Cerasoli Looking Forward to the Summer Circuit

Justin Cerasoli was a virtual unknown outside of Illinois until he put up 27 points in a game against nationally ranked Rainier Beach (Wash.) and the Stewart Twins, Rodrick and Lodrick, at the KMOX Shootout in December.

The 6-4, 165-pound junior had transferred from Providence St. Mel (Ill.), where he teamed with now-Minnesota freshman Stanley Gaines to lead the team to the Class A state quarterfinals, to West Aurora prior to his junior campaign in order to play against Class AA competition.

Cerasoli, 17, had taken the spotlight away from his teammates, including Marquette-bound senior Dameon Mason, while at the KMOX – and thus had captured the attention of numerous college coaches in the process.

Ohio State put forth a scholarship offer and N.C. State got involved. So did schools like UConn, Florida, Memphis, Auburn and DePaul.

But almost as quickly as Cerasoli hit the national scene, he disappeared from it after a broken right hand in practice sidelined him for nearly a month shortly after his breakthrough performance.

He came back and finished the season averaging 14.5 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists per contest after putting up similar numbers during his sophomore year at Providence St. Mel.

Cerasoli is a natural point guard with good size who is a gifted ballhandler and passer, but he'll need to work on putting on some weight before he gets to college. He has had to play the off-guard spot during high school and also in the summer because he shares the backcourt at West Aurora with 6-2 Jaeh Thomas and will play alongside one of the nation's elite floor leaders, Shaun Livingston, on the Ft. Sooy No Limit team in AAU ball.

``I'm a better scorer than Jaeh, so usually he handles the ball," Cerasoli said. "This summer I'm just hoping to get my name out there even more."

Last summer Cerasoli split his time between the Illinois Fire and Illinois Warriors.

Cerasoli won't divulge a leader at this point, but it appears as though Ohio State and N.C. State have the inside track.

``I'm looking for someplace where I can get some structure," Cerasoli added. "Somewhere I can get some help and also produce."

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