If there’s one thing to be assured heading into the 2022-23 MAAC season, it is that the Manhattan Jaspers will have a deadly hometown scoring combo of Jose Perez and Omar Silverio. Two of the top scorers in the country have teamed up again for one last chance at an NCAA Tournament.
“That’s like my brother to me. I’ve played with him until probably seven years ago and we have a great connection,” Silverio told Mid-Major Madness, “He was part of the reason why I decided to go to Manhattan just because I love playing with him and we understand each other. I think we can be successful with each other next year.”
Their connection goes back to their home country of the Dominican Republic, where they played together on the U17 national team. After that, both starred in the New York high school basketball scene, becoming two of the most prolific high school scorers in the country. When talking about the best in the city, their names were often coupled together.
Perez and Silverio would link back up in the summer, being teammates in the world-famous Dyckman streetball summer tournament but after that, went on separate paths for college.
Once again, both have starred scoring-wise.
Last season, Silverio scored 40 points in a game at Elon, averaging 10.9 points per game on the season with a packed backcourt at Hofstra. Perez led the MAAC in scoring, averaging 18.9 points per game. In a game at Niagara, he dropped 38 points. Neither were at the original school but the journeys on how they got there are what makes the story fun.
Silverio originally committed to Santa Clara but played his first season at Rhode Island, followed by three seasons at nearby Hofstra. Perez was one of the best freshmen in the country at Gardner-Webb, coupling that into a transfer to Marquette and ultimately returning home to the Bronx with Manhattan.
Now they’re both back home and Silverio is excited to play in front of his friends and family from the Bronx.
“It’s going to be pretty tough because New York/New Jersey is pretty tough. There’s a lot of dawgs over here,” Silverio said, “Me going back to the Bronx, brings a lot of memories. Friends and family that couldn’t drive to Rhode Island or Hofstra, they can probably come out later after work.”
All eyes will be on Iona heading into this MAAC season but as Pitino’s stay in the league gets longer, the other teams get stronger. If you want a sleeper team who has the potential to do knock them off, look no further than their rivals Manhattan