J. R. Inman, out of St. Joseph Regional High School in Montvale New Jersey, has made a verbal commitment to continue his basketball career at Rutgers University. J. R. is the second verbal commitment for the 2005 Rutgers Basketball class. The first commitment, first reported by Donald "Big Dog" Forbes, of RutgersInsider.com, was another local recruit, Jaron Griffin.
J.R. had received offers from N.C.State, Virginia Tech, Boston College, West Virginia, St. Joseph's, Miami, and Georgetown. He was also receiving strong interest from the defending national champion and Big East rival Connecticut, Maryland, Florida, and Virginia.
As recently as two weeks ago, J.R.'s list was narrowed to only three schools. However, an ensuing trip to ACC country allowed J.R. to make his final decision. "I realized how far it was - to actually go through it. That was [distance] a factor."
In the end, the proximity of his home to Rutgers, and the enthusiasm for Head Coach Gary Waters were sufficient reasons for his official announcement. "Rutgers showed me the most love. The coaching staff is really good. They have been on me the longest, from the beginning."
Mr. Inman stated that his son's commitment was solid. "He has seen enough from his AAU games to know what he wants."
J. R. stands at 6'8" and 195 and can play either the three- or four-spot at Rutgers. "I taught him how to play," stated Mr. Inman, noting that early on he emphasized to his son the importance of a skilled big-man with athletic qualities. These sentiments proved prophetic as it is precisely these set of qualities that separate Gerald from other players his age - the ability to play both facing the basket and with his back to the basket, the ability to rebound, and the capability to pass the ball with the dexterity of a guard. Indeed, it is the all-around game that makes J. R. Inman special.
J.R. has a specific vision on where he hopes to take the Scarlet Knights. He hopes to make Rutgers basketball as widely successful as "the Dukes and North Carolinas of the world. I want us to be making the tournament, whether it's by getting at large bids or not, with the same type of regularity."
Coach Gary Waters and his staff have been very high on this talented, soon-to-be, Senior, for well over a year. Their efforts, left indelible marks on the young man. Perhaps as importantly, the adoration of Rutgers fans for their Scarlet Knights was also something firmly impressed on J.R.'s mind. "I went to a Notre Dame game when Rutgers won by about 15 or 16 points. The ground felt as if it shook." Though he didn't have an opportunity to attend Rutgers' NIT games at Madison Square Garden this past spring, J.R. was just as moved by the throng of Scarlet clad fans attending both contests. "It's the best fan base in the country. I really like that."
"I can't wait until it happens," stated J.R., in reference to his first playing days at the RAC. For now, he still has a senior year to complete at St. Joseph Regional High School, where he led the school to a 20-7 record this past year, including scoring 19 or more points on 12 separate occasions in addition to a 32 point and 13 rebound effort versus Eastside.
Rutgers fans will have to wait until they receive the first collegiate glimpse of this special young man who is poised to take the school to new heights.
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