The friendship between Ameen Tanksley and Juan'ya Green goes back to the sixth grade and, over the next 4 years, it promises to get only stronger.
Reason: They're headed to college together.
Green, a 6-3, 200-pound senior guard at Archbishop Carroll High, and Tanksley, a 6-5, 200-pound senior swingman at Imhotep Charter, last night co-committed to play basketball at Niagara.
In case you're wondering, neither guy was the ringleader.
"I was talking to him about doing this as much as he was talking to me," Green said.
"It was just a dual agreement," Tanksley said. "We kept saying the same things."
He added: "When we were younger, we talked about going to high school together. That didn't happen, but we'll be up at Niagara together, and we're very happy about that. It's a blessing."
At Niagara, in time, Green expects to play point guard. Tanksley, a lefty, figures he'll play mostly wing guard.
They made their official visit - together; what else? - last weekend. Both players had numerous offers and headed to Niagara not with the idea of committing early.
"I loved the campus, coaches and players," said Green, who lives in Plymouth Meeting. "I fell in love with it. I just kept picturing myself in that Purple Eagles' jersey and being successful there."
Said Tanksley, who lives in the shadows of St. Joseph's Prep, at 17th and Girard: "Everything about it felt like home. There was a real connection. We both felt it was a program that just didn't want us, but needed us. That makes a difference . . . I'm really excited about this. Upstate New York is beautiful. It's very calm up there. It'll be a good experience for me and Juan'ya; we're like brothers."
Niagara's coach, Joe Mihalich, is a double product of La Salle (high/college) while assistant Phil Martelli Jr. (son of you-know-who) can claim likewise where St./Saint Joseph's is concerned; he was instrumental in recruiting Green and Tanksley.
"Through the process, I got a lot of help from Lonnie Lowry, my AAU coach with Team Philly [and older brother of NBAer Kyle Lowry]," Tanksley said. "His advice had a big say-so. He was keeping me mature about it. Telling me to make sure I found the best fit.
"On the plane ride home, I wanted to commit right then and there. That was how much I liked it. But it made more sense for us to come back and talk to our families. They all agree with our feelings on this."