Boston High School: Drexel

Brimmer and May's Mojica commits to Drexel

August, 28, 2013
8/28/13
10:50
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Brimmer and May senior guard Sammy Mojica committed to Drexel University earlier today, weeks after he took an unofficial visit to the Philadelphia school.

Mojica, a 6-foot-3 wing player known for his versatility on the perimeter, averaged 18 points per game last year for Brimmer, earning third-team all NEPSAC honors. He was one of the top players in the MIAA following his junior year, just a game away from getting his name on a “1000 point” banner at Chelsea High School—and potentially, becoming the all-time leading scorer in the school’s history.

Instead, he made the decision to attend Brimmer and May, in hopes of earning a Division 1 scholarship, preparing himself mentally for college, and to work year-round with coach Tom Nelson. He earned a scholarship this summer from Drexel, and was taken aback by the loyalty of Drexel head coach Bruiser Flint and his staff.

Given the fact that Mojica can play either perimeter position or slide over to the small forward spot, Flint nicknamed him “a Swiss Army knife,” because of his versatility on the basketball court.

“They were the first team to offer me, to give me a chance,” Mojica said. “They saw something in me.

“They were the first school to get real serious. I was waiting for an offer, they were the first ones to pull the trigger. When I went to go visit, it felt right; it felt like I belonged there.”

Nelson heavily recruited Mojica during his junior year at Chelsea. He attended games at Chelsea High, brought members of the Brimmer and May team to the games, and made a promise to Mojica’s parents: to see to it that Sammy earned a free education. Not only did Nelson help him earn a Division 1 scholarship, the coach helped transform his game, making sure to keep every promise along the way.

“Tom has been exceptional,” Mojica said of his coach. “I love Tom with all my heart. When he came to one of my games at Chelsea and brought some guys on the team, I told my parents that’s where I wanted to go.

“My mom put full trust in Tom, everything he told my mom has ended up happening. He’s very loyal, hasn’t made a mistake with me yet, he’s trustworthy. He worked me, he just pushed me so hard every day in practice.”

Their relationship goes far beyond coach and player however, as displayed when Mojica lost his house back in January. He played the end of last season without a home, after a fire consumed his mother’s Chelsea apartment. The night after the fire, Nelson and Sherwyn Cooper, a close friend of both Nelson and Mojica, brought the team to see Sammy again—this time to comfort him during what Mojica called “the lowest point of my life.”

“We were there with him, we all went up to his dad’s house, we went up there with Sherwyn [Cooper] and we even cancelled the game we were supposed to play to go lift his spirits,” Nelson said. “We saw him at one of his lowest points. But the thing with Sammy is that he’s one of those great kids that keeps fighting through adversity.”

Following the fire, Nelson and Cooper started a fundraiser for Mojica and his family, so that the family could have money to move into a new home and find a way to replace all the things they had lost. The fundraiser brought in over $12,000.

Whether it was walking through the tattered remains of what had once been his bedroom or sleeping on the couch of teammate Jake Fay for days at a time, the fire motivated him this summer on the AAU circuit—as he proved to be one of the best players at the Hoop Group Summer Jamfest.

“Tom just kept saying to me during the AAU season, ‘Look at all these kids, you’re the one who doesn’t have a house.”

Mojica and his family now live in Everett, in a home that he says is in a much better part of town than his previous home. While he has many basketball-related aspirations, one of his main goals is to graduate from Drexel; he would become the first person in his family to earn a degree. After the emotional roller coaster that the last seven months have presented, he says it feels like going “from rock bottom to the top of the world.”

The commitment was a proud moment for Nelson. The coach considers Mojica to be one of his hardest workers and one of the highest character players that he has ever coached.

“I’m so proud of him. This is one of the best days of my life. We took a kid out of obscurity in Chelsea, and got him to a mid-major school. It was hard work. There was no smoke and mirrors with this one. It’s been a lot of ups and downs.”

Nelson added, “He sent me a text saying, ‘Check out my tweet. I love you Tom.’ I’m his coach, but I’m also a big brother. I know to draw the line as their coach, but I try to make them understand the love, that we care.”

New Hampton's Davis commits to UC-Irvine

May, 2, 2011
5/02/11
1:41
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ESPNU is reporting that New Hampton (N.H.) power forward Will Davis has verbally committed to UC-Irvine, back in his home state of California.

Davis, a 6-foot-8, 210-pound native of Sacramento, chose the Anteaters over offers from Drexel, Robert Morris and Delaware. He spent a post-graduate year this season at the New Hampton, N.H. prep school following a standout career at Sacramento High.

St. Thomas More's Lee commits to Drexel

April, 1, 2011
4/01/11
2:59
PM ET
Citing a source, ESPNU is reporting that St. Thomas More post-graduate forward Damion Lee has verbally committed to Drexel University today.

Lee, a native of Owings Mills, Md., was a key part of a strong run this year by the Chancellors, who lost in the NEPSAC Class AAA semifinals but bounced back the following week to take the National Prep Championship.

The 6-foot-4 Lee joins Worcester Academy's Tavon Allen among the New England post-graduates to commit to the Dragons.

Hillhouse's Wilson commits to Seton Hall

November, 16, 2010
11/16/10
11:31
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ESPN's Adam Finkelstein is reporting that Hillhouse High star senior point guard Freddie Wilson has verbally committed to Seton Hall, and has signed his National Letter of Intent to lock it up.

Wilson, who was also being recruited by Fordham and Drexel, reportedly signed his LOI last week but wanted to wait to announce his decision. He was the leading scorer last season for the New Haven, Conn. powerhouse, which advanced all the way to the Class LL Finals before falling to Bridgeport Central. One of his teammates from last season, 6-foot-7 Tavon Allen, is currently doing a post-graduate year at Worcester Academy and is committed to Drexel.

Scouts Inc.'s latest evaluation of Wilson reports the following:


Strengths:
A creative playmaker with the ball in his hands, Wilson excels at making plays for both himself and others. He is an equally effective creator playing north to south or east to west who sees the floor both in transition as well as the quarter court. He is particularly effective coming off ball screens where he is a threat to both turn the corner as well as reject the screen and can make a pull-up three if his defender goes under.

Weaknesses:
Wilson has a tendency to pound the ball and be too flashy for his own good. His decision making has improved but is still a cause for concern and while he isn't a pure point guard he definitely needs the ball in his hands to be effective. He needs to prove he can shoot the ball consistently off the catch from behind the three-point line, improve his defensive discipline and effort, and get stronger physically.

Bottom Line:
Wilson is an undeniable offensive talent who plays his team in and out of games. He has an excellent ability to make plays off the dribble but will have to learn to get his offense within the flow of the team's system and give a more diligent defensive effort.


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