Recruiting has been a crazy process; I don’t know if I expected 14 offers, but you honestly just keep working and hope that it pays off. It’s a credit to the blue-collar Yooper mentality that has been ingrained into my work ethic throughout this process. People downstate who know Yoopers tend to have a certain level of respect for them. We’re known to play tough and with a sense of pride. It’s what I wanted to bring to the school I chose.
That’s why I have decided to commit to Floorburn U, aka Southern Illinois University.
The Salukis are known to get into the face of their opponents and to play physical and hard all the time. They’re a scrappy team, and the fans love it.
It hit home for me, and everything about the community reminded me of home. That was huge for me.
Before I visited the campus last fall, I talked to a couple of guys I played with at basketball camps, and they all praised Southern Illinois’ location and its facilities. True to form, my mom and I were wowed during our visit. The campus is really nice and everything is set up really close to each other and not spread out, so I really like everything about the university.
Then there are the basketball facilities.
Their gym is closer to a high major basketball arena, holding over 8,000 people and filling up regularly for conference games. It’s just a crazy atmosphere. I watched all their games on ESPN, including one at home against Loyola Chicago when the stands were packed. Then, there was a buzzer-beater against Missouri State when everyone stormed the court. I just remember the crowd going crazy.