The Patrick Celtics return to Torrey Pines after having won the National Division in 2009 as St. Patrick. The school was the oldest parochial school in New Jersey having opened in 1868. But because of the economy and declining enrollment in the previous five years the Archdiocese of Newark decided to close the school, the enrollment in 2012 before it closed was 151 students.
The local community and St. Patrick alumni came to the rescue and reopened as an independent school called The Patrick School and retained the school mascot and colors. Former Celtic Kyrie Irving ’10 of the Cleveland Cavaliers gave a contribution to the new school to reopen and an anonymous donor is sponsoring half of the 141 students on scholarship.
Third-year coach Chris Chavannes, who is also the Director of the School, was a long time assistant to former head coach Kevin Boyle who is now head coach at preseason # 1 nationally ranked Montverde (FL).
Patrick is ranked # 4 in New Jersey. Because of state high school rules the Celtics can only play three games per tournament so they will get a first round bye. Patrick will depart New Jersey on Christmas Day and practice on Thursday, December 26th.
The Celtics are very young and talented but have not played together in high school. Coach Chavannes has three freshmen and four transfers, including a player from Sudan.
Huntington Prep (WV) transfer Angel Delgado ’14, committed to Seton Hall, should become eligible to play at Torrey Pines so the 6-9 senior power forward will make his Patrick debut at the Holiday Classic. Delgado, who is a Dominican Republic native, is a top 50 senior in the nation and was wanted by Kentucky, Florida St., Virginia and Fordham. Angel Delgado gives the Celtics a strong rebounder and size in the paint that is sorely needed.
Another key transfer is 5-10 point guard Bryce Aiken ‘16, who came from Pope John (Sparta, NJ). As a middle school student Aiken remembers watching St. Patrick’s Michael Kidd-Gilchrist ’11 and Kyrie Irving ’10 battle legendary St. Anthony (Jersey City, NJ) in games and he models his game after Irving and Steph Curry. Bryce Aiken has played against Kyrie Irving in open gym. Seton Hall, Rutgers, Auburn, Manhattan, Detroit have all offered Aiken while Syracuse and Florida are interested.
A third key transfer is 6-6 wing Isaiah Still ’15 who is from Roselle Catholic (Roselle, NJ). Isaiah Still has offers from Harvard, Iona and Siena while Princeton, Rutgers, Minnesota, Penn State among others show interest.
Coach Chavannes believes that he has three of the top young guards in the NJ/NY area which include Bishop Loughlin transfer Andre Wilson ’16 who is a 6-3 sophomore guard. 6-1 freshmen guard Jamir Harris ’17 and 6-4 freshman guard Marcus McCleary ’17 round out the trio.
The Celtics also have 6-10 freshman Bul Bior Ajang ’17 who is from Sudan.
Established: 1868 (closed and reopened in 2012)
Type: Independent (Catholic heritage)
6-9 PF Angel Delgado ’14 (Seton Hall)
6-6 W Isaiah Still ’15
5-10 PG Bryce Aiken ’16
6-10 Bul Bior Ajang ’17 (from Sudan)
Three of the top young guards in NJ/NY
6-3 G Andre Wilson ’16
6-1 G Jamir Harris ‘17
6-4 G Marcus McCleary ‘17
2009 St. Patrick National Division Championship Run
1st Round: def. Ironwood Ridge (Tucson, AZ) 83-35
Semifinal: def. Centennial (Corona, CA) 95-67
Final: def. Newark Memorial (Newark, CA) 66-43