The Patrick School is very young but very big this year as they return to Torrey Pines after a fifth place finish last year and winning the National Division in 2009 under the name St. Patrick.
A Bigger Bryce Aiken Returns to Torrey Pines
The Celtics are led by one of the top junior guards in NJ/NY, 6-0 Bryce Aiken ’16, who has offers from Rutgers, Maryland, Miami, Auburn, Oklahoma and Creighton among others. Reportedly Aiken has added muscle to his frame since playing at Torrey Pines last year.
Aiken can weave through traffic and spot the open shooter or get to the basket with deceptive moves. Aiken has multiple options to look for both inside the paint and along the perimeter.
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.
Celtic Transfer Nick Richards is “Kentucky-Type Player”
The recent transfer of 6-11 sophomore Nick Richards ’17 from St. Mary’s on Long Island to The Patrick School gives the Celtics one of the top sophomore recruits in the NJ/NY.
With a 7-2 wingspan and speed for his size many major D1 schools will be requesting the services of Mr. Richards. Coach Chavannes told SNY.tv “I don’t like saying this about kids early, he is a stud. Future Kentucky-type player.”
Patrick is Guarded with Optimism
6-2 sophomore shooting guard Jamir “Terminator” Harris ’17 never met a shot he didn’t like whether a pull up or a catch and release. In October Harris was the MVP of a sophomore all-star game between the top New Jersey and New York sophomores. Jamir Harris scored 19 points in the 86-75 New Jersey sophomore victory.
The Celtics also return 6-3 sophomore guard Marcus McClary ’17 who gives Patrick three top guards on the perimeter. McClary scored three points in the New Jersey/New York sophomore all-star game played in October.
Coach Chavannes believes that his three primary guards, Aiken, Harris and McClary will need to carry the team and can play with any guards in the country
Three Additional Big Fellas
6-7 junior Cyril Langevine ’16 is a transfer from Christ the King (Newark, NJ) and last spring he shattered a backboard while playing in a club tournament.
6-10 sophomore Bul Ajang ‘17 from Sudan played at Torrey Pines last year and 7-0 sophomore Buay Koka ’17, who is also from Africa, also add size to the front court.
First Round Opening Game
Last year Patrick lost to eventual champion Loyola (Los Angeles, CA) in the first round but won their final two games. This year the Celtics open vs. Lawndale (CA) in the first round of the National Division at 3:50 pm at Torrey Pines.
From St. Patrick to The Patrick School
St. Patrick was the oldest parochial school in New Jersey having opened in 1863 but in 2012 because of the economy and declining enrollment the Archdiocese of Newark decided to close the school. The local community and alumni came to the rescue and reopened as an independent school called The Patrick School. Former Celtic Kyrie Irving ’10 of the Cleveland Cavaliers gave a contribution to the new school and an anonymous donor sponsored half of the 141 students on scholarship.
Patrick Celtics at a Glance
Location: Elizabeth, NJ
Established: 1863 as St. Patrick (Catholic)
Type: Independent, non-denominational since 2012
Head Coach: Chris Chavannes
2013-14 Season: 23-6, Non-Public, South B Finalist
# 11: 6-0 Bryce Aiken ‘16
# 23: 6-11 Nick Richards ’17 (transfer)
# 1: 6-3 Marcus McClary ‘17
# 4: 6-2 Jamir Harris ‘17
# 13: 6-7 Cyril Langevine ’16 (transfer)
# 21: 6-10 Bul Ajang ’17 (from Sudan, played last year)
# 32: 7-0 Buay Koka’17 (from Africa)
Last Year’s National Division Results
1st Round: Bye due to NJ rules of playing only 3 games
Quarterfinal: lost to Loyola (Los Angeles, CA) 76-61
Consolation: def. Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland, CA) 70-67
5th Place Game: def. Westtown (West Chester, PA) 72-46
2009 National Division Championship Results
1st Round: def. Ironwood Ridge (Tucson, AZ) 83-35
Quarterfinal: Bye due to NJ rules of playing only 3 games
Semifinal: def. Centennial (Corona, CA) 95-67
Final: def. Newark Memorial (Newark, CA) 66-43
Notable Basketball Alumni
Derrick Caracter, Fr, Jr. and part of Sr. year played at St. Patrick
Samuel Dalembert ’99, led NBA in blocks per game in 2005-06
Corey Fisher, PG at Villanova, playing overseas
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist ’11, NBA, 2009 Holiday Classic champion
Derrick Gordon, played at UMass
Al Harrington, USA Today National POY, drafted out of St. Patrick
Kyrie Irving ’10, NBA, 2009 Holiday Classic champion
Dexter Strickland ’09, University of North Carolina