Athlete Spotlight: Carl Pierre ‘17 - BC HIgh Boys Basketball
By Nate Weitzer for Mass Prep Stars
BOSTON – High school is often a pivotal period in the lives of young men; A time in which they must choose what is most important to them and focus their energies on certain pursuits.
For Boston College High senior forward Carl Pierre, success on the basketball court is the object of that focus.
The 6-foot-3 wing player is off to an incredible start for undefeated BC High (14-0) with averages of 20.1 points, 5.6 rebounds, 3 assists and 2.1 blocks per game while shooting an uncanny 56 percent from the floor and 50 percent from three-point range this season.
His surge in efficiency as a shooter is no accident considering how hard Pierre worked this offseason.
Along with teammate Travis Evee, he spent nearly every day and night at his school’s gym this offseason, taking 700-800 shots, working on ball handling, and preparing to run the Eagles offense with former point guard Jack Loughnane graduated.
“After Jack [Loughnane] left [Evee and I] realized that we were going to have to run the offense under pressure and I realized that I had to step into the leadership role and lead not only by example, but vocally as well,” Pierre explained.
And while he’s always displayed an impressive work ethic according to head coach Bill Loughnane, Pierre took his workouts to the next level after tasting defeat in the Division 1 South Semifinal last winter.
Pierre confirmed, “Losing in the playoffs felt terrible, so [Evee and I] decided to set an example for everyone by coming in every day his past summer and working hard so that we could go as far as possible this year.”
As a byproduct of their relentless improvement, Evee and Pierre are also starting to draw the attention of many Division 3 colleges throughout the area.
Yet Pierre fits the mold of a shooting guard at the next level with a great first step, excellent length, and the ability to knock down perimeter shots or get to the rim, so it’s surprising to note that he has yet to receive any offers from D2 or D1 colleges.
“The college coaches have their way of recruiting and we don’t see many at our games, but [Pierre] is a talent,” asserted Bill Loughnane. “Everyone we play knows he’s a talent, and if [colleges] are looking for a shooting guard who plays hard on both ends of the floor, we’ve got one for them.”
While he’s made tremendous strides on the offensive end, Pierre’s defensive abilities might be his most valuable asset for Loughnane and BC High.
Carl Pierre's mid-senior season highlights.
In years past, the Eagles have run an “11” zone on the defensive end with one lengthy guard at the top of the key in an effort to create deflections and force turnovers. Loughnane still employs that zone at times with Pierre at the top and calls for some full court pressure, but BC High is primarily a man-to-man team that uses its team-wide length to give the opposition fits.
Along with Pierre, starting center Jordan Minor and forward Troy Salmans both cause problems with their 6-foot-6 frames, while 6-foot-5 forward Spencer Riley and 6-foot-3 forward Mike Vasil maintain that pressure off the bench.
Yet it is Pierre who is often tasked with slowing down the opposition’s primary weapon, be they a point guard, shooting guard, or even a power forward.
“[Pierre] is so long and so quick that he can cover anything from a 1 to a 4,” Loughnane said. “His length can surprise people and he gets most of his blocked shots on the ball because they don’t expect him to be able to get there.”
The fact that Pierre can hold his own in the paint as well as on the perimeter is another testament to his work ethic.
As a skinny, 140-pound freshman from Randolph, Pierre showed plenty of potential when he first came to BC High, but he had a lot of work to do in order to become one of the better players on an elite varsity team.
He played junior varsity during his freshman year before getting called up to varsity as a sophomore. That’s when Pierre started to make an impact as a complimentary player to established stars such as Jack Loughnane and Isaiah Bowman.
“[Pierre] played like he was supposed to be there,” Bill Loughnane began about Pierre’s early performances. “He wasn’t overwhelmed by the situation. He fit in right away. His junior year he started starring and this year he’s really taken off.”
For Pierre, making the transition to a much higher level of competition at both the high school and AAU level did not come so easily.
“I just fell in love with the game,” Pierre said about beginning to play organized basketball in middle school. “I wasn’t the best in my town or even the best on my team, but I loved to play. Then when I came from Randolph to BC High, I saw all the talent and that motivated me to work even harder.”
All that hard work came created time conflicts as well and Pierre was soon forced to decide between two of his greatest passions as a freshman.
When he missed the third day of basketball tryouts to attend band rehearsal as one of the best young saxophone players at BC High, Pierre knew that it might be difficult to engage in both extracurricular activities.
“I was pretty upset, so I talked to my band teacher and he pretty much told me that I had to choose,” Pierre recalled. “Not to say that I didn’t love playing the saxophone, but basketball just meant way more to me at the time.”
Now basketball is clearly the driving force behind Pierre’s non-academic life.
Eagles junior point guard Travis Evee (averaging 18.9 points and 4 assists per game this season) and Pierre have been virtually unstoppable this winter because they planned it to be that way while working out together all summer.
“Since that first year we played together, we felt like we had something special,” said Evee, who made varsity as a freshman and joined the team the same year as Pierre. “So we wanted to take that and run with it and we’ve spent almost every day in the summers in the gym together.”
Evee now stands 5-foot-11, but began his career as a 5-foot-5 guard and can clearly relate about getting overlooked due to his diminutive stature.
“I always play with a chip on my shoulder,” Evee said. “I want to be the best player that I can be and beat the guy in front of me. Carl [Pierre] is always there to push me and we know that if we keep grinding we’ll get the recognition we deserve.”
When asked if Pierre is overlooked by some of the higher-level colleges in the country, Evee replied that he “definitely is.”
From a first-hand perspective, the point guard can attest to how he’s seen Pierre go head-to-head with some of the state’s top recruits and win more battles than he’s lost, so it’s likely only a matter of time before college scouts begin to realize that the Eagles star wing is worth strong consideration as a rotational player at the next level.
If scholarship offers from colleges start to flow in for Pierre, it will serve to justify his complete commitment to the pursuit of greatness on the high school hardwood.
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