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June 23, 2010 Benjamin Kipp
Putnam Science Academy hoops standout Taquann Zimmerman has found a new place to play college basketball. This past spring, Zimmerman recently signed a National Letter of Intent to play Division I basketball for the University of Long Island in Brooklyn, NY.
“It was my dream and I worked hard every day to accomplish my dream,” said Zimmerman. “When I went on a tour and the coaches showed me around campus, I felt very comfortable and I felt that was the place I wanted to go.”
Long Island assistant coach Jack Perry first saw Zimmerman play in October and were amazed with his ability “They absolutely loved him,” said head coach Tommy Espinosa. “They liked him from the first time they saw him and they checked in with me throughout the season on how he was doing.”
Zimmerman is in a unique situation. Right now he has received a scholarship to play, but because he hasn’t had a high enough score on either the ACT or SAT exams the scholarship could be rescinded. If it is rescinded, he’ll go to Long Island anyway in hopes of getting his grades up to where they need to be in order to play the following year. He won’t be able to practice with the team, but he’ll be able to attend basketball related team meetings. He’ll stay in shape by working out on his own and will play pick-up basketball and get his scholarship the following year and still have four years of eligibility. If he does get a good enough score on the ACT/SAT the scholarship is his and he’ll be able to practice and participate like any incoming freshmen.
“Right now we’re waiting on some results from his ACT and SAT that he recently took,” said Espinosa. “If he gets the score he’ll automatically get a scholarship and he’ll be able to practice and play right away.” There were multiple division I colleges like Monmouth, Sacred Heart, Central Connecticut State University, Eastern Michigan University, Fairfield University, and the University of Maine.
“There was no doubt he is a division I player,” said Espinosa. “He led the northeastern Connecticut in scoring average throughout the whole year.” Zimmerman averaged 27.9 points per game and just under 8.4 rebounds and averaged 6.5 assists per game. He made 72, 3-pointers which was 42 percent of his 3- pointers made. Coming into PSA, Zimmerman didn’t have one scholarship offer. He left PSA as the Mustangs all-time leading scorer with 582 points which was accomplished in one season.
“He just had a phenomenal year, he carried us all season long,” said Espinosa. “He really is a motivated kid and he really wants to get better and he’s a tremendously a hard worker on the basketball court. He’s been the best leader I’ve had since I’ve been the PSA head coach.” The Black Birds finished third in the Northeastern Conference and last made the NCAA tournament back in 1997. Zimmerman hopes to lead them back there.
“I’m going to work hard no matter what and help my new team get as many wins as possible so we can get back into the NCAA tournament,” said Zimmerman.
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