2013 Jalen James Explains Commit Decision

The Class of 2013 has officially begun to take shape for the Fighting Illini basketball team. Hope Academy point guard Jalen James has given the Illinois coaching staff his commitment following the Illinois team camp Wednesday evening.

Jalen James discussed how his commitment to Illinois went down.

"After the games, I went to Bruce Weber's office. We were talking about the players they have. After that, he talked about grades and how I play as a floor leader. He said, 'I really like your game.'

He asked me if I wanted to go to Illinois. I said 'Yes.' My dad was like, 'Hell yeah.' My brother said 'Yeah.' They said, 'We will give you the option to call us back when you are ready to come to Illinois. After a little bit, I called Jerrance (Howard) back and committed."

Why was Illinois the right fit for him?

"The Chicago players like Mike Shaw, Tracy Abrams and Mychael Henry being there. I have played with them a lot. With me being a pass-first point guard and them playing man-to-man defense, it was the perfect fit for me."

What was the coaching staff's reaction when he told Howard he committed?

"When I said it is done with, Jerrance was yelling. Everybody else was yelling. They were excited!"

James talked about what he is looking forward to most about playing in the Orange and Blue.

"I am looking forward to playing in my home state in front of my family, which is most important to me."

He will now turn his attention to helping the Illini with other top players.

"With me now committed, I can help recruit more 2013 players like Tommy Hamilton and Jabari Parker because I work out with them."


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