2016 point guard Shamorie Ponds committed to St. John's and Chris Mullin on Tuesday, he told Scout.
“I believe I’m their number one recruit in 2016,” Ponds said. “It’s not too far from home and my family can come watch me play.”
Ponds, a standout at Brooklyn (N.Y.) Thomas Jefferson, said being able to stay home and play in New York City factored heavily into his decision.
“This was big,” he said. “I believe I’m going to be the hometown favorite.”
Ponds is the second local product to commit to Mullin in the past six weeks. Kassoum Yakwe, of Centereach (N.Y.) Our Savior, pledged to the Red Storm and reclassified from 2016 to 2015 in late August.
A wide range of schools recruited Ponds, Scout’s No. 77 prospect. He took official visits to St. John’s, Creighton and Providence. Minnesota was also involved in his recruitment.
Ponds also mentioned he's excited about how Mullin has mapped out their playing style.
“He’s a Hall of Famer,” Ponds said. “I think his offense will be NBA styled, so I think he will set me up to succeed."
St. John’s assistant Matt Abdelmassih was the point man on Ponds’ recruitment.
Ponds, who ranks as the No. 19 lead guard in 2016, is St. John’s first verbal pledge of the class.
Through 22 games playing with the New York Lightning on the Nike EYBL circuit this spring and summer, Ponds averaged 16.1 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.9 assists a game.