UPB High Schoolers Headed to D-1 Schools By Ellie Lieberman
Learn more about what our regulars will bring to the table for their respective schools next year.
Connor Strambi: Fresh off a post-graduate year at New Hampton School in New Hampshire, Connor Strambi will head to Santa Clara as a preferred walk-on. New Hampton boasts an impressive list of basketball alumni including Missouri coach Cuonzo Martin and Providence coach Ed Cooley, as well as current NBA players Noah Vonleh and Tyler Lydon. Strambi is one of eight players from the 2018-2019 New Hampton squad to go onto collegiate basketball with teammates going to Cincinnati and Northeastern among other schools. Strambi’s not the only one is his family to go D-1 as his sister rows at Penn too.
Ezra Manjon: Manjon will most certainly be a candidate for Big West Rookie of the Year next year as he starts his collegiate career at UC-Davis. Manjon averaged 15.8 points and five assists as a senior at Heritage High School, and concluded his season with a 33 point outburst in the NorCal Regionals. Off the court, Manjon lists Raising Canes and Chick-Fil-A as two of his go-to restaurants.
Neil Begovich: Begovich will head from the city to the suburbs to play at Stanford University in the fall. Begovich concluded his career at St. Ignatius with all-city honors and a reputation as a double-double machine. Begovich lists LeBron James as his favorite athlete, and fruit gushers as one of his favorite snacks. His older brother Daniel is currently at Stanford and his eldest brother, Joe, is an alumni.
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“The most important thing [is] everybody that works hard will get an opportunity at some point. I think my suggestion is trusting the process and being okay [with] starting at the bottom. Pay your dues… Look for that opportunity and when you receive [it], work hard and be patient with it. Enjoy the process of growing and learning instead of just expecting instant success.”
“It's definitely worth it and it is a very long drive. A lot of people [say] ‘You could find something closer for your kids,’ but the benefit they get from it is beyond. You can't really quantify it in time or money. I just feel [that] it's such a positive confidence booster for them, and all three kids just feel good when they come out of there [and] they're smiling. It's increased their love for the sport, which I think is really important."
“They're invested in seeing him be successful on and off the court. So when he has struggles or some frustrations, it's been nice for them to give us some encouragement… You can’t always get that from different places. UPB is just not just a training place, it's a community. They want to see kids achieve.”