Levan Alston was looking for his dad's old Temple jersey on Monday night, but the search through the family's West Philadelphia home was unsuccessful.
Alston thought it would be the perfect complement when he announced Tuesday morning that he was following his dad's path to play basketball for the Owls. A few hours before the news conference, there it was.
"I found it in a clutter of stuff in the basement," said Alston. "It was a nice find."
The 6-foot-4 guard unzipped his black sweatshirt to reveal his dad's cherry-colored jersey with the same No. 10 the younger Alston wears at Haverford School. He said his father, Levan Alston Sr., is his "favorite player."
"I wanted to cry out there," said Alston Sr., who played at Temple under John Chaney in the 1990s. "He always does stuff like that. It makes me proud that he really respects me. That gesture just put it over the top."
Temple head coach Fran Dunphy visited Alston at school on Monday to seal his commitment. Alston grew up in North Philadelphia and chose Temple over Penn State and Virginia Commonwealth. Indiana, Georgetown, and Providence recently joined the race.
Alston's father teamed at Temple with former Sixer Aaron McKie, who was hired last month as the Owls' new assistant coach. The two remain close and the younger Alston considers McKie as an uncle. His father said he thought the hiring of McKie made Alston's decision easier.
Alston can play both guard positions and small forward. Dunphy told him he has a chance to start as a freshman.
"He was one of the few coaches who told me, 'No matter where you go, I'll still be a supporter of you,' " said Alston, who plans to major in business. "Right there, that told me that he had genuine love for me and he didn't just want to recruit me."
ESPN ranks Alston as a four-star recruit and the nation's 86th-best prospect in the Class of 2015. He will team at Temple with New Jersey four-star guard Trey Lowe, his friend and AAU teammate with Team Final. Alston is Philadelphia's first four-star recruit to choose a Big Five school since Aaric Murray (La Salle) and Maalik Wayns (Villanova) stayed home in 2009.
"All the Philly guys are talking about staying in Philly," Alston said. "I was the first to go and hopefully those guys come next."