Ash earns Northwestern offer

During a weekend AAU tournament at Riverside-Brookfield High School, Jordan Ash dazzled in front of Northwestern coaches Bill Carmody and Tavaras Hardy. That helped him rake in an offer from the Wildcats.

There's been a lot of buzz surrounding Northwestern basketball of late. In the past couple weeks, the Wildcats and head coach Bill Carmody secured verbal commitments from three-star targets Jaren Sina and Nate Taphorn to kick-start their 2013 class.

Never ones to sit on their laurels, Carmody and associate head coach Tavaras Hardy were back on the recruiting trail last weekend, extending a scholarship offer to three-star class of 2015 guard Jordan Ash of St. Joseph's High School in Chicago's western suburbs.

The coaches looked on last Saturday as Ash displayed his skills for the Illinois Wolves at the Chicago Summer Challenge at Riverside-Brookfield High School. The rising sophomore was enthusiastic after learning the news that evening.

"I was pretty surprised because I had only been [to Northwestern campus] once, last fall for a football game," said Ash. "I saw the coaches watching me last weekend [at Riverside-Brookfield], but I didn't know the offer would come that fast. I'm excited, Northwestern is a great school."

The 6-foot, 165-pound Ash's athleticism and ability to play both on and off the ball has already caught the eyes of college coaches around the Midwest. Northwestern in particular holds local ties, where the left-handed guardwould follow in the footsteps of Wolves alumni John Shurna, Dave Sobolewski, and verbal commit Nate Taphorn. It's early in Ash's recruitment, but the chance to be a student-athlete at Northwestern looks appealing.

"I like the opportunities that each player gets academically and athletically," said Ash. "Academically, you graduate from Northwestern with a lot of opportunities, and athletically you get the best of the best with Big Ten basketball. They produce a lot of great players, and are getting another great player in Nate [Taphorn]."

Northwestern's offer is Ash's third, along with DePaul and Purdue. He also hears regularly from Arizona, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio State and Xavier. When envisioning his ideal college, he stressed the importance of campus life beyond the court.

"Academics are always going to be first for me," explained Ash. "I'm also looking at the community, the way basketball players are treated around campus, and the way the school [reputation] stands before you talk about basketball. Personally, I can fit into any system as far as switching roles and doing what's best for the team; it's really all about seeing myself fitting in as a student."

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