Wenyen Gabriel is a genuine student-athlete, the kind of young person the NCAA loves to tout in the face of mounting criticism based on its labor model.
For our purposes, isolated from the escalating legal derring-do, Gabriel is a talented prospect who belongs somewhere at the Division I college level — and likely toward the solid middle.
A skinny 6-7 hybrid forward, Gabriel possesses above-average athleticism and also can score via face-up jump shots. Although far from strong and not skilled enough as a handler or defender to be a wing forward, he could slot into a variety of roles for the college of his choice. He blends in well with the Rivals — a highly organized travel team outfit — and clearly understands how to play.
He'll also compete for a new high school team in 2014-15. Gabriel is transferring to Wilbraham & Monson (Mass.) from Manchester (N.H.) Trinity. W&M will bring increased exposure for basketball while maintaining his access to strong academics.
"I have a 3.7 GPA and was playing with the New Hampshire Rivals team (under the same umbrella as his current team) before, and now I'm playing with this team and working out with my trainer."
Gabriel, a native of Manchester, noted that he doesn't yet have any interested schools but hopes to change that in the coming months. As he mentioned in terms of his trainer, he realizes that he must gain as much muscle as he can and that he'll need to demonstrate greater offensive polish.
Depending on his summer and senior year, don't be surprised if some of the more illustrious academic institutions — Ivy and otherwise — enter into the picture.