Feature photo courtesy of Ty Boswell.
Philmon Gebrewhit is only a sophomore, but he already acquired multiple offers from Division I schools seeking his rare talent.
Gebrewhit, among the taller players for his age at 6-foot-7, does something that many big men cannot do: he makes plays.
“The best part of my game is creating off the dribble, getting to the basket [and] scoring,” he said, adding that he can also rebound effectively. He compared his all-around ability to that of Washington Wizards shooting guard Bradley Beal. “He can really shoot it, but he gets to the cup, too,” Gebrewhit said.
Though Gebrewhit said he always has been tall, he worked hard to get to where he is now, starting on varsity for Holderness School, a college-preparatory school near Plymouth, New Hampshire.
He spent his freshman year on JV at New Mission High School in Massachusetts, but transferred to Holderness for this season to play in the New England Preparatory School Athletic Council league. He made significant adjustments between seasons to make the jump up to varsity.
“My sophomore year I really started to focus on basketball,” Gebrewhit said. “I took it 100 percent, because I knew that I could be good if I just put my head down and worked.”
Some of the skills he perfected were dribbling, strength, and confidence, and he said his game is better this year than it was his freshman year. All of the time he put in at the gym is “paying off now,” he said.
Gebrewhit received offers from Creighton University, the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and Duquesne University. He said that his biggest criterion for picking a school is finding one where he’ll be able to play right away. Even with the offers early in his high school career, Gebrewhit said he is striving for more.
“It definitely feels good that I have a couple of offers right now, but I never want to get too comfortable, because I know there’s other people working,” he said. “I definitely want more offers. I’m not satisfied with what I’ve got right now. It’s a blessing to get these right now so early, but I’ve still got to work.”
Two people Gebrewhit can rely on are his mentor, Kenneth Jackson, and the coach of his AAU team, Tyron Boswell. Jackson and Gebrewhit met at a local community center about a year and a half ago and started to work out immediately. Gebrewhit joined the Expressions Elite AAU team before he started his sophomore year.
Boswell and Jackson are based out of Boston, so commuting to Gebrewhit’s high school games in New Hampshire can be tricky, but Gebrewhit said they call and text him after games to check in. “They take care of me,” Gebrewhit said. “[Boswell has] been on my back since the beginning.”
Gebrewhit continues to improve his game, focusing on getting more explosive and athletic. Though this is just his first season with Holderness, he said he’s established a leadership role on the team.
“I’ve got to show that I can guide my teammates and be the example,” Gebrewhit said. “I work hard in practice. If you go 100 percent at practice, that shows in the games.”
Holderness already won 11 games this season due in part to Gebrewhit’s all-around game. Even with impressive offers already in his back pocket, Gebrewhit won’t slack off any time soon. “I really love this game,” he said. “I want to see how far basketball can take me.”