Degand, a 6-3, 160-pound guard who averaged 21.5 points, 8 boards and 3 assists as a junior at O'Bryant High (Mass.), is somewhat of a rarity. In an age when Boston stars like Will Blalock, Steve Hailey and Mike Jones play at area prep schools, Degand has opted to remain at his Boston public high school.
``I like it, so there's no reason to leave for somewhere else," Degand said.
The 16-year-old Degand, who won't turn 17 until next January and is supposed to be a sophomore, is a quick guard who gets to the basket without any difficulty, but needs to put on some weight and also become more consistent with his outside shot.
``He's going to play most of his senior season in high school at 16 years old, which is very rare," BABC head coach Leo Papile said. "He's got great physical tools and a terrific basketball IQ. As soon as his body kicks in, he'll be hell on wheels."
Iowa State has already offered a scholarship and so has Boston University and Northeastern. Degand said that URI, Villanova and George Washington have also expressed interest.
``I want to go somewhere that I'm comfortable with the coach so I know they'll look out for me and make my time there easier," he said. ``That's why I like Iowa State. They have a great coach, but I just don't know about going to school in Iowa. I'm more of a city kid."
Degand has been somewhat overlooked while playing alongside Jeff Adrien with Leo Papile's BABC club in the summer. However, he's already gotten an invite to the adidas Superstar camp and is hoping to get one from the Nike All-American Camp.
``I haven't done as much traveling and hit the circuit as much as some other guys," Degand said. "Last year we didn't go to the nationals because we got to the state tournament late and didn't qualify."