He's worth the wait.
"We're pretty excited about our guy and we're real excited that he's going to St. John's," Raritan (N.J.) Hazlet coach Sean Devaney said.
On Monday afternoon, the 19-point a game scorer told St. John's that he'd like attend the school in 2007. Calhoun, in his final year at Hazlet, will shuttle off to prep school for two years.
Devaney said they could have pushed him through prep in one season, but felt it best in his long term educational interest to exercise a measure of patience and properly prepare Calhoun for college.
"He missed his freshman year in high school so we knew he had a year to make up," Devaney said. "When he went to Raritan, we started him in core classes that the Clearinghouse wouldn't accept. We thought educationally it would be better to start from the beginning and get this right. Really it's just in his best interest to do this the right way rather than try to push him through."
The plan will be for Calhoun to re-class into 2007 and find a prep school where he can spend the next two seasons. Meanwhile, St. John's will patiently wait for a guy they wanted be it next season or two years down the road.
"I think from the very beginning, Qa'rraan felt a real strong feeling and a connection with Coach Roberts," Devaney said. "I think Coach Roberts conveyed how important he was as a basketball player but he was also able to convey how much he liked him as a person. Coach was honest that he wanted him in two years, if that was prep school or junior college. It really made Qa'rraan comfortable."
One of the unique things about Calhoun is that he's tough to pigeonhole position-wise. A gifted athlete, he runs and rebounds but also steps out and plays facing the basket.
"It's funny," Devaney said. "When he was getting recruited by different people, I would ask what position and I've always gotten different opinions. He'll be used however Coach Roberts wants to use him. That's what makes him unique. He defends on the perimeter much better than people realize. He would guard shooting guards and he would guard Derrick Caracter. He had to do it all for us."
Devaney said a lot of programs were showing interest and the commitment caught a few off guard. "I think a lot of people are going to be disappointed. A lot of people never realized it was at this point. I know UConn was very interested. They wanted to stay involved. He was out in Arizona on an unofficial visit a few weeks ago. I think a lot of schools were always calling and wanted to be involved. Deep down I always had a feeling that Qa'rraan had his heart set on St. John's."
Deep down Devaney was right.