When Spencer Aronson was in middle school, his father often brought him to MIAA basketball state tournament games, immersing him in the wild atmosphere often referred to as “Mass Madness.”
The Holliston resident sat in crowds at Newton North, Cambridge Rindge & Latin, and Needham, where his father, Damon, starred before playing at UMass-Dartmouth.
But the biggest impression on young Spencer came when he watched the great 2014-15 Catholic Memorial team, led by Guilien Smith (now at Dartmouth College) and Kellan Grady (Davidson), stifle opponents on CM’s swelteringly intense home floor at Ronald S. Perry Gymnasium.
“I always thought about playing in that environment,” said Aronson, 17. “That’s what I love about the MIAA. All those towns and schools coming together. Everyone is hyped up the whole day thinking about games and in places like CM, you can do things you don’t normally do, because there’s so much adrenaline from playing in front of everyone.”
Aronson was a two-year varsity starter at Holliston High. He transferred to Lawrence Academy and re-classified as a sophomore in an effort to gain more exposure to college recruiters.
But after averaging 15 points, 5 assists, 4 rebounds, and 2 steals per game over a year at the Groton boarding school, the 6-foot-1, 185-pound guard decided to transfer to Catholic Memorial, where he could live at home and seek a more communal atmosphere.
“I kind of felt a bit lost,” Aronson said about his time at Lawrence Academy. “I had heard great things about CM and everyone just brought me into the community. It’s been life-changing for me. Every day I wake up, and I get excited to go to school.”
And Aronson is excited to play CM’s trademark style. Led by 18-year coach Denis Tobin , the Knights use a relentless full-court press and fast-paced offensive attack to string together a 39-game home winning streak from 2014-2017.
“[Aronson] has done a great job so far buying in and adapting to the CM style of play,” said Tobin. “He’ll benefit greatly from playing alongside one of the state’s premier point guards in [sophomore] Kurtis Henderson .
“I envision this team similar to the 2015 [state championship] team. We might not have the same talent, but we’ll run ‘five-out’ and we’ll certainly be able to score. The question is rebounding and defending.”
Looking ahead to CM’s home-opener against Bishop Stang this Friday, Aronson said, “[Ron Perry Gymnasium] is going to be packed and crazy loud. Everyone says that you’re going to love playing in it and that it’s like a movie. It’s going to be awesome.”