Referring to University of Virginia men’s basketball recruiting during the Tony Bennett era, Blair Academy (Blairstown, N.J.) head boys varsity basketball coach Joe Mantegna says, “I think I have a little understanding of what they want.”
It’s no wonder Coach Mantegna, who leads a highly successful prep program known for winning championships and churning out college prospects, has such insight. After all, he coached former Virginia center Mike Tobey, who played in 138 career games for the Hoos from 2012-2016, as well as Marial Shayok, who attended UVA for three seasons (2014-2017) before transferring to Iowa State to close out his collegiate career. Earlier this month, another Blair Academy product – consensus 4-star rising senior wing Jabri Abdur-Rahim – verbally committed to Coach Tony Bennett’s program.
Abdur-Rahim transferred to Blair Academy for the 2017-18 campaign and was an instant success on and off the court. The 6’7” standout, son of former NBA star and current NBA G League President Shareef Abdur-Rahim, helped the Bucs to a 22-4 overall record and a Prep A state championship this past season. His all-around performance earned him...
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