Boatwright on USC Commitment

Bennie Boatwright Jr. and his father comment on Thursday commit to stay home and attend USC. Boatwright’s focus is now on big-time senior campaign at Village Christian (Sun Valley).

Bennie Boatwright Jr., the No. 4 ranked prospect in California’s 2015 class by Cal-Hi Sports, had two major reasons for choosing USC as his college choice — proximity and comfort.

“Number one, we wanted to end the process and eventually determined Bennie wanted to stay close to home,” said Bennie Boatwright Sr., Boatwright’s father. “(Assistant coach) Jason Hart was the lead recruiter and he did an outstanding job. USC also brought head coach Andy Enfield to a lot of games, not just one or two. That meant a lot.”

Boatwright, a 6-foot-9 small forward and one of the finest shooters in the national 2015 class, was a CIF Division IV all-state pick last season after leading Village Christian (Sun Valley) to the CIFSS Division IV-A title while averaging over 18 ppg. He’s joining a program whose current recruiting class already includes highly-regarded power forward Chimezie Metu (Lawndale) and just had a solid haul of players in its 2014 class, among them Cal-Hi Sports All-Staters Malik Marquetti (Millikan, Long Beach), Elijah Stewart (Westchester, Los Angeles) and Jordan McLaughlin (Etiwanda). That recruiting haul has Boatwright Jr. looking towards his senior year and the future.

“I really love the coaches and it was a collective effort by them,” Boatwright Jr. said. “I’ve known Jason (Hart) since the eighth grade when he was at Taft High School and I think it’s a good fit all-around. This is a good start to a really good class. I’m excited.”

Boatwright Jr. will now focus on his senior season at Village Christian. With him back in the fold and some transfer players, including Cliff Powell (Taft), Kahlil Simplis (Campbell Hall), and reportedly two players from defending Student Sports FAB 50 mythical national champ Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.), Boatwright is a serious 21014-15 Cal-Hi Sports Mr. Basketball candidate. If the breaks go the right way for the Crusaders, they should be serious contenders for CIFSS Open Division and state titles.

Boatwright chose USC over UConn, Gonzaga, Washington, Arizona St. and UCLA.

“I want to thank all the great schools for recruiting me,” Boatwright Jr. said.” I’m clearly happy to commit, so now I can focus on the high school season. I want to focus on winning games, do everything I can, and being the best teammate I can be. I feel we can win state.”

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