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Notre Dame delivers to Virginia forward

Aamir Simms has been keeping tabs on Notre Dame basketball for years. Earlier this week the Irish rewarded the forward from Dyke, Va., with a scholarship offer. Now a visit is likely.

Aamir Simms realized patience can be rewarded in recruiting.

Several programs have started to express new interest in the 6-foot-8 forward since the beginning of the spring live periods. But one new offer, Notre Dame, caught the attention of Simms most when it materialized. It’s a program Simms has been thinking about for some time.

“That’s relatively new,” Simms said. “They were on me for a little bit like last year then they fell off. But then with (Zach) Auguste leaving, I’m pretty much another player just like him. Similar in the game and skill set. They’ve picked up on me since they’re losing him.

“That’s something I’ve been waiting on for a year. That’s something I’ve wanted for like three years now, so when I got it I was pretty happy.”

Notre Dame joins an offer list that includes Cincinnati, Clemson, Georgetown, Iowa State, Miami, Maryland, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Providence, Richmond, UCF, VCU, Virginia Tech and Xavier, among others.

Simms also listed Georgia, Georgia Tech, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia as some other programs getting involved.

Even though it just joined the offer list officially, Simms has some background on head coach Mike Brey and the Irish. The Dyke, Va., native has been tracking them.

“I know from my standpoint, Notre Dame is one of the best academic schools in the nation,” Simms said. “That’s some place I would love to go to for the academics and the sports. Sports has always dominated. Not like everybody wants them to, but they got to the Elite Eight. They got that far. That’s something that sticks out about them most.

“They didn’t have a season like they wanted but they did get to the Elite Eight. They are in the ACC, which is the hardest conference, I would say. They stood their ground. They’ve got that ‘dog’ in their team.”

Simms already views Notre Dame as a near-lock to land a future visit. Miami, UCF, Georgia Tech, Clemson, Xavier and Cincinnati are some other programs in the running to host Simms eventually.

“As of right now, I’m trying to pick out what officials I would like to take whether it’s in June or in the fall when everybody is in school,” Simms said. “Right now, going in June would be like pointless because nobody would really be there. I won’t be able to get the experience. I’m starting to pick out what schools I would like to go to for my officials and Notre Dame is at the top of my mind.”

Over the next couple months, Simms plans to wade through those choices by doing research and seeing which of them meet his criteria. Finding a top notch education is the starting point.

“That’s my main priority, academics,” Simms said. “Someday the ball’s going to stop bouncing and I’ve gotta pick that up and take it on my own like a man and go get a job. I wanna go somewhere where academics are at least in the top 25 or 50 in the nation. Second, it’s a relationship with the coaches on and off the court. I don’t wanna go somewhere where the coaches don’t get along with the players or don’t give the players love whether they’re playing bad or not.

“I wanna go somewhere where the coaches are behind me and supporting me. Third, I wanna go somewhere where the school is good at sports really. I want to get to the Big Dance at least once or twice. I wanna go somewhere where I can dominate in sports.” Top Stories