QUEENS — New York Mets pitcher Matt Harvey might be one of Major League Baseball’s rising stars, but he’s not the only up-and-coming standout in Queens.
Our list of the top 10 rising high school sports stars is as diverse as the country's most diverse borough.
Rawle Alkins and Adonis Delarosa helped lead the Christ the King boys basketball team to the New York State Federation Class AA title, Archbishop Molloy point guard C.J. Davis has a host of Division I scholarship offers while Jermaine Bishop was a standout on the Holy Cross boys basketball team.
Christ the King junior Sierra Calhoun is one of the most coveted girls basketball players in the country, while Sofia Recupero, a 6-foot-2 forward from St. Francis Prep, should soon be garnering Division I interest.
On the tennis court, few compare to The Mary Louis Academy freshman Yuka Lin, while versatile Jaclyn Laforgia, a junior outside hitter, is a big reason why the St. Francis Prep girls volleyball team reached the CHSAA state final for a second straight year.
Archbishop Molloy junior Denes Kostel isn’t just the soccer coach’s son, he’s also one of the best forwards in the city who helped guide the Stanners to the CHSAA Class AA intersectional title, while on the girls pitch freshman Medina Mulic led the Christ the King girls soccer team to a second straight Brooklyn/Queens title.
In the third of a five-part series, DNAinfo New York brings you the top 10 rising stars in Queens, in alphabetical order.
Christ the King (Middle Village) boys basketball, freshman guard
Brought along slowly during the season, Alkins emerged as a major presence off the bench in Christ the King’s run to a CHSAA Class AA intersectional title and a New York State Federation ‘AA’ crown. The uber athletic 6-foot-5 guard, who already has an offer from Fordham, had 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting in the Federation final.
“Rawle is really improving in the classroom,” Christ the King coach Joe Arbitello said. “He’s trying to add muscle since he’s played with our alumni the last two weeks, he understands the importance of getting stronger.”
Holy Cross (Flushing) boys basketball, sophomore guard
There was no situation too big for Bishop, who averaged 14.6 points and five assists per game in one of the most competitive leagues in the country. The 6-foot sophomore guard, who was selected second team All-CHSAA ‘AA’ by the league’s coaches, can score by driving to the basket or spotting up from beyond the perimeter. One of his best performances came in the Battle of the Boulevard, when he scored a game-high 27 points against archrival St. Francis Prep.
“He’s going to be really good,” Holy Cross coach Tommy Marchesini said of Bishop, who is being recruited by Fordham. “But he’s a good kid, too, more importantly.”
Christ the King (Middle Village) girls basketball, junior guard
The 6-foot, three-year starter who has offers from Notre Dame, Duke, Connecticut, Louisville and Tennessee, averaged 21.9 points and 4.1 rebounds per game for the Lady Royals. Her brother Omar, the all-time leading scorer at Christ the King, just concluded a successful freshman season at UConn.
“She’s only a junior, but everyone treats her like a senior,” Christ the King coach Bob Mackey said. “She’s a combination of Bria Smith with Careem Gay’s finesse and Claire Droesch’s jumpshot. I think her potential is untapped. She hasn’t even approached her potential yet.”
Archbishop Molloy (Briarwood) boys basketball, junior guard
A two-year starter at Archbishop Molloy, the smooth junior point guard averaged 17.3 points per game, tied for fifth in the CHSAA ‘AA.’ Davis, who scored at least 20 points in eight games, was named to the All-CHSAA ‘AA’ first team by the league’s coaches. He is being recruited by a host of Ivy League schools as well as Davidson, South Carolina, Seton Hall, Fordham and Washington.
“He has a high basketball IQ,” said Archbishop Molloy athletic director Mike McCleary. “He’s an exceptional passer who makes the players around him better.”
Christ the King (Middle Village) boys basketball, junior forward
The 6-foot-10, 250-pound junior is one of the best post players in New York City. Delarosa, who has an offer from Florida State, had 14 points and 15 rebounds to help lead the Royals in the CHSAA Class AA intersectional title game against Bishop Loughlin. He also has interest from Drexel, Georgetown, Hofstra, Notre Dame, Providence and SMU.
“Adonis is turning fat into muscle,” Arbitello said. “He’s working really hard in the weight room and on the court.”
Archbishop Molloy (Briarwood) boys soccer, junior forward
The junior elevated his game in the second half of the season, seemingly scoring every big goal for the Stanners. The son of legendary Molloy coach Andy Kostel, Denes struck for the winner as the Stanners beat rival St. Francis Prep to win the division title. He also netted the insurance goal in a 2-0 win over Regis in the CHSAA Class AA intersectional semifinals.
“Most goal scorers are developed by having them create their own opportunities, but he’s always gotten his goal scoring from others creating the opportunities,” Molloy coach Andy Kostel said. “Now he’s learning to do the creating himself.”
St. Francis Prep (Fresh Meadows) girls volleyball, junior outside hitter
The versatile Laforgia enjoyed a breakout season, emerging as one of the top girls volleyball players in New York City. She helped guide St. Francis Prep to an undefeated regular season, a sixth straight Brooklyn/Queens Diocesan title and a second consecutive trip to the CHSAA state final.
“Jaclyn has great intensity and passion for volleyball,” St. Francis Prep coach Kevin Colucci said. “She has great reaction time and is very explosive to the ball. She brings a lot of energy to the team."
The Mary Louis Academy (Jamaica Estates) tennis, freshman first singles
Mariano Rivera breaks bats and Lin breaks strings. The freshman with a blistering forehand never lost a set, helping lead The Mary Louis Academy to an undefeated regular season and a spot in the CHSAA Class AA state final against perennial powerhouse St. Francis Prep. She’s among the top ranked players in New York State in the Class of 2016.
“I’m most impressed with the fact she’s very humble,” Mary Louis coach Kelly Kelley said. “Yuka is just a lovely young lady. She came in and she was this awesome talent and you almost would have thought she’d be aloof, but she really embraced the whole team aspect.”
Christ the King (Middle Village) girls soccer, freshman midfielder
Although just a freshman, Mulic emerged as one of the city’s best central midfielders. With a combination of size, speed and savvy, she had 22 goals and 15 assists, helping lead Christ the King to a second straight Brooklyn/Queens Class AA title.
“Medina is a rare talent who combines power, agility, skill and willingness to win,” Christ the King coach John Fayad said. “She is a player who should never be given a fixed position in order to allow her to be creative on the field. I’m proud of all the work she put in and I’m sure she will be a player to watch for years to come.”
St. Francis Prep (Fresh Meadows) girls basketball, freshman forward
A varsity starter from the time she stepped into the building, Recupero gives St. Francis Prep something it has missed for years: a legitimate presence in the post. The 6-foot-1 athletic forward also showed poise beyond her years playing in the unforgiving CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens Class AA.
“She is that good,” St. Francis Prep coach JoAnn Wagner said. “Besides being 6-1, she’s very athletic and knows the game. All she needs to do is get stronger and perfect her skills.”