Wendell gets hoops opportunity at Tilton School

Logan Wendell watches a deep 3-point attempt in the fourth quarter of the No. 3 Hilltoppers' 46-43 win over No. 2 Champlain Valley in a Division I semifinal at Patrick Gymnasium on Wednesday, March 4, 2020. The defending champion Hilltoppers will face No. 1 Rice on Sunday at 1 p.m. for the title. (Photo by Michael Beniash)

Logan Wendell is on the move.

After COVID-19 altered his plan to play his freshman season at Division III Ithaca College, the 2019-20 Vermont Gatorade Boys Basketball Player of the Year is headed to Tilton School in New Hampshire for a post-grad campaign.

The former St. J Academy star feels it’s a prime opportunity.

“I was definitely geared up excited to get to Ithaca and take on that challenge,” Wendell said Monday after his first workout at Tilton. “But this opportunity is kind of unreal at this point; to be able to play at this level of competition. I think it will help me transition well to the college game next year.”

The 6-foot, 160-pound standout guard from Bradford planned to move to the Ithaca campus on Sept. 4, but the college canceled in-person fall classes in late August because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Wendell said Ithaca is still planning on beginning its hoops season in January, but if he plays in more than half of the team’s games, he would lose his freshman season.

“Not sure if I waned to lose a year of eligibility,” Wendell said. “So I started reaching out seeing what was available.”

Tilton is a prep school that plays within the Lakes Region of the New England Preparatory School Athletic Council (NEPSAC). Among the Lakes Region schools are New Hampton Academy, Kimball Union, Holderness School, Vermont Academy and powerhouse Brewster Academy, among others.

The league has produced countless NBA and Division I players. Dwyane Wade’s son, Zaire, is slated to play at Brewster Academy this year.

Wendell averaged 24.8 points, 5.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.1 steals per game while leading St. J Academy to within a basket of their second straight Division I basketball title this past winter. He was just the third Hilltopper male to be Gatorade’s pick for the top boys hoops player in Vermont — joining Taylor Coppenrath in 2000 and two-time winner Tony Orciari in 1996 and ‘97. His 25-point-per-game scoring average is the highest of any St. J player since Coppenrath’s 1999-2000 season and Henry Dalrymple’s playing days in the early 1980s.

Wendell said he still has Ithaca on his radar for next season, but is keeping his options open. Ithaca this past season reached the second round of the NCAA D-III tournament after earning the program’s first Liberty League title.

“I am going to Tilton with an open mindset and we’ll see what happens,” he said. “If I land back at Ithaca, that’s fantastic.”

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