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Waterford - Nothing else better illustrated the quality of Nolan Long's high school career than his list of potential destinations for next year:
Sign with the San Francisco Giants, who drafted him in the 38th round of the recent Major League draft?
Attend the University of Rhode Island on a baseball scholarship?
Attend the South Kent School to play a prep year of basketball and baseball and improve his academic standing?
Long, a recent graduate of Waterford High School, chose the final of the three options earlier this week. He will attend South Kent, a prep school located 45 miles west of Hartford on the Connecticut/New York border.
"My grades weren't always the best," Long said Wednesday in a telephone conversation. "I thought this was the best option. It gives me a chance to study and learn and be better prepared for the future."
Long said sports "played a very small role" in the decision.
South Kent has produced a number of Division I basketball players, most recently Ricardo Ledo, who will attend Providence College with New London's Kris Dunn.
Long, a 6-foot-9 center, was named to all-state teams in basketball and baseball this past school year. He was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Class M state basketball championship game in March, the centerpiece of the Lancers' first state basketball title. Long scored 21 points in the championship game and averaged 14.4 points and 11.2 rebounds per game during the season.
He also pitched for the baseball team.