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Above: The Woodstock Academy prep basketball players gathered for one last time in a farewell ceremony this past spring. Sixteen of them will be playing collegiate basketball this year.  Right: Brooklyn’s Sam Majek will be playing for former UConn head coach Jim Calhoun at the University of St. Joseph’s in Hartford this season.  Far right: Dibaji Walker is looking forward to playing at Cleveland State in his native state of Ohio this coming basketball season. (Photos by Marc Allard)

prep program
sends 16
to college
WOODSTOCK — The Woodstock Academy prep basketball program helped put 16 members from its inaugural 2017-18 roster into college basketball programs.
Nine of those student-athletes will be playing on a full scholarship for a Division I college basketball program in the 2018-19 school year, two on full scholarships for Division II schools and six others received grant-in-aid packages from Division III schools.
“It was terrific,” said Woodstock Academy prep basketball coach Tony Bergeron. “We were 100 percent with student-athletes being accepted into college and having scholarship offers. Three of our overseas athletes opted to play what I call ‘club basketball’ but what they call ‘pro basketball.’”
Joe Kasperszyk  (Bryant University); Jakigh Dottin (Towson State University); Jeameril Wilson (LeHigh University); Elijah Buchanan (Manhattan College); Chaylyn Martin (Sacred Heart University); Dibaji Walker (Cleveland State); Ty Perry (Fordham University); Luis Rodriguez (University of Mississippi) and Marquis Moore (University of Detroit Mercy) all received full rides to play Division I basketball.
E.J. Dambreville (Florida Southern) and Gedi Juozapaitis (Flagler University) received Division II full scholarships while Ryan Omslaer (Connecticut College); Elijah Winston (Springfield College); Paul Kingsley (University of Wisconsin-Whitewater); Chris Childs (University of St. Joseph’s – West Hartford) and Sam Majek (University of St. Joseph’s – West Hartford) all received partial grant-in-aid, partial scholarships to play Division III basketball.
The 16 student-athletes received approximately $716,000 in scholarship or grant-in-aid monies for the year, an average of just under $45,000 per player for the year.
“This is the mission of our institution, to provide opportunities and to prepare students for the next step in their academic and athletic advancement,” said Woodstock Academy Head of School Chris Sandford. “It’s better than I expected for the first year in terms of college acceptances and financial support and it sets the bar that we have to continue to meet or exceed in subsequent years.”
Maksim Karvanen from Russia, Selim Fofana from Switzerland and Tom Van Westendorp from the Netherlands all signed pro contracts.
Robert Kralicek from New York opted to go into the family business.
“We missed on those four, or it would have been 20, but it’s a great feeling,” Bergeron said.
It’s not the most Bergeron has helped find a college fit for.
At Commonwealth Academy in Springfield in 2016-17, 17 of his players went into higher education programs.
“I thought we were going to break that record this year, some of the overseas kids opted out. I knew the platform and the landscape of what it was going to take to do it. I’ve been down this road before and this year (2018-19), I’m hoping to get 20-plus in,” Bergeron said.
Bergeron admits that will take a lot of work.
“But it’s rewarding, you help one kid and it’s satisfying so when you multiply that, it makes it a lot of fun,” he said.
Bergeron said, overall, the first year of the program was very successful.
Every year, he wants to see 100 percent who begin with one of his programs to complete it and move on to the next level.
It’s a goal, he admits, that is rarely accomplished in the world of prep basketball.
“You always feel bad for the kids that missed, but we will celebrate those 16 kids for a terrific year. There was tremendous support from the administration and the school. The future here is very, very bright. Mr. Sandford wanted to enter at the penthouse level and we certainly did that, we were probably a layup away from the national championship game. Any time you can play on the last day, it’s good, and with all these kids going on full rides to four-year colleges, it was certainly a success,” Bergeron said.
The Centaurs Gold prep basketball team finished 35-5 and lost in the national championship semifinal game in overtime.

Division I
Full Scholarships
Joe Kasperszyk  (Bryant University)
Jakigh Dottin (Towson State University)
Jeameril Wilson (LeHigh University)
Elijah Buchanan (Manhattan College)
Chaylyn Martin (Sacred Heart University)
Dibaji Walker (Cleveland State)
Ty Perry (Fordham University)
Luis Rodriguez (University of Mississippi)
Marquis Moore (University of Detroit Mercy)
Division II
Full Scholarship
E.J. Dambreville (Florida Southern)
Gedi Juozapaitis (Flagler University)
Division III
(Partial, grant-in-aids)
Ryan Omslaer (Connecticut College)
Elijah Winston (Springfield College)
Paul Kingsley (University of Wisconsin-Whitewater)
Chris Childs (University of St. Joseph’s – West Hartford)
Sam Majek (University of St. Joseph’s – West Hartford)
Marc Allard
Sports Information Director


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