Prep basketball: NMH’s Peter Carey racking up Division 1 scholarship offers

  • Peter Carey, playing with Frontier, puts in a reverse layup over Mahar defender Matthew Lyesiuk in Orange during the 2020 season. Carey, now at Northfield Mount Hermon, has nine D1 offers. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Staff Writer
Published: 7/15/2021 7:41:03 PM

Despite not playing a single basketball game during his first year at Northfield Mount Hermon, Peter Carey was able to make the most of his first prep school season. 

Carey — who transferred from Frontier to NMH following the 2019-20 school year — wasn’t able to take the court with the Hoggers with the season canceled over COVID-19 concerns. That didn't halt colleges from recruiting the 7-footer, who was able to play an AAU season, showing out at a tournament in Westford in May and really catching the eyes of colleges at another tournament at Virginia Beach the following weekend. 

From there, the recruiting process took off, with Carey currently with nine Division 1 offers — Penn, Brown, Bryant, Albany, St. Bonaventure, UMass, Iona, Rutgers and Syracuse — going into his senior year. 

“Things really picked up for me after the tournament in Virginia Beach,” Carey said. “From there, I’ve just been continuing to work and improve to become more consistent and always play hard. It’s pushed my recruiting a lot and now I’m in a really good position.” 

His AAU team — the New York Lightning — helped build up Carey’s skills throughout the pandemic in a time where the basketball world was at a standstill. Lightning coach Jesse Shapiro would put together online workouts designed to be done at home. 

Carey did them everyday, which helped get him ready for when he was finally able to take the court again. He was able to play in a few tournaments last summer, something he feels even more appreciative about looking back on. 

“Those at-home workouts really helped me a lot,” Carey said. “I got to play in two tournaments with them last summer so we had something. There weren’t many kids who had the chance to play last summer, thinking back I was really, really fortunate to be able to play at all.” 

At NMH, it wasn’t the year he would have hoped without a season, but he feels has grown exponentially since getting on campus. 

Even though the Hoggers were only allowed to scrimmage against themselves, the talent on the roster made each game ultra-competitive. 

“We were super limited in what we can do,” Carey said. “We were very restricted. There were no outsiders on campus, so people were hunkered down most of the time. We had a lot of inter-team games, just trying to do anything we could to make the most of the time on campus. That’s where the majority of the magic happens, what we get done on campus and in the gym.” 

Where Carey has seen the most improvement in his game is in his mental approach and gaining playing strength to go along with his length. 

“Skills-wise, I’ve taken a big step but nothing too, too crazy,” Carey said. “A lot of it has been developing my body, becoming tougher and just being a student of the game. That comes with more reps and more time in the gym with a ball in my hands. Even if you aren’t doing skill work, being surrounded by the game always helps you make improvements.” 

Earlier this week, Carey picked up an offer from Iona and coach Rick Pitino. 

Meeting with Pitino on Zoom was cool for Carey, getting to talk to someone he had been watching coach since he was young. 

“That was an incredible Zoom call,” Carey said. “He was so deliberate. He kept things strictly on the basketball side of things. We talked about player development, how that’s helped his guys over the years, what he’s building at Iona and he gave the rundown of what he’s done in the past and how he’s looking to carry things over to Iona.” 

Another Zoom call Carey had to pinch himself to believe was real was with Jim Boeheim, who’s been coaching at Syracuse since 1976. 

The offer from Syracuse was Carey’s first ACC offer and second Power 5 offer after Rutgers. 

“You’re on the phone and it’s hard not to think about who you’re talking to,” Carey said. “You’re trying to focus on what he’s saying but the whole time you’re just in disbelief that you’re talking to Jim Boeheim. It’s such a special thing. You grow up seeing these guys on TV and now you have them sitting on the sideline at your games. It’s a lot to take in but it’s super fun and brings the best out of you.” 

Growing up in South Deerfield, getting an offer from UMass was a dream come true for Carey. He took an unofficial visit with the Minutemen in June shortly after being offered. 

“That was such a great feeling,” Carey said. “I’ve always wanted to get an offer because it’s five minutes away from home. I grew up going to soccer games, hockey games and basketball games there. There so much history and nostalgia with UMass.” 

It’s a wild time for Carey to be entering the college basketball ranks. With NIL rules now in place and COVID allowing players to stay an extra year or enter a transfer portal that allows players to switch schools without having to sit out a year, the landscape of the game has changed completely. 

Carey hasn’t made a decision yet on where he’ll play after next year, though don’t expect him to wait long to make his decision.

“I’m still open right now,” Carey said. “I want to start reeling things in a little as the summer progresses. The whole recruiting world is crazy right now after COVID. There’s a lot fewer scholarship opportunities, so there’s a sense of urgency in committing to a school and solidifying a spot on the team.” 

While he’s eager to get on the court for a college program, Carey is anxious to get out on the court with NMH this coming season. 

With the players on the roster, he feels the sky is the limit for the team. 

“I’m looking forward to this season,” Carey said. “We have a lot of talent. It’s going to be as special year and I’m excited. I can’t wait to get back on campus.”


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