Branford’s Jake Palluzzi to transfer, play basketball at Choate


Jake Palluzzi Jr. has transferred from Branford High to Choate Rosemary School in Wallingford to continue his basketball career.

Palluzzi and Choate coach Drew Daweson confirmed that he has already enrolled at the Class A school and he will reclassify as a sophomore. Palluzzi averaged 27 points per game this past season for the Hornets.

“Obviously, for me it was a very tough decision to make. There were a lot of things to think about. It was super-hard,” Palluzzi Jr. said.

Palluzzi, 16, said he went back and forth over the past few weeks before making his final decision this week to transfer.

“In the end, I thought about what Choate could do for my future and help me become a better student and a better player,” Palluzzi said.

Palluzzi spent his seventh and eighth grade seasons at Hamden Hall Country Day before transferring to Branford.

In addition to the 27 points, Palluzzi, a 5-foot-11 guard, averaged 4.5 assists, 4.2 rebounds and shot 52 percent from the floor this season. Palluzzi made 84 three-pointers and helped lead the Hornets to the Class M state quarterfinals.

“Jake’s one of the top underclassmen, not only throughout Connecticut, but across the tri-state area,” Dawson said. “He loves the game. He’s an absolute gym rat.”

Palluzzi finished with over 850 points in his two seasons at Branford. He was a Register All-Area and a GameTimeCT All-State Second Team selection this season.

“I know how tough it was for him when you make a change like this. He has always had aspirations of getting to wherever he needs to get to,” said Jake Palluzzi Sr. “It was an opportunity he couldn’t pass up.”

Palluzzi Sr. played for and was the longtime coach at Branford.

“I’m thorn. He could have been the best player to come out of Branford if he kept going,” Palluzzi said. “I feel bad (for Branford), but I’m excited for him for what he wants.”

Palluzzi Jr. plays for the Project Triple Threat AAU program, coached by Dawson. Jake Sullivan, a former Branford ]standout, did a post-grad year under Dawson, He served as a captain and helped the Wild Boars win a New England championship before moving on to play at the University of St. Joseph (CT).

“He’s a coach’s son who comes from a basketball-rich family,” Dawson said. “Jake brings much-needed depth and the ability to shoot the ball at a high clip and with range to our program.”

joseph.morelli@hearstmediact.com; @nhrJoeMorelli

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