In fact, their top player, 6-8 junior Chad Millard, calls New Hampshire home. Millard is a terrific outside shooter who is getting high-major looks this summer and will benefit by playing with versatile 6-4 ½ sophomore guard Marques Johnson from Fort Wayne Snider.
``Chad will have a couple dunks every game that everyone will be talking about," Blessed IJN coach Eric Vaughn said. "He's that type of leaper. He can pass, handle it and everyone knows how well he shoots it. He's got a chance to be special."
Johnson is really the only local product among the starting five. Carl Swanagan, a 6-10, 300-plus pounder who spent this past season at Hunter High (Utah), will head to the prep ranks after averaging 18 points and 14 boards as a senior this past season.
The two final spots will likely go to 6-10, 215-pound Lutheran West (Ohio) sophomore Richard Semrau, who averaged 23.9 points last season, and Tilton School (N.H.) 6-8, 230-pound junior forward Alfred Aboya, who re-opened his recruitment recently after committing to Georgetown a couple months ago.
However, Aboya will be out until the middle of the summer due to minor knee surgery, so it'll likely be Brewster Academy 6-7 sophomore Fabrice Tafo and 6-7 Bloomington North wing Bil Duany fighting for Aboya's spot until he returns.
``This is the first year that we've felt like we can win every tournament," Vaughn said. "There's no reason we can't at least compete to win every tournament. This is the biggest we've ever been and size is a big thing."
``We've had great guards before, but haven't had this type of size. The only question I have is whether we have enough outside shooting."
Blessed IJN (Fort Wayne, Ind.)
Coach: Eric Vaughn, Mark Adams, Brian Merritt
Top Prospect: F Chad Millard (6-8, 210, JR)
Projected Starters: G Marques Johnson (6-5, 185, SOPH); C Carl Swanagan (6-10, 315, SR*); WF Richard Semrau (6-10, 215, SOPH); BF Alfred Aboya (6-8, 230, JR)
Others: WF Fabrice Tafo (6-7, 200, SOPH); WF Bil Duany (6-7, SR*); PG Shannon Coward (5-11, SR*); PG Eshaunte Jones (6-3 ½, FR); BF Jermaine Muff (6-8, FR)
Opening Tourney: Las Vegas Easter Classic – April 7-11
Famous Alum: N/A