By Brandy L. Simms
One of Montgomery County’s top student-athletes has found a new high school in which to showcase his talents on the hardwood.
The Richard Montgomery Rockets boys varsity basketball team, which captured the Maryland Elite Summer League Championship in August, is expected to contend for a state title this season but when practice begins this week, one key piece will be missing from the puzzle.
Former Richard Montgomery basketball standout Olivier Nkamhoua has transferred from the Rockville public school to a private school in Allegany County.
Nkamhoua, a talented 6-foot-9 forward, has enrolled at Bishop Walsh School, a Catholic school located in Cumberland.
Nkamhoua, who competed for Richard Montgomery during the summer, is a highly-regarded Division I college prospect.
Playing in the Capitol Hoops Summer League at DeMatha, Nkamhoua was a force, registering a game-high 30 points and grabbing 10 rebounds in Richard Montgomery’s 80-70 victory over DeMatha on June 23. He finished the contest 11-of-15 from the field and converted all seven of his free-throw attempts. He also finished with three assists and blocked three shots against the Stags.
Bishop Walsh head coach Dan Prete described Nkamhoua as a “high major athlete” who is getting stronger every day.
“Athletically, he’s gifted,” said Prete. “He has a good mid-range game. He can really do a good job inside and out.”
Prete, a Poolesville High School graduate, enters his first season as head coach at Bishop Walsh.
Prete spent the past five years rebuilding the boys’ basketball program at Saint James in Hagerstown where he guided the program to a 96-45 record and MAC tournament championships in two of the last three seasons.
Prior to Saint James, Prete had a stint as an assistant coach under Stu Vetter at Montrose Christian and was also an assistant coach at Quince Orchard under Rick Dorsey.
During his tenure at Montrose Christian, Prete coached numerous Division I student-athletes and a handful of NBA players including Kevin Durant, Justin Anderson, Greivis Vasquez, Terrence Ross and Linas Kleiza.
At Bishop Walsh, Prete will have a talented group of student-athletes to work with, he said.
The roster includes Callum Baker and Anthony Torelli who both migrated from Saint James to Bishop Walsh along with Prete.
“Both of them are being recruited at the Division I level,” said the head coach.
Yavuz Gultekin, a 6-foot-8 senior wing, has verbally committed to play college basketball at Virginia Tech.
Bendji Pierre, a 6-foot-8 small forward, and sophomore point guard Jalen Miller should also make significant contributions according to Prete.
“Obviously, we want to be as competitive as we possibly can,” said Prete. “We have a lot of really good pieces for the first year.”
Bishop Walsh opens the season on Dec. 1 against defending IAC champion Georgetown Prep in the Morgan Wootten Classic at Bishop O’Connell High School.
“I expect this group to not only win some games in the area,” said Prete, “but explode onto the national scene.”
Bishop Walsh’s schedule also includes national powerhouse Oak Hill Academy along with Philadelphia-based Abraham Lincoln and Archbishop Stepinac, a program based in White Plains, New York.
In the famous words of Terrell Owens, “Get your popcorn ready, ’cause it’s going to be a show.”
You can contact Brandy at: firstname.lastname@example.org.