Summer has been busy for New Egypt cagers


Desmond Hubert has been living out of a suitcase for most of this summer, and Mark Przybylkowski has been racing a time clock.

But both New Egypt High School basketball teammates managed to slow down their whirlwind summer schedules enough to combine forces with the rest of the Warriors for the Prime Time Summer Shootout that was held over the weekend of Aug. 7-8 at nearby Allentown High School.

The Warriors also played in the summer league at Allentown, going 8-2 and losing in the playoff semifinals to the Hun School by two points.

At the Prime Time Summer Shootout, the Warriors were ready to please and entertain the fans and dozens of college recruiters who came to scout top hoop prospects.

“July was kind of disappointing; it has been up and down,” said Hubert, a 6-9 rising senior who has traveled with his AAU team, the Playaz of northern New Jersey, to showcases in Washington, D.C., Las Vegas, Arizona, Ohio and, most notably, the prestigious Peach Jam in Georgia and an NBAstyle camp at the University of Virginia.

“In July, I hadn’t really been home at all, going to camps and showcases. It definitely wears on you, and anybody who says it doesn’t is lying. It’s a lot of basketball in a short amount of time. You get a little tired, but you get used to it,” Hubert said.

But Hubert has been home of late before deciding later this month on his college visits and going back to the airports.

“That’s all right. It’s a different kind of thing. I don’t mind that,” he said.

Pittsburgh, Virginia, Wake Forest and Maryland are at or near the top of Hubert’s college list, said his high school coach, Jay Corby.

For his part, Przybylkowski has been busy at camps and checking through his college choices that he has narrowed to New York University, Gettysburg, Castleton State, Cabrini and Widener. Neumann College has come on strong of late.

“It’s been awesome, a lot of recruiting sessions,” said Przybylkowski, a guard who most recently was at the Hoop Group Camp at Albright College. “This is the year I’ve been waiting for for a long time.”

Both hoopsters blended their talents along with virtually all of the other players on the New Egypt squad who have been scattered like Hubert and Przybylkowski since late June, when the team lost only one game at the Rider University camp.

Four seniors graduated from last season’s basketball team but only one, Rocco Natalicchio, started, although two others, Mike Fassl and Tim Carroll, had meaningful roles off the bench. Ryan Gilbert also contributed.

After an up-and-down Prime Time Summer Shootout of a two-point victory over Cherokee and a lackluster two-point loss to Notre Dame when New Egypt rallied from a 20-point second-quarter deficit, the Warriors showed their stuff on Aug. 8 by beating a solid William Allen team of Allentown, Pa., 57- 53.

Przybylkowski sank six threepointers and finished with 25 points in that victory.

“It’s the best I’ve ever seen him play,” said Corby.

Hubert logged 18 points and 10 rebounds in the win.

“He’s been tired from all of this traveling, but he showed what he can do,” Corby said of Hubert.

Add to that a solid supporting cast that showed cohesion like it did late last season: seniors Adam Lipay, a starter last year, and Taylor Steen; juniors Jamel Smith, another starter, and Taylor Barnes; and sophomore Bill Raab.

With size at 6-1 and the shot to be dangerous at guard or forward, Raab can help the team enjoy another solid season like last year when New Egypt was 19-9, finished second in the Burlington County Scholastic League Freedom Division and lost in the second round of the state tournament to Penns Grove. The Warriors are poised for bigger things this year.

“This was a different kind of fun. It was exciting,” Hubert said after the Prime Time Summer Shootout. “It felt good getting my teammates involved” against William Allen.

Corby said Hubert has been working on his offensive game with volunteer assistant coach Kendrick Ross this spring and summer after ranking among the state’s leaders in blocked shots last season.

“He showed some nice drop steps and baby hooks, a lot of improvement this summer,” the coach said.

“It was awesome. I love playing with these guys,” Przybylkowski said after the Prime Time Summer Shootout. “I felt comfortable. We have all been playing together for so long, and we played phenomenal. Everything is starting to click at the right time.”

Corby hopes that type of play continues several months from now when the Warriors hit the hardwood for the start of the 2010-11 high school campaign.