psa pg 1 3-21-24

PSA alums
in Selection
The madness is upon us once again, and Putnam Science Academy’s basketball program has a lot to be wild about.
With the NCAA Tournament brackets coming out this past weekend and March Madness in full swing starting today, PSA’s coaches have a lot of rooting interests. Fourteen former players heard their teams’ names called on Selection Sunday, which will make for a fun few weeks for Tom Espinosa and his staff.
“It’s really incredible to have so many kids in it again,” Espinosa said. “We’ve been fortunate to have a lot of them the last few years, and it makes it a lot of fun, especially the first weekend when there are so many games. It’ll feel like we have someone on at all times.”
Of those vying to hold up the national championship trophy on April 8, UConn’s Hassan Diarra (PSA ’20) and his brother Mamadou (PSA ’16) might have the best chance. Both are looking to win a second title themselves and help the Huskies repeat as national champs. Hassan, PSA’s all-time leading scorer, was named the Big East’s Sixth man of the Year, and Mamadou is in his second year as an assistant coach with the Huskies. They helped UConn earn a No. 1 seed in the East region.
PSA gets a head-to-head matchup in the East, as Florida Atlantic, featuring Vlad Goldin (PSA ’20) takes on Northwestern and Blake Barkley (PSA ’23). The winner would likely play UConn in the second round.
Darnell Brodie, who played at PSA in 2015-16 and 2016-17, and 10th-seeded Drake are also in the East.
Gabe McGlothan (PSA ’19) has been instrumental in leading Grand Canyon University to the tourney the last two years and has the 12-seed looking for an upset of Saint Mary’s out West. A second-round matchup could then happen with No. 4 Alabama and Mouhamed Dioubate (PSA ’23). In the bottom half of the West region, Nic Louis-Jacques (with PSA for part of the Covid-stunted 2020-21 season) and No 14 Colgate take on Baylor.
The South incudes D’Maurian Williams (PSA ’20) and No. 6 Texas Tech taking on N.C. State in the first round, plus Ugonna Onyenso (PSA ’22) and No. 3 Kentucky versus Oakland.
Not much was expected of Josh Gray (PSA ’20) and South Carolina in the SEC this season but the Gamecocks put together a terrific season and earned the six-seed in the Midwest.
Howard, led by top scorer Bryce Harris (PSA ’21), played in the First Four games against Wagner, with the winner earn the 16-seed in the West and a date with North Carolina.
On the women’s side, former standout Niya Fields (PSA ’20) leads No. 15 Norfolk State into a daunting matchup with Stanford in the first round, while Melissa Mwanza, who played one year at PSA in 2022, and No. 10 Richmond square off in the first round with Duke.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun,” Espinosa said. “We’ve got a lot of different people to root for, which is all we could ask for.”
Stephen Nalbandian
Sports Information Director
Putnam Science Academy


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