Sure, it’s the offseason – but Tuesday was a big day for Section 9 boys’ basketball news.
In a blockbuster, Varsity845.com is reporting that New Paltz’s Kena Gilmour and Anthony Salmon of Newburgh Free Academy have transferred to John S. Burke Catholic. Gilmour and Salmon are projected to be two of the top juniors in Section 9 this season.
Gilmour and Salmon have been rumored to be transferring to Burke Catholic for several months. During interviews with the Times Herald-Record last season, however, both said they would not make the move.
Salmon didn’t return a phone call on Tuesday.
“I like the school a lot, I have my friends there. I always wanted to go there,” said Gilmour, a 6-foot-5 swingman who averaged 15 points last season. “I went there for the academics and because I need a change in my life. I just want to help the team however I can.”
Gilmour helped New Paltz to the Section 9 Class A championship last season, where it was blown out by Burke Catholic, which went on to lose in the state final.
“It’s kind of an in-house thing,” New Paltz coach Matt Moore said. “It’s a choice Kena and his family made. I’ll keep it between us. There is not much I can do. Do I have my opinion? Yes, I do. But I’m moving on.”
Newburgh coach Matt Brown refused to comment on Salmon’s transfer.
Still, you know what Gilmour and Salmon to BC means: The moves likely will put Burke Catholic’s successful program further under the microscope. Several local coaches believe Burke Catholic has gained an added edge through recruiting, forbidden by the New York State Public High School Athletic Association, of which Burke Catholic is a member.
Stay tuned for more on Burke Catholic’s new arrivals in Wednesday’s editions of Varsity845.com and in print in the Times Herald-Record.
In the other big news of the day, Middletown’s Travis Cook, a swingman, has transferred to Mount Zion Christian Academy in Durham, N.C., where he will reclassify and remain a junior. He isn’t the only one bolting Middletown for Tobacco Road. Middletown guards Darielle Jefferson and Tarik Boyd have also enrolled at Mount Zion and will reclassify, remaining juniors. Junior guard D’Andre Liburd, a Middletown jayvee player last season whom Kelly felt could have made an impact for him this winter, has also skipped town for Mount Zion.
According to Cook and Middletown coach Jim Kelly, Shandy Casimir, a 6-foot-8 senior center who would have potentially started for the Middies this season, has transferred to a prep school in Atlanta. Casimir could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.
Keep in mind, Middletown sophomore center Hasahn French, projected to evolve into one of Section 9’s top players, left this summer for Commonwealth Academy, a prep school in Springfield, Mass.
Wow! What a day in Section 9 basketball.