A Rare Four-Year Starter At St. Anthony's

Four-year starters at legendary St. Anthony's High School (Jersey City, N.J.) emerge about as often as Harold Miner sightings. That's unless you're Elijah Ingram.

Ingram Picks St. John's

"Not a lot of players get the chance I've had," said Ingram, a left-handed explosive 160-pound razor-thin point guard who this fall will join noted hoops alumnus Bobby Hurley, Anthony Perry, Rodrick Rhodes and Jerry Walker among the school's heralded four-year starters.

"It's a honor to play for Coach (Bobby) Hurley (Sr.), because he works so hard to bring out the very best in each player on and off the basketball court. He's played a big part in developing my game."

Under Hurley's tutoring, Ingram's value has risen steadily since a stellar sophomore campaign and surged after strong performances at the Howard Pulley Invitational and adidas ABCD Camp this summer. However, hoops purists beware, because Ingram is not a prototypical point guard. In fact, "E.I." patterns his game after a certain NBA most valuable player nicknamed "A.I." You know, Allen Iverson?

"I can penetrate, dish and create for myself, but when I'm in that zone there's no hesitation on my end to pull," said Ingram, who last February torched highly-touted Memphis signee Dajuan Wagner for 31 points in a 76-54 victory over Camden (N.J.) High School, snapping its 32-game winning streak.

"Outside of that, I can still play within an offense and get teammates involved."

This week, Ingram ended the speculation and committed to be the next point guard at St. John's. Former SJU point guards Erick Barkley and Omar Cook bolted the Red Storm early for a shot at the pros.

Ingram averaged 16 points, 5 assists and 3 steals for St. Anthony's (27-3), which claimed the coveted 2001 Tournament of Champions title. "I like Coach (Mike) Jarvis because he's sincere about what he says and I talk to him a lot," Ingram said prior to the St. John's commitment.

Unlike his signature crossover, Ingram's qualifying status remains in limbo. "I feel good about my (SAT) score," said Ingram, who maintains a 2.4 grade point average (4.0 scale) and will take the SAT again in early October. "I just needed to answer a couple more questions and I would have made it. I think I'll pass next time."

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