2009 Prospect Discusses Decision At IS8

Reporter Brian Towey has a story about a player giving a commitment to a CAA school. Towey was at IS8 today watching some top talent compete in the Fall League held in South Jamaica, New York ...

Jonathan Underwood came east to continue his playing career, and he won't stray far for college. The 6-foot-9, 195-pound post and native Arizonan attends Princeton Day Academy in Lanham, Md. Two weeks ago, Underwood took an official visit to James Madison and made a verbal commitment to the CAA program shortly thereafter.

"It was a good atmosphere," said Underwood, a fifth-year player from Phoenix. "I really liked the players. Good players, good people. And a great coaching staff, too."

Underwood, who enrolled at Princeton Day Academy this fall, had drawn feelers from Oklahoma State and Long Beach State. He previously played at Agua Fria Union High School in Avondale, Ariz.

"I don't know about offers, but the consensus was that a lot of people slept on him," said Van Whitfield, Underwood's coach at Princeton Day Academy. "(James Madison) liked his athleticism; he's an uncanny shot blocker. I know in his junior year he averaged nine blocks a game. He has a high understanding of the game, a good basketball IQ."

"I'm a team player," said Underwood of the reasons James Madison recruited him. "Defense, really. (And I'm) Just an all-around good person."

Underwood scored 17 points in Princeton Day Academy's 81-62 win over Peekskill at the IS8 League in Queens, N.Y., on Sunday. In a guard-dominated setting, the long and mobile big man showed flashes of ability and a willingness to face the basket.

"He's got a really unique skill set for a guy his size," said Whitfield. "He can put the ball on the floor and he shoots it with confidence."

Underwood ran with the Arizona Magic and Arizona Dream Team in AAU.

-- Denny Conroy contributed to this report.

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