by Kevin McCaskill Jr.
12/22/21 * 7:35 PM
(SPRINGFIELD) - I got the chance to interview 4 people at BASKETBULL HoopsFest ‘21:
•Wilbraham & Monson HC Mike Mannix
•Northfield Mount Hermon National HC John Carroll
•NMH Prep Coach Justin Perron
•NMH 2023 Guard Asad Syed
W&MA went 2-0 @ HoopsFest. NMH National team went 3-0; NMH Prep went 2-0.
⚪️W&MA HC Mannix🔵
How long have you been the coach of W&M?
“I’ve been at the school for 13 years; I have been the HC for 8 years”.
How is your season going so far?
“We are playing well. We are 8-0 but we still have some things we can tighten up and get better with…We played at home, on the road, at neutral sites…We play Woodstock tomorrow. It’s probably the best team we have played so far…looking forward to the challenge”. [W&M beat Woodstock 83-53]
What is it like coaching The Filipowski Brothers - Kyle and Matt?
(#33 Matt F.)
“They are a pleasure to coach. I’ve had them for three years. In Prep school, you don’t get guys for that long usually…To have those guys for three years has been a blessing…Good kids to coach, very coachable. They play hard; you don’t have to coach effort…Great kids, really good students as well”.
What do think about Simon Percy’s future in the program?
“Simon’s got a good future. He has been injury plagued: sprained his ankle twice and had a hand injury…He’s got a lot of athleticism, knows the game. He’s got a good future, he is gonna be good”.
What do you think K. Filipowski has to work on or improve before he goes to Duke?
“Guarding multiple positions…working on his strength [to guard bigger players]…”
🔵NMH National HC Carroll⚫️
How has your experience been in BASKETBULL HoopsFest?
“This is a great event. We look forward to it every year…Colin Tabb is one of the best tournament organizers in the country. We are fortunate to be a part of BASKETBULL”.
How do you feel your season is going so far?
“Pretty good. We are 13-0, ranked #1 in the country in 2 polls. We are doing pretty good so far. We are an experienced team and we are taking advantage of it”.
What has it been like coaching Blair Thompson?
(FPM File Photo of Blair Thompson @ The Collision in June ‘21)
“His growth has been awesome to watch. His athleticism has always been there but now its become explosive. His creativity finishing around the basket is [at a really high] level. What he is doing from the perimeter keeps getting better. If he isn’t an Ivy League All-Rookie/Rookie of the Year candidate, I’d be really surprised by that”.
What are your expectations for the remainder of the season?
“For me, it’s always the same things every year - there is a best version of this team and I hope they find it. That’s our goal every year. Each team is different and these guys can be really, really special…”
🔵NMH Prep HC Perron⚫️
How long have you been with NMH program?
“I got here last fall. This is my second year”.
How do you think your season is going?
“It’s been good. Our record is 11-2. We have beaten some really good teams. We are seeing guys step up and know their role…As the days and weeks have gone on, guys are getting better, so the season is getting better”.
What are your expectations for Harrison Carrington this season and in the future?
“I see a kid who really wants to be good at basketball and really good in the classroom…When he brings his best effort, the scoring, the rebounds, the assists, all that stuff comes…He has played all 5 positions for us this year; it’s been really fun to have him. Going forward, he is looking at a bunch of really good schools. I expect him to be really good when we come back 2nd semester and to be a really good college player”.
🔵NHM National & Prep 2023 G Asad Syed⚫️
What’s it like going from Harlem to Franklin County, MA?
(FPM File Photo of Harlem from Riverbank State Park, in Harlem)
“It’s definitely a little different. Living in the City, there’s all the noise and ruckus, its always crazy. Definitely a change of scenery but I love it”.
You are on the National and Prep teams. After your win against ISA, you told their fans, ‘We’re not a B-team’. Where does that passion come from?
“Its just being doubted. We just happened to hear them saying that this is the ‘B-team’, ‘this should be an easy win’, ‘this should be light’ and we took that personally. It’s not something you wanna hear. This might be the Prep team but we can mess with anybody because we have passion, we got determination; we have a great group of guys”.
What are you expecting from this season?
“Just hoping to get better. We are on a really good track. The Prep team is 11-2; the National team is [undefeated]. We are chasing championships. It’s about the program. We really wanna get better as a program. We just wanna win…”.
Thank you to HC Mannix, HC Carroll, Coach Perron and Asad Syed. I appreciate you guys taking the time to talk to me. Thank you.