2009-07-03 / Sports

Long Trip Worth The Wait For Brown Bound Alese

By Elio Velez

Obafemi Alese was staring at the crossroads after his sophomore year at Molloy High School.

The Far Rockaway native knew his father Olusesun could not afford to continue paying the large tuition needed to attend the school located in Briarwood.

So Alese would need to find a school where he can continue to be strong academically, but also find a place where he can flourish on the basketball floor.

A few years later, Alese's choice to make the hour and half trip to Wadleigh High School has paid off in more ways than one.

Alese graduated last week from Wadleigh High School, located in the neighborhood of Morningside Heights in Manhattan, with a sparkling 3.7 GPA. As the starting point guard for the Tigers, Alese was an integral part in the school winning two Manhattan PSAL borough championships.

But the cherry on top of Alese's good fortunes was a letter a few months ago he was anticipating to arrive. Brown University, the Ivy League school located in Providence, Rhode Island, offered Alese a full scholarship to attend this fall.

"One of my teachers told me she went to Brown. She told me about the environment. It's a close knit community and I wanted to be a part of it," Alese said. "I can't wait."

The choice to attend Brown would not have paid off Alese said if he didn't make the long trek via the A train to attend Wadleigh.

His good friend Peyton Mullings, who also lived in the neighborhood, told him there was an opportunity to play at Wadleigh. Alese chose to forego attending the local high schools and got used to the long train ride.

"He told me it was a place I can play right away and stay out of trouble."

The 5-foot 7 Alese adjusted academically and was an important part in the Tigers winning the PSAL Manhattan Borough title.

In his senior year, Alese took on more responsibilities as the starting point guard. Averaging 9.4 points per game and leading the team in assists, Wadleigh went on to repeat as Manhattan champions.

Alese says he enjoyed his time at Wadleigh where the smaller classrooms and the curriculum became a big benefit.

He hopes for similar experience at Brown academically, and also athletically. He will also try to make the basketball team as a walk-on when practice starts in the fall.

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