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Westtown's Se'yphon Triplett finds home at Stonehill College

08/28/2022, 11:15am EDT
By Owen McCue

Owen McCue (@Owen_McCue)

It was pretty hard to escape the game of basketball where Se'yphon Triplett grew up. 

Springfield, Massachusetts is in fact the birthplace of the game. 

The city stages high-level hoops events throughout the year and is home to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

For Triplett and other kids in the area, basketball aspirations began at an early age.

“There’s a lot of kids who want to make it out,” Triplett said.

Westtown senior guard Se'yphon Triplett committed to Stonehill College on Friday. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)

Those aspirations became a reality on Friday when Triplett, a senior guard at Westtown, took an official visit to Stonehill College — about an hour and a half from his hometown.

Stonehill coach Chris Krauss and his staff recruited Triplett hard throughout the summer and when he came back on campus for a second visit, it was pretty easy to see himself staying for the next four years of his basketball career.

“I’ve been basically thinking of a school that’s becoming my family and home and where I wanted to be,” Triplett said. “Of all the schools Stonehill texted everyday reaching out, showed me loyalty, so I just wanted to go there.”

Triplett’s preps hoops career started with two seasons at Putnam Vocational Academy in Springfield before traveling to Westtown last season. He played with the New England-based Expressions Elite Basketball grassroots program.

Last summer, he received scholarship offers from Long Island, Saint Peter’s and the College of Charleston. Albany, which he strongly considered, offered in February.

He visited Colgate, Albany, Dartmouth and Fairleigh Dickinson. UMass also reached out during the recruiting process.

Stonehill didn’t enter the mix until this past June when they saw Triplett play at the Mid-Atlantic Independent School Shootout at Blair Academy from June 17-18. He said his performance in a tight loss to Our Saviour Lutheran (N.Y.) caught the attention of the Skyhawks’ coaches.

“They really started recruiting me after that OSL one,” Triplett said. “They like the way I played. They were literally pretty much texting me everyday, giving me calls.”

He received an offer on his unofficial visit less than two weeks later. Another trip to campus on Friday sealed the deal.

“I ended up chilling with the team a little bit,” Triplett said. “They seem cool. They like me a lot, especially the people who are coming back next year and I can play with.”

A 6-1 combo guard, Triplett said he prides himself on his energy and effort. He guards 94 feet, scraps for rebounds and pushes the pace on offense.

Those traits have all been there ever since he started playing hoops in Springfield.

“It really has (always been part of my game) because I’ve always been an underdog,” Triplett said. “I’ve always had something to prove. Especially coming from a small town like Springfield, it’s hard to get recognition. Once I took that first step, I took my opportunity. That’s really always how I played. I played with a chip on my shoulder.””

He started to round out other parts of his game, like his playmaking, last season. He’s an improved shooter and has quite a bit of bounce. His putback dunk at the Independent School shootout was one of the highlights of the event. He said he worked on playing off two feet in the lane last season.

Westtown coach Seth Berger sees Stonehill as a great academic and athletic fit for his senior guard, who will step into a bigger role for the Moose in his second year on campus.

“He’s going to bring toughness, energy and significantly improved shooting to Stonehill,” Berger said. “It’s a great choice for a program that’s a place where he can have an immediate impact. As such a good student, it was also important for him to pick a really good school and Stonehill fits all of those buckets.”

Triplett is Stonehill’s first commitment since announcing its transition to Division I on April 5. (The program’s one 2022 commit Chas Stinson announced his commitment on April 4 — a day before the school officially announced the move.)

During the four-year transition period, the Skyhawks can’t participate in the NCAA Tournament, so Triplett will have to wait until his senior season to try and lead his team to a bid in the Big Dance. 

With matchups against Providence, UConn and Boston College on the schedule this year, he’s still expecting plenty of big games in his career.

“This is their first year obviously, so it’s going to be rough not going to NCAAs my first three years but they’re going to be playing some teams,” Triplett said.

Triplett said his first AAU coach, ‘Coach Eddie,’ started him on the path he’s on now many years ago. Along the way coaches like the ones he had at Putnam, Westtown and Expressions Elite have helped his game continue to grow.

His mentor and trainer Rob Kelly played a huge role. His father Sydney, who he lifts with, has also been a consistent guiding force.

Friday's decision gave him a chance to reflect on just how far he's come.

“When it comes to playing basketball, you just gotta keep working, keep grinding,” Triplett said. “There’s going to be walls you face. You just gotta break that wall down every trip. You just gotta keep working. As soon as the spotlight’s on you, you can’t be scared. You have to have a lot of confidence and just play. That’s what I’ve kept and that’s where it got me to now.”

“I always wanted to play D1. I’m still thinking about it. I can’t believe it. I knew it was going to come just from my hard work everyday. I just kept grinding and didn’t stop.

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