateZack Berman, Sr. G, Wachusett
The Mountaineers won respect around the state with a challenging non-conference slate, taking down squads such as Cambridge and Brockton, and leading the way was the 6-foot Berman. The two-time Mid-Wach A MVP and three-year captain averaged 14 points, six assists and four rebounds as the Mountaineers reached the semifinals of the Division 1 Central tournament.
All-StateJoel Berroa, Sr. F, Central Catholic
One of the state’s premier rebounders, the 6-foot-5 Berroa picked up the slack as injuries piled up for the Raiders, helping them to a second Division 1 North title in four seasons. He averaged 14.6 points, 9.4 rebounds and 2.7 blocks this season. Berroa is currently considering Northeast-10 interest as well as post-graduate options.

All-StateA.J. Brodeur, Soph. C, Algonquin
The 6-foot-8 Brodeur is one of the most promising young stars in Massachusetts, and played a big part in the Tomahawks capturing the No. 1 overall seed in Division 1 Central this season. He averaged 17.5 points, 14.4 rebounds, 8.5 blocks and 4.5 assists; that also includes four triple-doubles of points, rebounds and blocks. Brodeur is headed to NEPSAC powerhouse Northfield Mount Hermon next season.

All-StateStevie Collins, Soph. G, Lynn English
The Bulldogs were one of the state’s most fascinating teams to watch in the second half, and the 5-foot-9 Collins was the catalyst in their run. English’s run to its first D1 North Final since 2009 included a monster 38-point performance from Collins in the semifinals against Everett. For the season, Collins averaged 14.5 points and six assists per game.

All-StateBrendan Hill, Soph. F, Mansfield
Playing in the competitive Hockomock League, the 6-foot-5 Hill came away as the league’s MVP as just a sophomore, as the Hornets made their first Division 1 state final appearance in school history. He averaged 13.4 points and was the league’s leading rebounder. Hill is also a standout wide receiver on the Hornets’ football team.

All-StateFreddy Hogan, Jr. G, Lynn English
The Bulldogs’ most consistent player from the get-go, he averaged 20 points per game over the first 12 games of the season before English hit full throttle en route to the D1 North finals. For the season Hogan led the team in scoring (16.9 points), and also averaged six assists.

All-StateJameilen Jones, Sr. G, BC High
Another returning All-Stater, the 6-foot-3 Jones navigated the Eagles through a tough Catholic Conference en route to one of the top seeds in Division 1 South. For the season, Jones averaged 18 points, seven rebounds and five assists as the Eagles took a surprise first round exit in the playoffs. Jones will be pursuing post-graduate options for next season.

All-StateEric Martin, Sr. G, Danvers
One of several point guards making the list primarily for their distribution, the 6-foot Martin was the Northeastern Conference’s MVP this season after averaging 8.8 points, 7.2 assists and 3.7 steals per game. The two-time NEC All-Star led the Falcons to their second straight MIAA Division 3 state championship this season, and also has over 100 career goals for the Falcons’ soccer team, good enough for best all-time in the school.

All-StateTommy Mobley, Soph. G, Newton North
One of the state’s premier shooters made headlines throughout the season for his marksmanship, hitting 94 three-pointers and twice hitting nine in a game. He was named MVP of the Bay State Conference’s Carey division after averaging 18.4 points and five rebounds per game. He was also named to the All-Tournament Team of the Comcast IAABO Board 27 Classic.

All-StateBrian Mukasa, Jr. G, Sharon
The 6-foot Mukasa navigated the Eagles through a wide-open Division 2 South, losing to district champ Scituate in the semifinals. For the season, he was the Hockomock League’s leading scorer at 18.1 points per game, to go along with 4.7 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 1.9 steals.

All-StateDavid Murrell, Jr. F, Springfield Putnam
An athletic slasher, the 6-foot-3 Murrell was another defensive stalwart for a Beavers squad that earned their first MIAA Division 1 state championship in school history. For the season, he averaged 14.9 points and a team-best 10 rebounds, and also shot 53 percent from the field.

