Kolek on re­cruit­ing radar

Cum­ber­land na­tive gar­ner­ing D-I of­fers

Pawtucket Times - - SPORTS - BREN­DAN McGAIR Sports Writer

A lit­tle of this, a lit­tle of that …

• Tyler Kolek is still wait­ing to hoist his first jump shot and flick his first pass in a St. Ge­orge’s uni­form. Al­ready, the Cum­ber­land na­tive has gar­nered plenty of at­ten­tion on the Divi­sion I col­lege bas­ket­ball re­cruit­ing scene.

When the New Jersey In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy of­fered Kolek a schol­ar­ship last week, the High­landers be­came the lat­est in an ever-grow­ing list of po­ten­tial suit­ors that al­ready in­cludes Bryant, Brown, Columbia, Bos­ton Univer­sity, and Hart­ford. With Kolek re-clas­si­fy­ing to the Class of 2020, he fig­ures to hear from even more schools by the time he’s at peace with his fi­nal de­ci­sion.

Need­less to say, Kolek’s col­le­giate re­cruit­ment is off to a solid start. The 6-foot1 guard is just start­ing to scratch the sur­face fol­low­ing a stand­out three-year ca­reer at Cum­ber­land High and a strong sum­mer with the Mid­dle­sex Magic AAU pro­gram.

“The of­fers he’s re­ceived to date have noth­ing to do with St. Ge­orge’s. It’s Cum­ber­land High School and the Mid­dle­sex Magic that’s got­ten him to where he’s at right now,” said St. Ge­orge’s bas­ket­ball head coach Dwayne Pina, adding that Kolek is also on Holy Cross’s radar.

Pina played at Bos­ton Col­lege and later spent time as an as­sis­tant coach at Bryant and Brown. His wis­dom in re­cruit­ing should pro­vide Kolek with a valu­able sound­ing board as the young­ster delves deeper into his own search.

“He needs to fo­cus on con­tin­u­ing to de­velop his skills, both aca­dem­i­cally and ath­let­i­cally. The of­fers and the re­cruit­ing are go­ing to be byprod­ucts of the hard work he puts in, both in the gym and the class­room,” said Pina, also the As­so­ciate Di­rec­tor of Ad­mis­sion at St. Ge­orge’s, lo­cated in Mid­dle­town. “I know a lot of kids worry about that stuff, but I’m just telling him to main­tain fo­cus on the task at hand.”

Kolek’s ad­just­ment to St. Ge­orge’s has been smooth, ac­cord­ing to Pina.

“He’s ex­tremely per­son­able and that’s al­lowed him to fit right in,” Pina said. “It helps that he’s not too far from home, but he’s grow­ing more as an in­de­pen­dent per­son.”

St. Ge­orge’s will open up the 2018-19 sea­son on Dec. 1 in a tour­na­ment at Bar­ring­ton’s St. An­drew’s School. Like many prep school pro­grams, St. Ge­orge’s has been con­duct­ing open gym ses­sions that dur­ing the fall months have at­tracted Wil­liam & Mary, Yale, Brown, Columbia, Bos­ton Univer­sity, Holy Cross, NJIT, Le­high, and New Hamp­shire.

Kolek re­ceived in­vi­ta­tions to at­tend Mid­night Mad­ness fes­tiv­i­ties that are sched­uled on col­lege cam­puses over the next few weeks.

“We’ll try to get to one of them,” said Pina, not­ing that sched­ule-wise, it’s tough with St. Ge­orge’s be­ing a board­ing school.

In the mean­time, Kolek is lift­ing weights, per­form­ing agility drills, and fine-tun­ing his shoot­ing stroke with an eye towards a new sea­son at his new school. Pina en­vi­sions Kolek see­ing time at both guard spots.

• In his first sea­son with the Endi­cott men’s soccer team, Lin­coln na­tive Jack Ba­con to date has posted a stingy 1.34 goals-against-av­er­age with 38 saves in 11 games as the Gulls’ goalie. Ear­lier this week, Ba­con was tabbed the Com­mon­wealth Coast Con­fer­ence’s De­fen­sive Player of the Week. In two games, the ju­nior went 2-0 with a shutout that in­cluded four saves against Curry and a two-save per­for­mance in a 3-1 win over Roger Wil­liams.

