Head coach Steve Lavin gives commencement speech at St. John’s

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After being part of the broadcast team covering the NCAA tournament, the next public appearance for St. John’s head coach Steve Lavin is more academic, as he will be speaking at graduation ceremonies on both of St. John’s campuses this weekend.

Lavin missed most of the 2011-12 season after undergoing prostate cancer surgery, but is now reportedly cancer-free and has been active on the recruiting trail this spring.

On Saturday, Lavin spoke at St. John’s smaller Staten Island campus and is scheduled to speak at the larger Queens campus graduation on Sunday.

The historically young Red Storm had no scholarship seniors on the roster in 2011-12 and finished with an overall record of 13-19, including 6-12 in the Big East.

Lavin has signed six players from the Class of 2012, led by JaKarr Sampson, an athletic forward who was ruled academically ineligible this past fall at St. John’s and returned to prep school for a post-graduate year at Brewster Academy (N.H.).

Bridgton Academy guard Darrick Wood has committed to the Red Storm, but has not yet signed his letter of intent.

St. John’s leading scorer from a season ago, Moe Harkless, declared for the NBA draft and is expected to be selected in the first round in June. He averaged 15.3 points and 8.6 rebounds in his one season with the Red Storm.

Harkless was the first player to commit to Lavin’s staff from the Class of 2011, nearly two years ago.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_