Jahvon Quinerly wasn’t surprised that Villanova won the national championship last week. He had the Wildcats going all the way the entire time.
Now Quinerly, a point guard from Hudson Catholic High School in Jersey City, N.J., will get a chance to wear the Villanova jersey, having signed a national letter of intent Wednesday to play college basketball under coach Jay Wright.
“I’m really thrilled to finally officially be a part of the culture at Villanova,” the 6-foot, 170-pound Quinerly said in a telephone interview. “It’s been a long journey for me so finally being able to sign is just a great feeling. It’s a dream come true and I can’t wait for it.”
Quinerly, a consensus five-star recruit who was named Gatorade New Jersey player of the year, is rated the No. 5 point guard in the country by 247Sports, No. 6 by ESPN and No. 7 by Rivals. He averaged 18.5 points during his senior season at Hudson Catholic.
He will be in the mix for playing time at point guard now that consensus national player of the year Jalen Brunson has announced he will pass up his senior season to enter the NBA draft.
“I’m definitely ready to earn my minutes,” he said. “I want to show the coaching staff that everything I did at the high school level can translate to the college level.”
Quinerly said he looked forward to playing in the Villanova system, and be part of the Wildcats’ family.
“Jay Wright trusts in his guards and he lets his guards go, as long as you’re not making too many mistakes,” he said. “Everyone on the team plays together. You don’t see any selfishness on the team, and even the bench players are always into the game, so I’m just excited.”
Quinerly originally committed to Arizona but reopened his recruitment last October after the coach who recruited him there was arrested in a federal investigation of corruption in college basketball.
According to court documents filed in the case against the coach, Emanuel “Book” Richardson, Richardson asked for bribes from a sports agent and a financial adviser. The two provided him with $15,000 that he used to obtain a commitment from Quinerly, but it was not clear whether he received any money.
Quinerly denied taking money.
“I’ve never really been worried about that because I know what really happened,” he said. “Villanova researched everything and they know that me and my family are not involved in that.”
The signing by Quinerly gives the Wildcats a strong three-man recruiting class that also includes 6-7 forward Cole Swider of Barrington, R.I., and 6-6 guard Brandon Slater of Fairfax, Va.