Former St. Edmund Prep Hoops Stars Team Up at CSI

College of Staten Island basketball teammates Mitchell Wiggan, left, and Shemar Latty, played high school ball at St. Edmund Prep H.S. (Photo: Courtesy of College of Staten Island Athletics)

Our Catholic high school basketball league is known for producing high-quality student-athletes who thrive in college. 

The transition though from high school ball to college ball can be eye-opening, so it’s always nice to have a familiar face around. 

Such is the case on the College of Staten Island (CSI) men’s basketball team, which features two former standouts from St. Edmund Prep H.S., Sheepshead Bay, playing high-level Division II college basketball. 

Shemar Latty, a junior, and Mitchell Wiggan, a freshman, were talented high school players for the Eagles who are now members of the CSI Dolphins squad. Both are guards from Brooklyn who have fond memories of their high school days. 

Latty grew up in Flatbush and went to P.S. 312. He played Amateur Athletic Union basketball in Marine Park, where he met Pat Akande, the assistant boys’ varsity coach at St. Edmund’s. Latty realized the Sheepshead Bay school would be a great fit for him, and he was exactly right. 

He played all four years on varsity and was a four-time Tablet All-Star. He became the first Eagle to reach the 1,000-career-point mark as a junior and wound up setting the school’s all-time scoring record. As a senior, he was named to the All-State Team and was nominated to be a McDonald’s High School All-American. 

When Latty was a senior, Wiggan was a freshman at St. Edmund’s. The East New York native played Catholic Youth Organization basketball first at St. Patrick’s, Bay Ridge, and then Immaculate Heart of Mary, Windsor Terrace. His older brother, Christopher, went to St. Edmund’s and was Latty’s teammate, so Wiggan followed the same path. 

However, his high school experience occurred right during the COVID-19 pandemic. He lost his entire sophomore season and then missed time as a junior due to injury. Still, he turned in two Tablet-All-Star-worthy seasons, which led him to CSI on a scholarship. 

Latty originally went to Post University in Waterbury, Conn., thinking he had to go away to make a name for himself. However, a competitive level of basketball was waiting for him just a short trip over the Verrazzano Bridge. 

He had known CSI’s head men’s coach, T.J. Tibbs, for a decade, so he felt confident making the transfer — not to mention, assistant coach Kurt Manesy is a St. Edmund’s alum. Latty was also thrilled to learn a fellow St. Edmund Eagle would be joining him this season. 

“Mitch was someone I had a relationship with during his one year at St. Edmund,” Latty said. “Seeing how he grew up from when I first met him to now is pretty impressive.” 

Meanwhile, as a new player on the team, Wiggan has looked to Latty to set the example for him on and off the court. 

“I’ve been looking up to him (Latty) since I was a freshman in high school when I saw him play,” Wiggan said. “He’s really been a mentor to me. He always tells me to stay the course, because transitioning from high school to college is a big jump with a lot of challenges.” 

As challenging as the transition can be, both Latty and Wiggan benefited heavily from playing in the local CHSAA. Every game featured a tough opponent, and that’s even more true in the college game. 

“With a league like that, anybody can win it at any given time,” Latty said. “It makes things more competitive. That translates well to the league we’re in now.” 

“We played in a lot of tough tournaments all over the city,” Wiggan said of his time in high school. “Msgr. King Tournament, International Basketball Academy Tournament. We played against some tough competition in New York.” 

For Tibbs, he is well aware of the type of student-athlete that St. Edmund’s and the CHSAA schools consistently produce. He himself played in the Archdiocesan CHSAA league for St. Peter’s Boys H.S., Staten Island. 

“To be successful, we have to recruit in New York City,” Tibbs said. “We have a lot of familiarity with the Catholic League. The organization and the commitment of the coaches help instill discipline in the players. We’ve been successful recruiting out of that league.” 

Eagles tend to symbolize loyalty, devotion, and honor, while dolphins represent compassion, wisdom, and protection. For Latty and Wiggan, these qualities were cemented in them in high school, and they now proudly display them in college.