All-StateIsaiah Nelsen, Sr. F, North Andover
The 6-foot-6 post leaves North Andover as a two-time All-Star, and one of the program’s all-time leading scorers and rebounders. For his senior season he averaged 18.9 points, 10.1 rebounds and two blocks as the Knights made their first D2 North Final appearance since 2007. Nelsen is signed with St. Anselm College for next season.

All-StateTyler Nelson, Jr. G, Central Catholic
Another one of the state’s premier shooters, and one of several returning All-Staters, Nelson shot 41 percent from three-point range as the Raiders captured their second Division 1 North title in four seasons. For the season, he averaged 17.2 points and 4.7 assists, and shot 89 percent from the free throw line.

All-StateFrantdzy Pierrot, Jr. G, Melrose
The Red Raiders were the state’s final remaining unbeaten before they fell to state champ Brighton in the D2 North semifinals, and the 6-foot-3 Pierrot was the catalyst. He was named MVP of the Middlesex League after averaging 21 points, 11 rebounds and five assists; that number includes averages of 18 points, 10 rebounds and four steals in the playoffs, with an injured ankle. Pierrot is also a highly-regarded soccer player for Melrose during the fall.

All-StateKamari Robinson, Sr. F, Springfield Central
Another returning All-Stater, the 6-foot-5 Robinson slid over to the wing position after leading the Golden Eagles to a Division 1 state championship in 2012 as a power forward. The move produced dramatic results, as he averaged 20.8 points per game and was named the Western Mass. Player of the Year.

All-StateElijah Rogers, Jr. G, Brookline
The 6-foot Rogers controlled everything for the Warriors in surprise blowouts of New Bedford and Marshfield, en route to the program’s first Division 1 South semifinal appearance since 2004. For the season he averaged 14.9 points, 5.4 assists and 3.4 rebounds. Rogers has been receiving varied amounts of interest across Divisions 1 and 2.

All-StateNick Simpson, Jr., Brighton
In his first run through the Division 2 playoffs, the 6-foot-5 Simpson was instrumental, helping the Bengals earn some dramatic wins throughout the tournament. For the season, he averaged 25 points, eight rebounds and three assists as the Bengals won their first Division 2 state title in school history.

All-StateJustin White, Jr. F, Holyoke
Also a star quarterback for the football team, the 6-foot-3 White brought that toughness underneath to impressive results, as the Purple Knights reached the Division 1 West semifinals. For the season, White averaged 16.3 points, 13.2 rebounds and 2.5 blocks.

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
All-StateJoel Berroa, Central Catholic
As injuries to key frontcourt players continued to pile up, Berroa saddled up and took on the brunt of the duties down low, marking the best forwards and keeping them in check. He was one of the Merrimack Valley Conference’s leading rebounders (9.4 per game) as the Raiders reached their second Division 1 Eastern Mass. Final in four seasons.

COACH OF THE YEAR
Mike McVeigh, North Andover

Long a Cape Ann League stalwart, the Knights began their first season in the state’s best league, the Merrimack Valley Conference, and made their presence felt immediately by capturing a share of the MVC Large title. The Knights also reached their first Division 2 North final since 2007 in the process, putting a nice bow on what has been a storybook career for the long-time coach. After 31 years on the sideline, one of the truest class acts in the game is calling it a career, with an overall record of 497-176 and a playoff appearance in every season.

All-Defensive Team
Lucas Hammel, Sr. G, Central Catholic
Joel Berroa, Sr. F, Central Catholic
Prince Unaegbu, Sr. F, Brighton
Tyler Gibson, Sr. F/C, Rockland
Obi Obiora, Jr. C, Brookline

All-Shooters Team
Tommy Mobley, Soph. G, Newton North
Tyler Nelson, Sr. G, Central Catholic
Tim Dufficy, Sr. G, Whitinsville Christian
Tyler Desrosiers, Sr. G, Agawam
Daivon Edwards, Sr. G, Brighton

Justin White photo is courtesy of MassLive.com and the Springfield Republican

Brian Mukasa photo is courtesy of HockomockSports.com

D1 Central: St. John's (S) 52, Algonquin 51

March, 4, 2013
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WORCESTER, Mass. -- Even as he heard his coach from the sidelines clamoring for him to hold the ball, not shoot, St. John's Kenny Harrington couldn't resist instinct.

