A pair of familiar faces helped Shaquillo Fritz find his new basketball home.
The 6-foot-9 Fritz, who is from Freeport, Bahamas, made his pledge to Arkansas State on Monday, just two days after his official visit to the school ended.
He is the third commit for the new A-State coaching staff and all three players visited together for the weekend. Grantham Gillard, a 6-4 guard from South Plains, and 6-7 Tristin Walley of Jones County (Miss.) committed after their visit. Walley committed Saturday night and Gillard committed about an hour before Fritz went public.
“We thought if all of us came together we help make the team better and possible win the conference,’’ said Fritz.
The difference for Fritz was A-State assistant coaches Mike Scutero and Vince Walden.
“To be honest , coach Scutero has known me since I was 15,’’ said Fritz. “We met me at an AAU event and he's always wanted me to be successful. He's been around very long and he's a great coach and is like family to me and Coach Vince really helped me hit a home run with the decision because he left IMG and we saw the big vision at A-State if I came.”
Fritz arrived in Jonesboro on Thursday.
“They were more invested in me and I think their skill development will help make me develop in a complete player. I thought it was great; the people were great and the environment was also beautiful.”
Highly regarded coming out of the Freeport, Fritz has bounced around while pursuing his dream of playing Division I basketball. Now at Paris (Texas) Junior College, he has developed a reputation for protecting the rim and rebounding.
“I think Shaq's best basketball is ahead of him and whoever gets him will be pleased with eagerness to get better,’’ said Bobby Taylor, his coach at Paris. “He's already an elite level rim-protector and solid rebounder, but needs to continue to develop his offensive skills in order to become a complete player"
In Arizona, Fritz was a high jump state champion at 6-foot-8. He has a 40-inch vertical and a 72-inch wing span. He also played at well-know IMG Prep school in Florida where he averaged 8 points, 14 rebounds and 5 blocked shots a game