After a postseason exodus of talent, it came as good news to St. John’s basketball when 6-11 Christ the King center Adonis Delarosa made a verbal commitment to the Red Storm on Wednesday. Delarosa so far is the lone member of coach Steve Lavin’s 2014 recruiting class.
In making his announcement, Delarosa cited the chance to stay close to home and to play in Madison Square Garden as reasons for choosing St. John’s over Pitt and the likes of South Carolina, Alabama and Georgia. Delarosa’s older brother Joey, transferred from Florida International to St. John’s last year as a walk-on and will be eligible in December, so, there also is a family connection.
At 6-11, 270 pounds, Delarosa adds much-needed size to a Red Storm frontcourt that lost JaKarr Sampson when he decided to enter the NBA draft and Chris Obekpa when he asked for his release to transfer. St. John’s also lost big men God’sgift Achiuwa and Orlando Sanchez, who completed their eligibility, and wing man Max Hooper announced plans to transfer after completing his undergrad degree with a year of eligibility remaining.
That left 6-7 redshirt sophomore Christian Jones as the only remaining big man on a roster with seven scholarship players. The addition of Delarosa, who averaged about 12 points and 12 rebounds and helped lead Christ the King to a second straight New York Class AA Federation state title, leaves St. John’s with five available scholarships.
Delarosa is the first New York City high school player to commit to St. John’s since Maurice Harkless, who played only the 2010-11 season before entering the NBA draft, where he was the 15th overall selection. But St. John’s also is among the contenders to land Westchester Community College forward Keith Thomas.