Over the last half decade, Iona Preparatory School has sent more than 100 student-athletes on to compete at the collegiate level, at some of the most prestigious colleges and universities across the nation. That trend continued during the National Letter of Intent (NLI) earning signing period on Nov. 8, when eight more Gaels committed to continuing their academic and athletic careers at the next level.
Josh Alexander, 17 – Carmel, NY | Basketball, American University
Josh will continue his basketball career at American University after leading the varsity basketball team in points and rebounds as a junior. "There were a lot of factors that led me to choose American University. The Patriot League, which offers a premium education; campus style; size of the school; location; and a basketball coaching staff that loves me and respects what I bring to the court along with my potential." Josh began his high school basketball career at Carmel High School, where he started as a freshman. Josh was named to the 2016 LoHud Super 7 list that identifies the best players in the Hudson Valley. He has been a three-year starter at Iona Prep, where he is also an Honors student with an 88 overall GPA. His favorite subject is math, and guilty pleasure is watching “Shameless” on Netflix
Souleymane Koureissi, 18 - Harlem, NY | Basketball, Richmond University
Souleymane is a three-year starter at Iona Prep and is currently the No. 1 ranked forward in New York State. He is one of the most versatile players in the CHSAA and looks to lead the varsity team to a City Championship his senior year. Over the summer, Souleymane burst onto the scene when he received more than 20 D-I scholarship offers. He chose Richmond because, "It's a great balance of academics and basketball. The coaches and players treated me as family. It's a perfect fit in terms of playing style." Souleymane has an 82 overall GPA and his favorite subject is math. Souleymane has volunteered at the Fathers Council Tournament and at food kitchens in the Bronx.
Sebastian Gruber, 17 – Hartsdale, NY | Lacrosse, Merrimack College
Sebastian has played four years of lacrosse at Iona Prep and has been a two-year starter for Coach Trizano. He is a faceoff specialist and won over 60% of his face-offs his junior year. In a quarterfinal game against Fordham Prep, Sebastian had an unheard of 100% faceoff percentage. Sebastian came from the German-American School and is fluent in the German language. His favorite subject is math and he has an 82 overall GPA.
Herschel Halesworth, 17 – Tarrytown, NY | Lacrosse, College of Holy Cross
A 2016 All-American, Herschel has been playing lacrosse since he was 7. He started varsity as an eighth-grader at Sleepy Hollow before enrolling at Iona Prep and winning the CHSAA Championship as a freshman. A four-year varsity starter, the former midfielder now plays attack and is a three-time All-CHSAA, First Team selection. Beyond the pitch, Herschel is a member of the Business Leaders Club, and routinely volunteers at SAIL at Ferncliff Manor, where he enjoys “brightening the day” for students with developmental disabilities. He is currently enrolled in the Superior Talent and Enrichment Program, and is “ready to be challenged” at 2K.
Jon Oronzio, 17 – Bedford, NY | Lacrosse, Saint Joseph’s University
Jon Oronzio transferred from Byram Hills High School, where he was a two-year varsity starter, and had an immediate impact on the Gaels’ varsity lacrosse team. He led the team in turnovers caused with 27 and was named First Team All-CHSAA. Jon has also excelled on the football field, where he is the starting outside linebacker helping the team reach the CHSFL Semifinals. Jon is an Honors student and has maintained a 93 GPA while at Iona Prep.
Max Persico, 17 – Briarcliff Manor, NY | Lacrosse, Bryant University
Max is a four year starter for the varsity team and earned All-CHSAA recognition his first three seasons. Coach Trizano named him captain his junior year and he was also named the 2017 CHSAA Defensive Player of the Year. Max is in Iona Prep’s STEP program (Superior Talent Enrichment Program) and is a member of the Business Leaders Club. He currently has an 88 overall GPA and his favorite subject is economics because of the immediate application of concepts.
Joe Persico, 17 – Briarcliff Manor, NY | Lacrosse, University of Utah
Joe has been in goal since the fourth grade when he first set foot in the net. The 2017 CHSAA Goalie of the Year said he’s always enjoyed having an impactful role. The first-team, all-league selection with 212 career saves says his proudest moment was wining the CHSAA Championship last season. Beyond Iona Prep, he plays alongside his twin brother, Max, with the Long Island Express North. Joe has an 86 GPA and is a fan of his intro to engineering class, where he appreciates the ability to design something and bring it to life. He has been bringing smiles to life for a number of years at Harlem Youth Lacrosse where he volunteers his time as a coach.
Colin Realbuto, 17 – Somers, NY | Wrestling, Brown University
Colin has a 92.13 GPA and has been wrestling for more than ten years. Wrestling is a family affair and Colin loves the daily mental and physical challenge that it provides. Colin had a tremendous 2016 season; he won the Hendrick Hudson and Somers tournaments in the 138lb. division. He came in second place at Catholic States and has a career record of 81-36, with 36 pins. He was recently named to the 2017 LoHud Mean 15 contenders list. A Scout since the 5th grade, he is currently a Life Scout working toward becoming an Eagle—a rank only 6% of all Scouts ever attain. He was awarded the History medal after his sophomore year and is presently taking 2 Advanced Placement (AP) courses in Government & Physics.