"I clearly had an off night shooting, but shooters shoot," the senior guard said with self-awareness. "So I kept looking for my shot. Davon [Jones] found me down in the corner, and I took advantage."

[+] EnlargeHarrington
Brendan Hall/ESPNKenny Harrington struggled from the field, but redeemed himself in the waning seconds with a three-pointer from the corner
The result was eight seconds of chaos that won't soon be forgotten. The Pioneers held on for a 52-51 win over Algonquin in the nightcap of the Division 1 Central semifinals, at the hallowed Harrington Auditorium on the Worcester Polytechnic Institute, to advance to next Sunday's district finals at the same venue. But it was how it got to that final score that will be talked about for quite some time.

Harrington's initial attempt in the possession, a layup through traffic, hit iron and was tapped out to the top of the key, where the sophomore Jones cradled it away from an Algonquin defender. From there, Jones took two dribbles and kicked out to the left corner, where Harrington had drifted for the dramatic shot with eight seconds to go. That gave the Pioneers a 52-48 lead.

The ensuing inbounds pass was immediately heaved upcourt to Algonquin's Brandon Lukoff, who dribbled to the top of the key and dished to senior Brad Canova at the left wing. Canova sank the open three, and fell to the floor as he got contact from a St. John's player on the way down. Not enough contact was induced to call a foul, the officials determined -- to the chagrin of Tomahawk players, coach Brian Doherty, and just about everyone else in the building there to support Algonquin.

Fans stayed in their seats to protest loudly for several minutes, and Doherty had some choice words for the officials as police escorted the referees off the court.

"It's not worth commenting on officials," Doherty said. "It is what it is. You can't change it. They know what they did, I can't change it, so hey, move on. I don't comment on officials."

Asked in a follow-up question whether he felt there was enough contact to initiate a foul call, Doherty replied tersely, "I've got video I'm going to show them. That's all I'm going to say."

All that, of course, shouldn't overlook what was an otherwise climactic moment of redemption for Harrington, who struggled mightily tonight. Prior to his last-second shot, Harrington was 1-for-13 from the field.

Confirming Harrington's tale that he was told not to shoot, St. John's coach Bob Foley had a few laughs as he recounted the moment.

"I don't want to say that, but you're right," he said. "Well, it was 17 seconds to go, and we're ahead one point with a new shot clock. So yeah, I kinda said to take it out, and all of a sudden, bang."

With a dash of sarcasm, Foley quipped, "Yeah, good shot Kenny," adding with a chuckle, "Sometimes it's good when kids don't listen to you."

The Pioneers took command early in this one, taking a 36-21 halftime lead and going up as much as 20 (41-21) early in the third quarter. But the Tomahawks turned in quite the rally, outscoring the Pioneers 30-11 over the final 14 minutes of play.

Six-foot-8 sophomore A.J. Brodeur (17 points, 12 rebounds, five blocks) dominated on the defensive end early, registering four blocks in the first quarter and racking up seven rebounds by halftime, but he was only 4-for-11 from the field in the first half. Brodeur encountered similar struggles in the second half (2-for-7), but facilitated a terrific high-low game in the half-court, flashing in the post to generate open perimeter looks for Canova (14 points) and sophomore Michael Stamas (11).

"We knew what they were going to do in the second half was lay back, and we didn't shoot well at all in the first half," Doherty said. "I knew if we picked up our shooting a little bit, they're going to double A.J. harder, then he's just got to kick it. We talked alot about just attacking."

Jones led the way with 11 points for the Pioneers. Junior Charlie Murray, freshman Adham Floyd and junior T.J. Kelley all added 10 points apiece in the winning effort.

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