All-South Jersey Team of the Decade (2010-19)
Mike DePersia, Haddonfield, 2019: The South Jersey Player of the Decade was a four-year starter for teams that won 102 games and four Colonial Conference titles.
Xavier Lundy, Paulsboro, 2013: A smooth swingman, he made basketball matter at a wrestling school with a great football tradition. Lundy was a two-time South Jersey Player of the Year who led the Red Raiders to back-to-back South Jersey Group 1 titles and a 57-1 record vs. South Jersey opponents in his final two seasons. A Rider recruit, he scored 2,121 career points.
Isaiah Morton, St. Augustine, 2011: His signature shot was a step-back, three-point late in the Non-Public A state final vs. Seton Hall Prep. He drained that as part of a 30-point performance in leading the Hermits to the state title. A fearless lead guard, he made countless other big shots in a four-year career in which he scored a school-record 2,289 points. He played three years at Marist and finished his career at Cal State-Santa Barbara.
Sa’eed Nelson, St. Augustine, 2016: No point guard in South Jersey history ever was more creative in finishing at the rim than the dynamic athlete who led the Hermits to another Non-Public A state title. Former St. Anthony of Jersey City coach Bob Hurley called Nelson “the best guard in the state” during his senior season. Nelson averaged 21.2 for a 30-2 team in his final season, capping things with a half-court heave that beat the halftime buzzer in a 30-point performance in an 83-50 rout of Don Bosco Prep in the state final. He plays for American University.
Dayshawn Reynolds, Atlantic City, 2013: Don’t look for numbers to justify this versatile athlete’s inclusion on this team. He was about winning, not filling the stat sheet, and he led the Vikings to back-to-back Group 4 state titles. A Temple recruit as a football player, Reynolds was Atlantic City’s best basketball defender and passer, and nobody embraced the big moment with less hesitation. His three-pointer with 0:03.7 seconds on the clock in regulation of the state-final win over Linden was his signature moment.
Jake Silpe, Cherry Hill East, 2015: A strong, smooth and assured lead guard, he powered the Cougars to back-to-back South Jersey Group 4 titles, the only two in program history. His poised play in controlling the tempo at Atlantic City in the sectional final is the stuff of Cherry Hill legend. He scored 1,577 points in a career that represented high times for the red-clad Countrymen, the student section that would regularly raise the roof of that cavernous gymnasium on Kresson Road. He played at Penn.
Anthony D’Orazio, Camden Catholic, 2010: He was South Jersey’s Player of the Year as a senior, leading the Irish to a 29-2 record and the Non-Public A state title. He scored 31 in the championship game against St. Peter’s Prep, regularly getting to the rim against highly touted North Jersey defenders. He played at Lehigh.
Darnell Foreman, Pitman, 2014: A crafty left-hander, he was the kind of lead guard who made his teammates better. He sparked the Panthers to the Group 1 state title with a signature game in the South Jersey finals vs. Schalick. He generated 23 points with six rebounds and five steals in a heart-breaking loss to North Jersey large-school power Linden in the Tournament of Champions. He was a top player at Penn.
Brad Hawkins, Camden, 2015: A Michigan football recruit, he started for four South Jersey championship teams in basketball. He could get to the rim as well as anybody – witness his performance on the road vs. Haddonfield in the sectional final as a junior – but specialized in defense, rebounding and winning plays. He scored 1,440 points in his career in his second-best sport.
Dean Noll, Shawnee, 2018: He was a master of the old-school, mid-range game, specializing in 15-foot jumpers off the move. He was at his best in big games. He led the Renegades to the Group 4 state title as a senior, scoring seven down the stretch of a pulse-pounding victory over Newark East Side at Rutgers. He was a Cornell recruit.
Chris Santo, Cherry Hill East, 2011: A large banner hangs in DiBart Gym to commemorate this relentless forward’s career. Nobody played with more focus and determination that Santo, who finished his career as the Cougars’ all-time leader in points with 2,497 and rebounds with 1,039. He was a star at St. Anselm’s in Vermont, where he scored 1,487 points.
Taj Thweatt, Wildwood Catholic, 2020: This West Virginia recruit still has a season to play but merits inclusion after leading the Crusaders to two straight Cape-Atlantic League crowns. He was South Jersey’s Player of the Year as a junior last season, when the Crusaders went 27-2 and took Tournament of Champions winner Ranney School to overtime in the Non-Public B South final.