The Student News Site of Rice Memorial High School

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The Student News Site of Rice Memorial High School

The Knight's Banner

The Student News Site of Rice Memorial High School

The Knight's Banner

Moving On
February 6, 2024
Bessette dunking at Patrick Gym during a game against Brattleboro. (Photo/Drew Bessette)
Bessette Commits to UVM
December 10, 2023

Bessette Commits to UVM

Player Profile
Bessette dunking at Patrick Gym during a game against Brattleboro. (Photo/Drew Bessette)

A member of the two-time state champion, and 2023 runner-up state champion, Rice boys basketball team Drew Bessette recently committed to play Division 1 basketball at the University of Vermont (UVM). Ever since Bessette walked through the doors in his first year of high school, he has been an unstoppable force on the court. A true spectacle to watch, Bessette has lethal accuracy from the three-point line, overpowering force in the paint, and next-level IQ. These factors have made Bessette a high-value recruit coming into his senior season. With several notable offers, Bessette illustrates why he ultimately decided to stay home and play basketball in Catamount Country.

It is also important to note that Bessette is one of many Rice basketball stars who have taken their talents up the road. Following in the footsteps of former players Ben Shungu (recent graduate from UVM, playing overseas now) and Micheal Ndayishimiye (who will play alongside Bessette at UVM), both of which were impactful on and off the court while at Rice. Despite the success of these past players, Bessette is focusing on his journey and, more importantly, his senior year of basketball. Bessette wants to add hardware to the trophy cabinet and leave a long-lasting legacy that impacts the Rice community for years to come.

Drew Bessette playing basketball against Saint Johnsbury. (Photo/Drew Bessette)

You had multiple offers from some pretty notable schools. In the end, what made you decide to go to UVM?

I was very fortunate to have offers from several schools, and the decision between them was not something that I took lightly. My decision to commit to UVM really came down to the way the coaches and team made me feel welcome. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to really get to know several of the guys on the team this year, and I felt not only comfortable but, at the same time, as hard as it is to explain, it was just the right fit for me. The campus, the major, the team, and the coaching staff, it was just the whole package I was looking for.

How was the recruitment process? Do you have any advice for kids who may also go through the process?

My recruitment process was stressful at times, but I embraced it, and I was fortunate enough to travel the country for tournaments, talking to coaches, seeing several different schools and just seeing all my options fully. My advice would be to just start the recruitment process earlier rather than later and just be yourself. Don’t try to be someone that you see on the internet who is getting interest because doing what others do is not going to be as attractive to coaches as being yourself. College coaches want both good players and good people. You have to be both.

The saying goes, “It takes a village to raise a child.” Who do you want to thank for helping you get to this level?

“I would like to thank both of my parents, this would not be possible without them. My family has supported me by traveling to all of my games. I especially want to thank my mom who has been there throughout the whole journey, and the one who took me to camps and tournaments, literally all over the US this past summer. There was one week this summer that we hit 3 states in 7 days with tournaments. Also, all of my coaches who have pushed me to the level that I have always dreamed of being at. I have had some amazing coaches over the past 6 years, and I can’t thank them enough.

Bessette taking a shot. (Photo/Drew Bessette)

You have been an instrumental part of the Rice Memorial High School boys varsity basketball team for the past four or so years, and you’ve been pretty successful. In your opinion, what is different about basketball at Rice compared to other schools?

The difference between Rice basketball and other schools in Vermont is that we work hard all year long, not just during the season and we also have pride in what we do each and every day. We also treat each other like family which makes us united and respected. They say less than 1% of students get to go to college and play their sport. I truly think at Rice the students who play sports, they make it their job in the sense they play year round, this is why Rice is so strong in athletics. Rarely do I hear of other basketball teams where the whole team plays on their own all year.

How do you want to be remembered here at Rice?

I want to be remembered as the guy who people think of as being genuine, hardworking and always there to talk to and be around. I may not be the loudest guy in the senior class but I would help out anyone of my classmates who needed my help at a moment’s notice.

What is your first or most memorable basketball experience?

My most memorable basketball moment was when we won our second state championship my sophomore year. This is when I realized all my hard work was starting to pay off. I also realized that I wanted more and that I could get to the next level, but there would be a cost for it. It’s one thing to want to be good at something; it’s another thing to wake up one day and say you want to get to the next level. This event and day was when I realized that I needed to work harder than I was if I was going to make it to that next level. After the game, we all rushed to the locker room and sprayed water in celebration. This was a great day!

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About the Contributor
Joe Rob
Joe Rob, Staff Writer
Joe Rob joined The Knight's Banner during the winter of 2023. Joe’s enthusiasm for sports and the student body here at Rice aims to impact the Rice community as a whole. Having grown up around sports; he is a passionate skier, a defenseman for the hockey team, and a member of the Rice Mountain Biking club. Through his writing, Joe hopes to shed light upon what is going on both inside Rice and out.     
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