By Ruben Alcaraz
A new edition of National Prep School Invitational (NPSI) took place at Rhode Island College last weekend and the number of Europeans players doing their best at Murray Center was almost 80. Besides classic participation of Canarias Basketball Academy (Spain) this year was the debut of Get Better Academy (Czech Republic) making for the first time ever two Europeans teams playing at NPSI.
Canarias Basketball Academy (CBA) got their best result at NPSI winning three of four contests. Bringing a big roster, they combined 21 Europeans players in the court during the four games. Leader of the team was Simon Krajcovic (’94) from Slovakia. The 6’2 playmaker made everything that his team needed at the floor. Against St. Thomas More (Connecticut) Krajcovic scored 25 points (11 of 21 from the field), dished 5 assists and stole 3 balls in the only losing effort for CBA team. In the impressive win against Blair Academy (New Jersey), Krajcovic scored 13 points and added 4 rebounds, 7 dimes and 3 steals. Another outstanding player for CBA was Czech wing Jan Svandrlik (’94). In the first game versus West Oaks Academy PG (Florida) Svandrlik got 15 points, 5 rebounds, 3 steals and 1 block. Against Blair Academy scored 15 points (6 of 8 from the field), 3 rebounds and 3 assists. In the last game in front of St. Thomas More the 6’6 wing finished with 10 points, 5 boards and 2 assists. Other good performances by CBA players were:
-Carlos Garcia (’95) from Spain scored 14 points (6 of 8 from the field), grabbed 11 rebounds and dished 2 assists in the win against Master’s School (Connecticut).
-Norbert Janicek (’96) from Slovakia hit 13 points (6 of 7 in the paint), got 6 rebounds, 2 assists and added one block in the game versus Blair Academy.
-Konstantin Kulikov (’95) 7 footer from Russia made 14 points (7 of 9 in field goals) and 7 boards against West Oaks Academy. In the same match, Dutch guard Boy Van Vliet (’94) completed a good game with 11 points (2 of 3 beyond the arc), 2 rebounds, 2 dimes and 3 steals.
Newcomer Get Better Academy (GBA) from Prague, Czech Republic, won only one of their four games at Murray Center with a young team of prospects filled with 9 European players. Their best players were:
-Yevgen Sakhniuk (’95) from Ukraine averaged 16 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists and 1.5 blocks per game, being consistent in all contests.
-Kristaps Gluditis (’95) from Latvia averaged 15 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 1.5 steals per game, scoring 15 threes during the weekend.
-David Pekarec(’96) from Czech Republic scored 16 points, 9 rebounds and 4 dimes in the only win of GBA.
-In the losing overtime lost against 22ft Academy (Kentucky) shined Czechs Michal Weiss (’96) with 15 points and Dominik Heinzl (’95) with 14 points, 7 boards and 3 assists.
Other classic academy full of international players is Lee Academy (Maine), even 11 players on their roster are Europeans, most of them Serbians. Mihailo Vasic (’93) exploded in front of West Oaks Academy HS with 28 points (12 of 17 field goals), 9 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals. Other two outstanding players against West Oaks were Dusan Kutlesic (’94) with 18 points, 8 boards and 4 dimes and Jovan Alexsic (’94) with 11 points. On the loss against Mt. Zion Prep (Maryland) Serbian Dusan Majstorovic (’95) beamed with 17 points, 13 boards, 2 assists and 3 blocks.
West Oaks Academy brought their high school and their post grad team, both loaded with 11 players with European flavor. The most outstanding of them in the high school team was Lithuanian Haroldas Saprykinas (’95) that scored 22 points (5 of 7 from three) in the first game win versus Lee Academy and 19 points, with another 5 threes, on the loss against Cushing Academy (Massachusetts). Meanwhile in the post grade team, Georgian Otar Buliava (’94) scored 13 points, grabbed 8 rebounds and dished 2 assists in a losing effort against Coastal Academy US (New Jersey).
Turkey was well represented with Notre Dame Prep (Massachusetts) that brought Emre Akin (’95) that scored 9 points in three games, all beyond the arc, and Tugay Efe (’95) that averaged 4.5 points and 4 rebounds per game. Samuel Egedi (’95) from England and Nikola Vujovic (’93) from Serbia also helped the Crusaders to win all three matches.
South Kent School (Connecticut) played two thrilling games beating Vermont Academy (Vermont) in the overtime and losing versus New Hampton School (New Hampshire). In the first game, Dusan Perovic (’94) from Montenegro helped his team with 12 points, 10 rebounds, 2 assists, 4 blocks and 1 steal. In the second game scored a team-high 16 points, grabbed 6 rebounds and put 2 blocks in a losing effort. Swedish Albert Christenson (’96) played some minutes too.
Let’s see the rest of the players:
-Ajou Deng (’95) from England played again the NPSI with St. Thomas More and helped them to win all three games averaging 4 points, 6 rebounds and doing his best performance against Suffield Academy (Connecticut) with 5 points, 10 rebounds and 3 assists. In that game, Greek Jerry Koutoufas (’95) scored 3 points, grabbed 5 rebounds and dished 4 dimes for Suffield Academy.
-Other Greeks at NPSI were Nick Maragkidis (’97) in Brewster Academy (New Hampshire), Marcos Psimitis (’95) in Coastal Academy US and IliasTheodorou (’95) who averaged 4 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists for St. John’s Northwestern (Wisconsin).
-22ft Academy (Kentucky) has a Dutch community with Tim Tijhuis (’95), Tyson Kanseyo (’95), Axel Kootstra (’95) and Arend Raats (’96). Kanseyo scored 3 points, grabbed 6 boards and gave 4 assists in the win against GBA.
-In the game against Master’s School, CBA put on the court four players from Netherlands: Mathijs van der Mars (’94), Robert Boezeman (’96), Robbert Onwauchu (’94) and Menno Dijkstra (’97).
-French Sergio Nolla (’92) averaged 6.5 points, 5 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1 steal in two games with Alma Academy (Canada).
Case apart is Aaron Falzon (’96) that has Maltese passport. Falzon scored 19 points and grabbed 8 boards in the win in front of St. Andrew’s (Rhode Island); in the lost versus Tilton School (New Hampshire) he finished the game with 14 points and 13 rebounds. In Tilton took part of the win the Spaniard Gonzalo Santana (’95) and Bosnian Nemanja Krtolica (’95).
Video of Simon Krajcovic at NPSI: link
Twitter of the author: @Filipy09
Photo: Canarias Basketball Academy