For the first time in 27 years, La Salle has landed a basketball product from La Salle High School as point guard Amar Stukes committed to the program earlier this week.
A 6-1, 165-pound guard, Stukes was also considering Drexel, Fairfield and Binghamton, and his commitment makes it three Division I products in the last three years for La Salle High School.
Stukes’ classmate Steve Smith is headed to Fairfield, and 2011 guard Eddie Mitchell is entering his sophomore season at Rider.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer it was a close call for Stukes between the Explorers and fellow Philadelphia school Drexel, with the Dragons’ recent success sticking out in his mind.
But the allure of the Big 5, a storied city rivalry that La Salle is a part of (Penn, Temple, Saint Joseph’s and Villanova being the others), ultimately won over the La Salle High product.
For Stukes, the chance to play at home in front of family and friends was simply the icing on the cake. Taking part in a tradition as rich as the Big 5 was the only selling point Stukes needed.
“I’m glad that I will be getting a chance to play so close to home in front of my family, but really, I am really excited to play for Coach G [La Salle head coach John Giannini] in the Big 5,” Stukes said in a telephone interview Wednesday. “Some of the best basketball players, not just to come out of this city but to play in the NBA, played for a Big 5 school. To me, that was really what got me.”
Ramon Galloway is a senior this season but point guard Tyreek Duren will be a senior when Stukes is a freshman, meaning that he’ll be able to spend that year learning from one of the best point guards in the Atlantic 10.
Stukes also noted the need for him to add some muscle to his slender build this season to better prepare himself for college basketball.
Photo credit: Yong Kim/Philadelphia Inquirer