Vinson A Key Component for Franklin Boys Quintet
Sean Vinson, facing defensive pressure, looks to find an open teammate.
By KEN HAMWEY,
Staff Sports Writer
It’s obvious why Sean Vinson is a captain for Franklin High’s basketball team — he’s got the right stuff.
The 6-foot-3, 180-pound senior forward is a high-quality leader, has a relentless work ethic, believes in accountability and relies on preparation. The 18-year-old also has passion for basketball, and he does the nitty-gritty things that win games.
All those attributes surfaced last year in the Panthers final game of the Covid-riddled season against Stoughton. That’s when momentum said ,“I’m on Sean’s side.’’
“I came off the bench, scored 12 points, hit two three-pointers, and grabbed 6 rebounds,’’ Vinson recalled. “I was firing on all cylinders, causing some deflections and getting a block and a steal. We won, 77-67, and that victory enabled us to finish the season with a winning record (6-5). I got a taste of what success feels like after that game, and I also felt like I had built some momentum.’’
Vinson applies all the valuable qualities he relies on in athletics to the classroom where his intensity and focus translate to a 3.84 GPA. He’s a National Honor Society student who participates in SADD, (Students Against Destructive Decisions), DECA (business club) and the Young Investors Club. Planning on majoring in marketing, he’s considering attending Providence College, Fairfield or the University of Connecticut.
Before a decision is made on his collegiate venue, the Franklin native will continue to make basketball a high priority. His team goals for the next three months are to not only qualify for the tournament, but also to contend for the state championship. He also lists winning the Kelley-Rex Division title as another objective.
“Improving as the season moves along is very important,’’ Vinson indicated. “We want to be peaking at the right time. My individual goals are to be an effective and efficient scorer, average about 12-13 points and be a major contributor on defense. To be a league all-star would be great, but the team’s welfare remains my No. 1 priority.’’
Coach C.J. Neely not only likes his captain’s approach, but he also admires Vinson’s commitment and passion for basketball. He’s acutely aware that since all five of last year’s starters have graduated, Vinson will be counted on in a variety of ways.
“Sean earned playing time towards the end of last season because he did all the things we needed,’’ Neely said. “He got offensive and defensive rebounds, set screens, took charges, and became a lock-down defender. This year, he’s getting scoring opportunities. An unselfish player, he’s got a motor that’s always running. I never worry about his effort, and I know he’ll make a major impact for us this season.’’
Vinson’s strengths are his athleticism, a high basketball IQ, his quickness on drives and an instinctive nature. Passing is another plus. His style emphasizes fast-break basketball on offense and an aggressive nature on defense.
“I like playing quick forward because I can battle with the big guys and also switch to defending guards,’’ Vinson offered. “The position helps me to be more well-rounded.’’
Now in his second varsity season, Vinson intends to take advantage of his offensive opportunities. His off-season regimen no doubt has been a huge asset in sharpening his shooting touch. “I worked during the spring, summer and the fall on my shooting,’’ he noted. “I played AAU ball, took shots at home, played in the summer league, and dribbled in my basement. I even watched videos.’’
Being a captain does have special meaning, but he points to Franklin’s tourney victory over Natick his sophomore year as his No. 1 thrill.
“I was promoted to the varsity at the end of the regular season,’’ he said. “I didn’t play against Natick, but we won a close, exciting game. It was an incredible experience.”
Vinson will also be ultra-supportive of all this year’s players, especially in his role as a captain. “I’ll be exuberant for a player who makes a great play ,and I’ll also be vocal and communicative,’’ he emphasized. “I’ll lead by example, but I’ll also hold myself and my teammates accountable.’’
Two teammates Vinson knows will be top-shelf contributors are senior co-captain Will Tracey and senior Evan Dasilva. Both are guards. “Will is a phenomenal athlete. He was injured last year but we’re banking on him to make key plays. Evan is also athletic and he’s a dynamic defensive player. He takes pride in facing challenging matchups.’’
Vinson also admires his parents (Kathleen and Mike), who’ve been supportive and encouraging. His father has been a force for Franklin basketball. “He started the high school recreation program in 1990, coached teams in the youth league and was president of CYO basketball,’’ Vinson said. “And, he organized a basketball tourney for the Jimmy Fund.’’
Winning in competitive sports defines Vinson’s athletic philosophy.
“Winning is the most important thing,’’ Vinson said. “It’s hard to have fun when you lose. Some say that reaching your potential is more important, but I don’t put a ceiling on potential. No one should stop trying to excel once they get to a certain level. I want to exceed expectations.’’
Vinson has learned valuable life lessons through sports.
“A strong work ethic is very important,’’ he said. “Nothing beats preparation. Sports also help us to be good teammates, to be leaders and to be accountable. Coach Neely has a quote that I strive to emulate. He says: ‘act how you want to be remembered.’ ’’
The Panthers and Vinson will be remembered often if their season opener is any indication of what’s to come. At Local Town Pages deadline, Franklin defeated Canton, 60-52.