In the summer following Baldwin High School’s 2015-16 Long Island basketball title, Jared Rhoden faced a daunting decision.
He could either stay at Baldwin and try to defend the championship as a senior, while regularly playing in front of family and friends, or he could reclassify to the Class of 2018 and transfer to a prep school.
The 6-6 wing chose the latter, and the decision has paid off.
During his first season with Our Saviour Lutheran in the Bronx, Rhoden’s college recruitment took off. He left Baldwin with scholarship offers from Hofstra, Monmouth and a handful of other mid-majors. As he and his AAU New York Lightning teammates head to Georgia for the Nike Peach Jam this week, Rhoden will look to add to a list of offers that now includes Rhode Island, St. Louis, Dayton and UMass, according to Lightning director Dana Dingle.
Dingle said Seton Hall, Georgetown, Minnesota, VCU, Washington State, Oregon State and Penn State all have expressed interest in Rhoden.
“I kind of wanted to jump my recruitment a little bit, which I did,” said Rhoden, a 2015-16 Newsday All-Long Island honoree. “I wasn’t really satisfied. I thought I could do better, so I thought if I got the extra year and got in the gym as much as I did with the new school that I would be able to achieve my dream.”
Rhoden said he has not yet ranked his schools of preference, opting to wait until after the Lightning play at the Peach Jam and two separate events in Orlando during July’s live recruiting periods.
Though he is excited for his second and final year at Our Saviour Lutheran — and, of course, to commit to a college — he said he still misses Baldwin in many ways.
“I miss coach [Baldwin coach Darius] Burton, for sure. That’s my man,” Rhoden said. “I miss all my friends and all that. I miss the team. I felt better because I was home and was playing for my hometown, but I had to do it for the better. At the end of the day it worked out.”
LWA’s Igiehon drawing interest
Lawrence Woodmere Academy incoming junior Aidan Igiehon said his “phone has been blowing up” since June 15, when college coaches were allowed to begin contacting Class of 2019 recruits. Igiehon, an athletic 6-10 forward/center for the Lightning, has more than a dozen scholarship offers, according to Dingle.
St. John’s, Villanova, Syracuse, Rutgers and Oklahoma are among the schools that have offered a scholarship, Dingle said.
“At first, [recruiting] was obviously all new to me, but I’m getting used to it now,” Igiehon said. “From school to now, it’s a massive jump in my recruiting.”
The scouting service Rivals ranked Igiehon 22nd overall in its latest Class of 2019 rankings. He jumped from No. 78 at the beginning of the high school season to No. 54 in 247sports’ most recent rankings.
Notes and quotes
Jordan Dingle, a 6-3 guard playing for the Lightning, plans to reclassify from the Class of 2018 to 2019, he and his father, Dana, said. Dingle helped Igiehon lead LWA to the state NYSAIS championship in March.
“I’m excited because it gives me another year to work on my game and progress as a player,” said Dingle, whose father said he has received offers from Brown, Manhattan and San Diego. “As any other player, there’s still a lot of things I need to work on.”
Indiana State called Monday to express interest in Savion Lewis, a 6-foot guard who plays for Half Hollow Hills East and the New York Jayhawks (AAU), according to Jayhawks director Jay David.
David said Lewis already has scholarship offers from Stony Brook and Manhattan.