December 1, 2021

Boasting a Blend of Veterans, Talented Newcomers, Hun Boys’ Basketball Primed for Stellar Campaign

ON GUARD: Hun School boys’ basketball player Dan Vessey, right, guards a foe in a 2019 game. Senior guard Vessey is looking to have a big final campaign at Hun. The Raiders were scheduled to tip off their 2021-22 season by hosting St. Benedict’s on November 30. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

A year ago, the Hun School boys’ basketball team started its preseason training outdoors on the school’s tennis courts as it wasn’t allowed to practice in the gym due to COVID-19 concerns.

As Hun got ready to tip-off its 2021-22 campaign by playing powerhouse St. Benedict’s on November 30, the Raider players were savoring the chance to be going through their paces inside the Shipley Pavilion.

“I think any way you cut it, we are so much further along than we were last year,” said Hun head coach Jon Stone who guided the Raiders to an 8-2 record in their abbreviated 2021 campaign.

“It is the thrill of playing every day, it has been great, the guys are really excited, as am I.”

Senior guard Jack Scott, who is headed to Princeton University next year to follow in the footsteps of his father, Joe Scott, a former hoops star and coach for the Tigers, is primed for a great season.

“Jack formally committed to the process at Princeton; he had a really big summer,” said Stone.

“It is a little bit of everything, he sees the floor really well, he is a really good passer. He has continued to grow, he is 6’5 now so just his size as a guard is a tremendous asset at both ends of the floor. Offensively, he has the ability to finish around the rim. Defensively, he can guard bigger players and guards.”

Scott’s main partner in the backcourt figures to be his classmate, Dan Vessey.

“Dan is looking really good as well too, he just continues to do the things he has done in the past,” said Stone.

“He is a gym rat, he is so steady and he is just pure scorer. He has the ability to score in multiple ways, more than just shooting the ball and yet he does so many other little things that you don’t realize. He understands the game.”

Junior newcomer Anthony Loscalzo should also star on the perimeter.

“The only other pure backcourt guy we have is Anthony,” said Stone

“He is very steady, he is arguably as good a shooter as Dan. He is steady, he doesn’t make a lot of mistakes. He shoots it extremely well.”

Versatile post-graduate Mo Toure will be a swing player for the Raiders.

“Mo is 6’5 and is what I would call a big wing,” said Stone.

“He is a guard/forward as opposed to a pure guard. He is so long, he is ridiculously athletic. Those two things give him the ability to play up front as well as a guard.”

In the frontcourt, a trio of returners, junior Anthony Aririguzoh, senior Isiaha Dickens, and senior Toby Thornburg, give Hun skill and experience.

“Anthony has improved a ton this summer as well; from the first game last year, compared to now, his improvement is tremendous,” said Stone.

“He is becoming more versatile, he is becoming more skilled; his length and athleticism is something. Dickens is physical inside and he is just so solid for us on the offensive end in terms of decision-making and passing ability. He is a solid rebounder obviously as well. Toby’s biggest strength is his versatility. He can play inside he can play outside. He can guard inside and outside and plays really hard.”

A pair of juniors, Ethan Gross and Logan Howland, will provide depth in the paint.

“Ethan is a 6’7 lefty, he is really long and has good speed and quickness for somebody his size,” said Stone.

“We have as newcomer, Logan, who played football this year. He is a 6’8, 255. He gives us a physical presence. and he is incredibly unselfish. He is very similar to Dickens in many way with the physical presence and ability to pass. His ability to rebound is tremendous.”

Getting unselfish play across the board will be a key for Hun as it faces a gauntlet of formidable foes this winter.

“We start with St. Benedict’s so we better be ready to go,” said Stone.

“The key often for us is our ability to jell quickly; we have more returners than other years. But we still have some new faces that we have to get into the fray and the mix and just be jelling from an overall team sense. I think that tends to always be our biggest key. We do have some good balance.”