Michael Almonacy, a junior guard for two-time Long Island Class AA champion Brentwood and Newsday's boys basketball Suffolk Player of the Year, verbally committed to Stony Brook on Wednesday night.
Thus, the Seawolves are about to gain at least one new season-ticket subscriber beginning with the 2016-17 season.
"Our family will buy a package," Brentwood coach Anthony Jimenez said, proudly noting that Almonacy is the eighth player in his 13 years as the school's coach to earn a scholarship. "It means a lot that these kids get an opportunity to play college basketball. It's a big deal, and the fact that it's Stony Brook is an even bigger deal. You can get lost when you go six states away. Now his family and friends can follow him. That played a big role in his signing. He has a great support system from his family."
Almonacy's father, Rodini Almonacy, was a vocal presence at Brentwood games, at home and on the road, and was part of the large contingent of fans that wore Brentwood Nation T-shirts to games and made the trip to Glens Falls for the state tournament the past two seasons.
Almonacy averaged 15.3 points for the Indians. He displayed leadership in distributing the ball, playing tough defense and making big shots. Jimenez said Almonacy formed a bond with SBU coach Steve Pikiell instantly during the recruiting process.
"The way they recruited Michael was straight-forward and he felt a connection with Coach Pikiell who was a point guard himself," Jimenez said of the SBU coach who played that position for Hall of Fame coach Jim Calhoun at Connecticut. "He only recruits two point guards at a time. Michael believes if he works hard, we will be able to earn minutes right away."
Because Almonacy's commitment is verbal and he is not part of SBU's signed recruiting class for 2015-16, a Stony Brook spokesman said the school is not permitted to comment as per NCAA rules.