2023-24 Taft School Season Preview


The Taft School is a high academic, private coeducational school located in Watertown, CT. The school was initially founded in 1890 by Horace Dutton Taft, the brother of president William Howard Taft. It educates students in grades 9-12, including more than 600 students from 51 countries and 34 states.

Its boys varsity basketball team competes in the college prep level NEPSAC Class A (large schools), the Founders League and the TriState League. The team is coached by Shavar Bernier. Coach Bernier was a one time D3 All Star player in college, and coached at the college level at St. Michael’s College (VT). His 2023-24 roster is loaded with college bound talent:


RJ Bennett (2024) 6’4 guard -  Bennett is an elite athlete and returning Founders League Defensive Player of the Year. He excels in transition and is a high-level slasher. He makes catch and shoot threes and will apply defensive pressure to opposing guards. 3.3 gpa


Jeremiah Ibeziako (2025) 6’7 wing - Ibeziako is still new to basketball as this will be his second season of organized hoops. That being said, he is a D1 level wing whose 7’1 wing span helps him rebound and contest shots all over the court. As a key player for Middlesex Magic AAU,  Ibeziako improved substantially throughout the summer. Coach Bernier looks for Ibeziako to have a break-out year, while he garners plenty of D1 interest. 3.3 gpa


Brody Bowser (2024) 6’0 point guard - Bower is a consummate role player who plays hard and has a tremendous defensive feel. He likes the mid-range and can also get downhill. 3.6 gpa


Maxim Klitschko (2024) 7’1 center - Klitschko is a wide body, strong, traditional big with good hands. His size allows for rim protection and easy dunks around the basket. He is receiving Ivy and Patriot League interest. 3.8 gpa


Ford Okehi (2025) 6’0 guard - Okehi is hyper-skilled with a knack for making shots. He can play on or off the ball and has improved his strength and athleticism in the past three months. 3.7 gpa


Ousmane “Ozzy” Diallo (2025) 6’3 point guard - Diallo makes threes and defends with intensity. He has turned the corner as an athlete due to his dedicated approach to strength and conditioning. Diallo, is now a two-sport varsity athlete (football) and will help the Rhinos on both ends of the floor. 3.5 gpa


Jordan Elliott (2024) 6’3 guard - Team Co-Captain, and is both the highest returning point scorer and assist man. Elliott will lead the team on both ends of the floor. His high motor and elite IQ will set the table for the Rhinos season. He is receiving interest from the top of the NESCAC, NE-10, and low D1 colleges. 3.6 gpa


Jacob Lucas (2024) 6’4 wing - Lucas is the team’s best shooter with the quickest release. He moves well without the ball and runs the lane with pace. Lucas will take and make big shots for Taft this season. He is getting D3 recruitment. 3.8 gpa


Max Fradkin (2024) 5’9 guard - Fradkin is a team Co-Captain and leader in charges taken. He sets the tone for toughness and effort. Fradkin is a reliable and timely shot-maker who plays hard on both ends. He is receiving D3 interest. 3.9 gpa


To catch the Taft School schedule and results for this winter, click here