Every Sunday I compile a college notebook that highlights locals excelling at the collegiate level. This week I chose to focus the notebook on Vermont seniors and Iona Prep graduates Sandro Carissimo (pictured above) and Brian Voelkel (below, right).
Reaching a milestone is always special, but being able to share it with a person you grew up playing with makes for a unique experience.
That was case last weekend when Iona Prep graduates Brian Voelkel and Sandro Carissimo both had career highlights in Vermont’s men’s basketball team’s win at Albany.
Voelkel, a senior forward and Pleasantville native, became the Catamounts’ all-time assists leader while Carissimo, a senior guard and Sleepy Hollow native, scored his 1,000th career point.
“I think it’s just a product of me getting to play with so many great players over my four years,” said Voelkel, who has 630 career assists.
“It’s something I think I’ll appreciate more down the road when I kind of look back on my career,” Carissimo said. “I think it’ll be something cool that I’ll really be appreciative for.”
It was Voelkel that assisted on the 3-pointer Carissimo hit to score his 1,000th point in the first half, a testament to the success the two have been able to have together.
“A lot of my points have probably come off assists from him,” said Carissimo, who’s averaging 12.7 rebounds, 3.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game this season. “That’s just a credit to him. He makes players around him better.”
Voelkel also holds the program’s record for all-time rebounds (1,100), making him the only Division 1 men’s basketball player to have over 1,000 rebounds and 600 assists.
“I’ve not necessarily been a big scorer, but I’ve tried to do the other things,” said Voelkel, who’s averaging 6.6 points, 8.3 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game. “I think it kind of speaks to my game as being a little bit unique and just different that I’m not necessarily trying to get my points. I’m trying to just do the little things to help the team win.”
The success they’ve had the past four seasons, while welcome, has been anything but expected.
“I don’t think anyone earlier would have seen that coming, probably us included,” Voelkel said. “It’s been a pretty crazy ride.”
Additional achievements: Cincinnati’s Sean Kilpatrick (White Plains, Yonkers) was named American Athletic Conference player of the week in men’s basketball. … Manhattanville’s Connor Quigley was named Freedom Conference player of the week in men’s basketball. … LIU Post’s Vaughn Allen (Mount Vernon) was named to the ECC’s men’s basketball honor roll. … Purchase’s Joel Neri (Port Chester) was named to the Skyline Conference’s honor roll for men’s basketball.