STONY BROOK, N.Y. — Former Nokomis of Newport basketball star Chris Braley has signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball at Stony Brook University beginning next season, Seawolves head coach Steve Pikiell announced Wednesday.
Braley, who has attended Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire for the last two years, had drawn interest from numerous Division I programs including Stony Brook, Maine, Hofstra, James Madison, Albany, Quinnipiac, Duquesne and Wofford.
“We are extremely excited to welcome Chris to the Stony Brook basketball family,” Pikiell said in a press release. “He is tough, physical, athletic and smart on the basketball floor and a dedicated student in the classroom.
“He is the kind of player that can do it all for you, and we’re looking forward to having him develop into an all-conference player for us.”
Braley, a 6-foot-4-inch, 195-pound wing, co-captained Phillips Exeter to a 25-1 record this winter and its first-ever New England Prep School Athletic Conference Class A Championship.
Braley earned first-team All-NEPSAC Class A and team MVP honors for the second-straight season after averaging 15 points and nine rebounds per game.
One of his signature performances this season was a 25-point performance in a win over the Hotchkiss School in the NEPSAC quarterfinals.
“Chris is one of the most focused, well-rounded and college ready players I’ve ever coached,” said Phillips Exeter coach Jay Tilton. “He is a tough, gritty player. Chris is an outstanding leader and is an unselfish kid whose ability to adapt to new environments is remarkable. Stony Brook is getting a committed athlete and a game-ready player who has played against some of the best college prospects in the country. Chris is a complete player. He doesn’t have to score to have an impact on a game.”
Braley also competed on the AAU circuit last summer, playing for the Middlesex Magic and head coach Michael Crotty. Braley helped the Magic win the Hall of Fame National Invitational in Springfield, Mass., last July, being named tournament MVP after he made a key a 3-pointer in the waning moments of the championship game.
“Chris is the toughest guy on the court; he’s rugged, athletic and strong, and his best qualities are his ability to get to the basket and his offensive rebounding,” Crotty said. “Chris is a winner, an incredible leader and a guy I’m glad was on my side. He was the identity of our team last season; his determination, tenacity and will to win are incredible intangibles. Off the court, he’s a tremendous, fun-loving and confident kid. He’s a guy other players gravitate toward.”
Before transferring to Phillips Exeter, Braley attended Nokomis for three years, scoring more than 1,000 points and being named a Bangor Daily News first-team All-Maine honoree after his junior season in 2011.
The All-Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference selection helped the Warriors improve from 2-16 in 2010 to 12-8 and an Eastern B playoff berth in 2011. He averaged 25.5 points and 12.7 rebounds in his final season at Nokomis.
Braley joins a Stony Brook program that has captured three of the last four America East regular-season championships and earned three NIT bids. In 2012-13, Pikiell led the Seawolves to a Division I program-record 25 wins and the team’s first-ever national postseason victory, a 71-58 win over Massachusetts in the NIT opening round.