Georgetown University men’s basketball coach Patrick Ewing and Maryland coach Danny Manning have been at Highland School recently scouting boys basketball talent.
It’s easy to see why.
Highland’s boys program is rich in new recruitable hoopsters this year.
A year after star guard Angelo Brizzi departed for Villanova, Highland has more players to drool over.
They include 6-foot-10 sophomore big man Patrick Ngongba, 6-7 sophomore shooting guard Isaiah Abraham, 6-9 junior forward Patrick O’Brien, 6-6 senior forward Reiss Whitaker and 6-2 junior guard Cam Cole.
In a pre-Christmas display of the program’s riches, the Hawks easily handled one of the biggest public schools in Pittsburgh, pulling away from Taylor Allderdice 76-42, on Dec. 22 in Warrenton.
As superstar sophomores with more growth ahead, Ngongba and Abraham appear to be the most coveted.
Ngongba is a well-coordinated post player with a large frame who could blossom into an NCAA Division 1 starter as he continues to develop. Against Allderdice, Ngongba showed his dexterity by putting the ball on the floor bringing it upcourt. He quietly scored 12 points, including a dunk which he threw down off an offensive rebound.
Abraham, who says he has an offer from Georgetown already, is a prolific scorer who can pour in the points off this dealy jumper or drives to the basket. He scored 17 against Allderdrice, making four 3-pointers.
Point guard Cam Cole is a quick, speed point guard who got most of his six points against Allderdice on breakaway finishes to the basket, where his sheer speed stood out.
Reiss Whitaker is Highland’s lone senior. He’s a 6-6 all-purpose guard/forward who sees the floor and always seems to make the right play. Also a deadly 3-point shooter, Whitaker has accepted a scholarship offer from the U.S. Naval Academy. He scored eight against Allderdice
Another valuable Hawk is Patrick O’Brien, a 6-9 junior with smooth moves around the basket. O’Brien had 15 against Allderdice.
Highland is 8-3 with losses to Archbishop Carroll (D.C.) 58-47, St. Anne’s-Belfield 71-66 and Balboa (Calif.) 56-50.
They’ve beaten Church Hill Academy 90-64, Richmond Collegiate 73-42, Hargrave Military 80-47, Rock Creek Christian (Md.) 75-51, Arundel Christian (Md.) 74-35 and Allderdice 76-52.
They went 2-1 in the prestigious Beach Ball Classic in Myrtle Beach, S.C., last week, beating Our Saviour Lutheran (N.Y.) 52-48 and iSchool (Texas) 61-46.