The London sports scene isn't just about David Beckham or Manchester United anymore. Basketball is slowly taking over. Some of the best high school players are coming across the pond to the Northeast and refining their skills at some of the top prep schools in the United States. Next up is South Kent (Conn.) School forward Matthew Bryan-Amaning.
The London connection is taking the college game by storm. Duke has had success in the UK with guys like Luol Deng and Eric Boateng. Connecticut just signed Preton, England native Ben Eaves. Bryan-Amaning is shaping as a top 2007 forward.
"There is a lot of talent in London but a lot of people don't know that. With guys like Luol and Eric coming to the States, people are starting to realize how good it is," Bryan-Amaning said.
While Bryan-Amaning is no Deng, he's shown flashes of high-major talent. Big, athletic, strong and full of potential, the junior has been a name on the high-major recruiting radar for the last year. He attended the Nike All-American camp and then returned to London for the summer. That's why this season is key, he says.
"I'm really looking forward to this season," Bryan-Amaning said. "I feel like I improved a lot over the summer and after playing behind Andray (Blatche) last year everyday, I'm a better player this year."
Bryan-Amaning has kept in touch with Blatche, who was taken in the 2005 NBA Draft by the Washington Wizards.
"I've talked to him quite a bit and he always tried to tell me that I was going to be a bigger player this year and that I needed to be ready for everything that comes my way this year," Bryan-Amaning said.
Schools should be coming on strong this year. Bryan-Amaning says he is holding offers from Baylor, Clemson, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Virginia and Virginia Tech. It's no surprise that Connecticut and Duke are also keeping tabs on him. So is Texas and Washington.
On a squad with a number of international players, Bryan-Amaning and the rest of the South Kent team are a popular team amongst the coaching circles. He'll be back in action this weekend against Eldon Academy out of Michigan at home. South Kent will also play in the Bay Ball Classic in Delaware after Christmas.