• Former St. Raphael foot­ball and bas­ket­ball stand­out Tre­vante Jones has proven to be quite the dis­rup­tive force on de­fense for the Cen­tral Con­necti­cut foot­ball team. Listed as a sopho­more line­backer at 6-foot-3 and 230 pounds, Jones through six games for the 2018 Blue Devils has to­taled 28 tack­les – four of those stops have re­sulted in a com­bined loss of 21 yards – and two sacks.

Jones and Cen­tral Con­necti­cut will be mak­ing the trip to Bryant on Satur­day af­ter­noon in a matchup of un­de­feated North­east Con­fer­ence schools.

• In URI’s 48-0 thrash­ing of in-state foot­ball ri­val Brown last Satur­day, the Rams re­ceived con­tri­bu­tions from sev­eral lo­cal prod­ucts. Cum­ber­land High alum A.J. Bibeault recorded two sacks and two solo tack­les, Shea High alum Mo­modou Mbye had four to­tal tack­les (two solo), and Tol­man High alum Prince John­son picked up 49 rush­ing yards on eight car­ries.

• Nice honor for former Mount St. Charles hockey de­fense­man Mike Cor­nell. On Thurs­day, the 30-year-old was tabbed as cap­tain of the Worces­ter Rail­ers, the ECHL af­fil­i­ate of the New York Is­landers. Cor­nell ap­peared in 42 games for the Rail­ers last sea­son, post­ing five goals and 19 as­sists with 124 penalty min­utes.

• It ap­pears that Woonsocket na­tive Rocco Baldelli has emerged as a po­ten­tial MLB man­age­rial can­di­date. Just this week, Baldelli’s name was at­tached to the Min­nesota job that be­came open af­ter the Twins fired Paul Moli­tor. The 37-yearold Baldelli served as Tampa Bay’s field co­or­di­na­tor this past sea­son. Prior to that, he was the Rays’ first-base coach.

• The City of Pawtucket, as land­lord of McCoy Sta­dium, has be­gun a cou­ple of struc­tural projects at McCoy this month aimed at fan safety. Of note, por­tions of the main con­course area are be­ing re­fur­bished with new traf­fic coat­ing to pre­vent slips and slides. In ad­di­tion, re­pairs have be­gun in the bar­be­cue ar­eas and the left-field berm to fix fail­ing con­crete.

• In­jury Fund high school bas­ket­ball games in the Ocean State are of­fi­cially a thing of the past. Start­ing this sea­son, the In­jury Fund is be­ing re­placed with multi-team jam­boree scrim­mages where teams will play ev­ery­one 20 min­utes each. The jam­boree ses­sions will fea­ture boys and girls teams from the same school and com­pet­ing against the same field on the same day.

The trick will be to find a gym that can be equally di­vided into two side courts – think along the lines of the Mount St. Charles Sum­mer League. Teams can sched­ule the jam­boree as early as the first Satur­day of the first week of the sea­son, which is De­cem­ber 1.

• At one time, the SAT fea­tured anal­ogy and quan­ti­ta­tive com­par­i­son ques­tions. In lieu of a re­cent high-pro­file Amer­i­can League Divi­sion Se­ries matchup be­tween old-time ri­vals, let’s make an anal­ogy fea­tur­ing David Price and Gian­carlo Stan­ton.

For in­stance, you pair Price with de­fi­ciency and Stan­ton with fail­ure. Kin­dred spir­its, these two well-com­pen­sated play­ers with a knack for com­ing up small in big spots, par­tic­u­larly when Oc­to­ber stakes are on the line.

File photo

Cum­ber­land na­tive and St. Ge­orge’s point guard Tyler Kolek, right, con­tin­ues to re­ceive schol­ar­ship of­fers from Divi­sion I schools.

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