New Mission poised to continue success by adding talented youth

ROXBURY, Mass. – About a decade ago, the most dominant program in the Boston City League was Charlestown. They were the team that was winning state titles left and right in addition to winning in the city. More recently, the team that has that distinction would be New Mission, and while they haven’t stood alone and were upstaged by another city program last year, they have had the best run in the last few years.

Now, Cory McCarthy has excellent young talent to go with his holdovers, and that gives his team all the potential in the world for this season and beyond. There may be some growing pains, but there’s enough good experience with the veterans that the freshmen will be able to grow at whatever pace their play allows.

He already starts with a good senior lineup led by Asante Sandiford (6’4″ Sr. SF) and Shaquan Murray (6’1″ Sr. SG). Sandiford has already committed to Franklin Pierce, and the athletic wing has a good body he knows how to use near the basket. Murray has a smoothness to his game and can simply score. Sandiford may assume more of a power forward spot at times for this team, but he has the tools to play the wing at the next level, having shown that on the travel circuit.

Classmate Fred Rivers (6’4″ Sr. PF-C) can be a matchup problem inside, as he’s more athletic than he looks. A nice and outgoing young man, he has a tendency to drift away from the basket too much and settle for jumpers, but he’s experienced and a load to handle.

Flying under the radar on this team a bit is Sochika Nzerem (6’2″ Sr. SF-PF), whose older brother played at the school a few years ago. He’ll contribute as a role player, as he has a mature body with a good frame, can finish through contact and hit the occasional jumper. An excellent student, he’ll likely go to an elite academic college.

Randy Glenn (5’8″ Jr. PG-SG) is one of the key holdovers on the perimeter along with Lee. A very athletic guard, that attribute can be missed since he doesn’t always use it to his advantage and his body language sometimes suggests he’s not into the game. But if this team runs, he can be part of that, and the lefty can hit when he takes good shots. This could be his chance to blossom since there’s a lot of talent around him.

Tyrique Lee (5’7″ So. PG) is the defensive specialist on the team. He’s not the most physically gifted player in terms of size, length or athleticism, but he’s tough and knows how to defend. Kordell Harris (5’7″ Sr. SG) is a well-built athlete who will be in the mix. Although he can look awkward shooting the ball, he hit a tough jumper one time in practice.

Help on the perimeter will come from the likes of Jared Brown (5’9″ Sr. PG-SG) and Marquis Allen (5’10” Jr. SG). Brown is an athletic lefty guard whose body has a ways to go but has some tools and could be a sleeper college prospect. He could see time at both guard spots as he can shoot and make nice passes. Allen is talented and has his moments, but at times doesn’t look interested in the game.

The freshmen are where you can see the potential of this program in the long run, though not all of them will play varsity right away because they’re too good to just sit and the varsity has a lot of depth already. Alex Delarosa (5’9″ Fr. PG-SG) played on one of the better travel programs in the area this spring and summer and won a lot of games in doing so. He was an integral part of that winning and brings a lot of good tools, especially offensively, and as you might expect his body has a ways to go.

Twins Charles Mitchell (5’8″ Fr. PG) and Charlie Mitchell (5’8″ Fr. PG) will be well worth watching and impact this team more than you might think. Both are baby-faced and are babies physically, but they are fearless, have leadership in their DNA and already seem to have a great grasp of what McCarthy is trying to do. They are the kind of young players you can get excited watching because you start imagining how good they can be once their bodies develop.

Out of all of them, the one that might have the most potential is Philmon Ghribhwet (Fr. PF). Very long and a baby physically, he’s not afraid of physical play. He’s not entirely raw, as he can finish with both hands, has some semblance of ball skills and is quick off his feet, but his game is quite rough around the edges as you might expect. Right now he’s more of a “potential” player.

New Mission has a challenging league slate since they are in the toughest division of the Boston City League. They also have some tough games outside the league, including Bishop Guertin from New Hampshire, St. Joseph’s from New Jersey and powerful Putnam from western Massachusetts all in a three-day stretch. Later, they have a matchup with Central Catholic.

The Titans look poised to continue their run in recent years. The injection of new talent into the program won’t pay dividends right away, but the talent is good enough to help right away. The veterans are a pretty good starting point, and if Glenn or someone else runs the show capably with Murray and Sandiford anchoring them otherwise, they will be a tough team to beat in the city.

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