Wednesday, August 26, 2015

New England's Greatest? A Jump For the History Books.

The new ESPN 100 rankings were released bright and early at 8 AM today.  Almost every high-school basketball enthusiast in the country was up and already at their computer or on their phone ready to check the new rankings.

In New England, all attention was on Wenyen Gabriel.  The 6 foot 10 forward had the best summer of any high-school basketball prospect in the country.  He picked up offers from Duke, Kentucky, Kansas, and more top schools in the country.

Usually when you have offers from all of the top schools in the country your ranking is somewhere in the top 20.  Instead, Gabriel was sitting at #83 out of 100 heading into the past AAU season.  Instead of complaining, the young bull put his head down and rammed through his competition.  He dominated the Adidas Gauntlet with his AAU team, the Mass Rivals.  He also played in a plethora of all-star games and showcases.  These included the Adidas All-American Camp, Adidas Nations, and even the Under Armour Elite 24.  Everywhere he went, more and more people became familiar with the name Wenyen Gabriel.

Last spring, he left Wilbraham & Monson Academy as just another high-school basketball prospect attending a prep school.  This year, he returns as a celebrity in the basketball world.  He has garnered national attention from ESPN,, and all the other major basketball outlets.  He is being nicknamed the next Kevin Durant, or "a strength trainer away from being the next big thing," and mostly a top talent in the country.  Wenyen Gabriel jumped 60 spots in the rankings this summer,all the way to #23 in the country.  Of all the high school students in the country, Gabriel had the best summer out of them all.

Although people compare him to Kevin Durant, you can't compare his jump through the rankings to anyone.  A jump like this has never been done before.  But what is it that has brought Gabriel all the way through the ranks.  Maybe if you watch some of his play you can start to understand.