Thank you for your continued support and interest in Vermont Academy Basketball. My name is Alex Popp, and I am head basketball coach at Vermont Academy, the only traditional coed boarding school in Vermont serving ninth through postgraduate student-athletes from around the country and the world since 1876. I am thrilled to take this opportunity to share with you our rich tradition of top-tier basketball at our historic school in beautiful New England.
In 2016-2017, the preseason #1 team in the country was plagued by injuries and somehow still managed an overall record of 19-11. This marked the third consecutive season that Vermont Academy amassed 19 wins or more. The Wildcats produced four all-league players (Jordan Nwora '17, Simi Shittu '18, Marcus Santos-Silva '17, and Bailey Patella '17) and made the NEPSAC AA Final 4 for the third year in a row. The program matriculated five players to Division I basketball including: Jordan Nwora '17 (Buffalo, NY) to Louisville, Christian David '17 (Milton, ON) to Butler, Marcus Santos-Silva '17 (Taunton, MA) to VCU, Bailey Patella '17 (Lenox, MA) to UVM, and Corey Romich '17 (Groton, MA) to Jacksonville. In addition, two players will play in the NESCAC: Will Brady '17 (Rigdefield, CT) to Tufts, and Matt Hanna '17 (Milford, MA) to Colby. Nwora and David were ranked Top 100 in the country and Shittu was ranked Top 10 in the country. Christian David '17 and Simi Shittu '18 were both selected for the 2017 BioSteel All-Canadian game.
In 2015-2016, our basketball program reached new heights. The Wildcats went 27-5, had five all-league players (Bruce Brown ’16, Tyrique Jones ’16, Christian David ’17, Bailey Patella ’17, and Patrick Fisher ’16), and won the NEPSAC Championship game for the first time in school history. The program graduated six players who will all play college basketball in 2016-2017. Matriculation included: Patrick Fisher ’16 (San Diego, CA) to Winthrop, David Huber (Allison Park, PA) to Carnegie Mellon, Tinga Adiang ’16 (Khartoum, Sudan) to St. Lawrence, Tyrique Jones ’16 (Bloomfield, CT) to Xavier, Bruce Brown ’16 (Boston, MA) to Miami, and Nick Brooks ’16 (Franklin Park, NJ) to Wesleyan. The program was also able to produce the NEPSAC Player of the Year and Jordan Brand All-American in Bruce Brown ’16 and the 2016 NEPSAC Coaching Staff of the Year.
The 2014-2015 Wildcats went 24-7 games, had four all-league players (Pat Fisher ’16, Bruce Brown ’16, Tyrique Jones ’16, and Corey Johnson ’15), and reached the NEPSAC Championship game. The program graduated four players who will all play college basketball. Matriculation included: Corey Johnson ’15 (Ottawa, Ontario) to Harvard University, Ronnie Suggs ’15 (St. Louis, MO) to Bradley University, Jimmer Fritzson ’15 (Sharon, MA) to Rhode Island, and Samuel Japhet-Mathias ’15 (London, England) to Wake Forest.
Vermont Academy prepares the student-athlete academically, athletically, and socially for the next level. College placement is a top priority for our staff, and the foundation that we provide allows graduates to be productive when they arrive on the college campus of their dreams.
Recognized globally as the best high school league in the country, the New England Prep School Athletic Conference (NEPSAC) is consistently well represented in the NBA Draft. Vermont Academy currently boasts three student-athletes in the ESPN Top 100, more than any other program in our highly competitive conference. We also have the top ranked Class of 2017 prospect in Canada. VA Wildcats are recruited by all high-major programs as well as the world-class Ivy League, whose emphasis on academic and athletic excellence aligns perfectly with our program goals. In addition to getting face time with and exposure to some of the most highly respected names in college basketball, you will be coached, mentored and challenged by an experienced professional dedicated equally to both your athletic success and development of character.
In my work as a coach, it has become increasingly clear to me that athletes who model basketball as a framework for learning all of life's lessons - both on- and off-court - are more successful as young adults. A holistic approach to sport - one that blends academics, leadership, service, and personal interests - is increasingly favored over a singular, linear path. My philosophy has helped propel young athletes from high school careers to elite college programs and beyond.
Over the course of my career I have learned from and collaborated with some of the best coaches in the world. As an instructor, I have leveraged those experiences and developed a coaching style centered on fundamentals, balanced with an energetic and team-focused approach. Consistency and unrivaled work ethic are hallmark characteristics of any successful basketball player, and I strive to inspire those qualities in every student-athlete and in every facet of their life. I challenge each of my players to Trust the Process.
If the prospect of playing basketball at the highest level, getting an excellent education to prepare you for college, and being welcomed into a diverse community of individuals from around the globe interests you, please call our Office of Admission at 802-869-6229 or my mobile at 617-877-4571 to arrange a visit and come see Vermont Academy in person. I look forward to speaking with you soon.
Follow Vermont Academy Basketball on Twitter @VtAcademyHoops or @CoachAPopp and on Instagram at @VtAcademyHoops. We are VA!
Alex M. Popp
Head Coach, Boys’ Varsity Basketball