Former Conant stars thriving at the college level
12/01/2012 - Medford/Somerville, Mass. - Tufts guard/forward Bre Dufault, A13, sees her shot during the Tufts vs. Regis women's basketball game on Saturday, December 1, 2012. (Alonso Nichols/Tufts University)
Last week when I was at the Conant girls basketball team’s season opener, I ran into Bob and Eleanor Martin, the parents of Sean Martin, one of my all-time favorite high school basketball players.
Whenever I see them, which is usually a lot more during basketball season, I try to find out how Sean is doing.
I had seen him at the annual Conant alumni games the night after Thanksgiving, but I didn’t get to talk to him all that much.
In addition to finding out that Sean had played with his Division III Springfield College team at Keene State the week before, the Martins told me that Ezra Hodgson, who plays at SUNY Plattsburgh in upstate New York, was at Keene State that very night.
I was disappointed that I had not been aware of their trips to the region, but also that I was not up to date with how they and other Conant grads like Brooke Springfield and Kim Daniels had been doing at the next level. So I spent a little time this week checking in. With the semester break approaching, it presented the perfect opportunity for an update.
And what I found was quite impressive.
Martin is the starting point guard at Springfield College, while Springfield is doing the same at Division II Southern New Hampshire University. Hodgson earned his way into the starting lineup for this year, his second at Plattsburgh, and Daniels has essentially done the same at Regis College in Weston, Mass.
Martin, who was a two-time player of the year and won three state championships as a member of the varsity team at Conant, did not play his first year at Springfield, so while he is a junior as a student, Martin is just a sophomore in terms of his NCAA eligibility. He has started all 10 games for the Pride , who are 8-2, and is averaging 6.1 points a game.
He averages 2.4 rebounds, leads the team with 35 assists and is second with 18 steals. On Tuesday, he scored eight points, grabbed seven rebounds and dished out four assists in a four-point win over Castleton State.
Springfield dominated over her four years at Conant. After starting every game of her four year career, she left as the school’s all-time leading scorer with 1,793 points. Springfield led Conant to state championships as a freshman and junior and returned to the title game in her senior season.
She now plays a team high 32.4 minutes per game for the Penmen with eight starts. Springfield leads SNHU with an average of 3.9 assists and is scoring 5.1 points per contest. She is also averaging 3.9 rebounds and shooting 41.7 percent from behind the three point line.
Springfield was SNHU’s starting shooting guard last year as a freshman.
Hodgson was a first-team all-state selection as a senior and proved more than capable of leading a team. He came off the bench as a sophomore to help the Orioles win a fourth straight Class M/Division III and played a much bigger role as a junior when Conant made it five in a row.
He decided to take his tall frame and long range shooting ability to the Division III level and has started all nine games for Plattsburgh and is second on the team in points scored per game at 8.8 with 4.2 rebounds.
He scored a season-high 20 points in a victory over Sage College on Nov. 16 and is shooting 45 percent from the floor and 35 percent from three.
Daniels, who started on Conant’s 2009-10 championship winning squad and earned second team all-state honors in each of her final two seasons, has appeared in all five games so far this season with four starts.
After dealing with some injury issues as a freshman, Daniels is scoring 4.8 points per game as a sophomore with 3.2 rebounds and 1.8 assists. On Dec. 4, she scored a season-high 13 versus Bay Patch.
To have four players just two years apart all playing high level college basketball is saying a lot for the basketball programs at Conant. That’s not too bad for a small school in southern New Hampshire.
Lets just hope the trend continues.