Elijah Hughes would have entered this season as one of the top basketball players in both the CHSAA and Westchester County. Instead, the 6-foot-5 swingman’s tenure at Kennedy Catholic is over.
Hughes, a senior committed to East Carolina, said he has transferred from Kennedy to South Kent School, a top prep basketball program in South Kent, Conn.
“It was nothing personal,” Hughes said. “It was an academic decision I made.”
Prior to last season, Hughes transferred to Kennedy from Beacon High School where he was an all-section player. His impact in Somers was immediate; Hughes guided Kennedy to a 26-2 record and the CHSAA A city title while earning league MVP honors. He averaged 15.7 points, 7.2 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game as a junior.
Hughes will not reclassify and will remain in the Class of 2016. He also said he remains committed to East Carolina after giving the school his oral commitment in June and intends to sign his National Letter of Intent during the November signing period.
South Kent, which competes in the NEPSAC, New England’s prep school circuit, has produced scores of Division I players, including former Louisville star Russ Smith. Several have advanced to the NBA, highlighted by Portland’s Maurice Harkless and Boston’s Isaiah Thomas.
Hughes’ departure was the second high-profile transfer from Kennedy in the last week. The Gaels also lost 6-foot-7 Dominick Cristiano, an all-CHSAA forward who transferred to Greens Farms Academy in Westport, Conn.