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On Friday morning, AlamoCityHoops broke the news regarding a major change for the St. Anthony’s basketball program. Multiple sources confirmed that Kevin Smisek, is not returning to the sidelines this fall for the Yellow Jackets.
Initially, it spread as a huge shock to many that Coach Smisek, after going 32-6, and the 5A TAPPS State Runner-Up, would not be retained. He met early this morning with his team to break the news, which did not go over well with many of his players. The University of Incarnate Word, which is the parent school of St. Anthony’s, did confirm to AlamoCityHoops, in a release that we snapshot and posted on twitter (@AlamoCityHoops1), that Smisek is staying on as the Athletic Director.
As the story developed early this morning, details were pouring out by the hour. Although the posting for the position was just published not more than 48 hours ago, multiple sources have confirmed to AlamoCityHoops that Jeff Merritt, formerly an assistant coach at La Lumiere Prep (IN), will be the new head man. For those not familiar with La Lumiere, the prep school is a national power program, who finished runner up in the Dick’s Sporting Goods High School National Tournament, falling to Oakhill Academy (VA) in the championship, 62-60. Prized recruit James Banks, a 6’10” PF, signed his letter of intent and will be suiting up for Shaka Smart and the Texas Longhorns this fall.
With a new head coach in place and ties to a national power, more details surfaced that Coach Merrit would not be the only new attraction at St. Anthony’s. Sources also confirmed to AlamoCityHoops, that up to three top national prospects, barring any delay or change of course, are set to enroll at St. Anthony’s for next season joining 6’10” freshman phenom (sophomore to be), Charles Bassey.
Ousmane Ndim 7’0″ (2018)
Franklin Agunanne 6’9″ (2018)
Sam Chaput 6’0″ (2019)
Reaction to the news spread like wildfire on our twitter handle, with just under 21,000 impressions in only 10 hours. There has been anger, disappointment, schock, anxiety, and excitement from all areas. Even at the high school coaching level, our staff has been informed that certain city schools will withdraw from playing St. Anthony’s, and are considering not scheduling them for the next three years in non-district play.
Among all the change, one thing is certain. This type of basketball talent has never been seen in the Greater San Antonio area, and is uncharted territory. To put it all in perspective, St. Anthony’s will have a front line bigger than most NBA teams, standing 6’9″, 6’10” and 7’0″. Not to forget more returning talent in All-State juniors (seniors to be) Isiah Saenz and Ricardo Valadez.
The Yellow Jackets have gone from being the talk of the town, with the sports world finding out more and more about Charles Bassey, to the talk of the high school hoops nation.
On the AAU circuit, all three new players have either played for or have ties to Nike Team Texas, or Adidas’ YesIISuccess. Bassey also plays for both.
AlamoCityHoops also confirmed that for the past two months, both Ndim and Agunanne have worked out on more than a few occasions at St. Anthony’s.