Nick Alikakos’ original plan was to play college basketball for the United States Naval Academy.
But after the former Episcopal Academy standout experienced two weeks of preliminary training over the summer at the Naval Academy Prep School in Rhode Island, he opted out of the program.
“I just decided it wasn’t for me,” the 18-year-old said. “I couldn’t see myself continuing there. I wanted to explore other options.”
Switching gears, Alikakos is now at The Hill School, a coeducational preparatory boarding school in Pottstown.
“I know the coaches here very well,” the 6-foot-8, 215-pound forward said. “Also, I think this is one of the top prep schools in the state.”
Alikakos averaged 17 points per game last season while leading Episcopal to an 18-11 overall record and, with an 8-2 mark, a share of the Inter-Ac League championship with Germantown Academy.
The three-time all-league first-teamer committed to Navy last October. He also had scholarship offers from Army, Hartford, and Lafayette. Brown and Wofford were likewise interested.
In open-gym workouts at Hill, Alikakos has been watched by coaches from American, Dartmouth, Hartford, and Maryland-Baltimore County. He visited Colgate on Friday.
With Hill head coach and athletic director Seth Eilberg on sabbatical, assistant Phil Canosa is serving as interim boss in 2017-18.
“When I was at Episcopal, we would play Hill twice a year,” Alikakos said. “That’s when I got a chance to know their coaches.”
The Blues compete in the Mid-Atlantic Prep League with Mercersburg Academy and New Jersey schools Blair Academy, Hun School of Princeton, Lawrenceville School, and Peddie School.
“I’m excited about having an extra year to improve my overall game, including my perimeter shot,” Alikakos said.
A four-year starter at Episcopal, the West Chester resident has also drawn interest from Brown, Cornell, Dartmouth, and Davidson.
“He gave us nightmares for four years,” said Carosa, who has been at Hill for seven years. “He can do it all. He’s super, super crafty. He can score in so many different ways.”
Hill’s other postgraduate player is Seth Maxwell, a 7-foot center from Northeastern Pennsylvania’s Abington Heights.
Buckmire at Duke. Mike Buckmire, who excelled in hoops at Germantown Friends, has joined Duke’s squad as a freshman walk-on.
Buckmire, a 6-2 guard from Blue Bell, averaged 22.1 points per game last season for the Tigers and finished his career with 1,144 career points.
Buckmire’s father, Michael, played on the Blue Devils’ 1986 national championship soccer team.
Westtown’s Cameron Reddish, a 6-7 senior forward and five-star recruit, has committed to play for Duke.
First inductee. Barry Kirsch, a longtime math teacher and coach at Archbishop Carroll, will be inducted into the school’s inaugural Hall of Fame event next Saturday. He has been at the school for nearly 50 years.
Kirsch coached girls’ basketball from 1994 to 2007; boys’ basketball from 1969 to 1981; and baseball from 1969 to 1974. He is the public-address announcer at football and basketball games.
Kirsch, of West Chester, guided the Carroll girls to Catholic League basketball titles in 2000, 2003, 2004, and 2007.
For more information on the ceremony, go to www.jcarroll.org/hof.