Recruit Bond drops commmitment to Pitt, will attend prep school
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Plymouth Whitemarsh senior Jaylen Bond, who signed a letter of intent to play basketball at Pitt in November, emailed a statement to Philadelphia area newspapers Tuesday night saying that he will attend prep school instead of Pitt in the fall.
"I would like to announce that I have decided to de-commit from the University of Pittsburgh in favor of attending a prep school next fall," the statement read. "While I look forward to playing basketball at the [Division I] level, I feel that, as someone who is 17 years of age, an additional year of development will allow me to enter my freshman year of college better prepared to contribute at a high level from the start. I have great respect and appreciation for the University of Pittsburgh, the coaching staff, and the players, and thank them for their belief in me. This decision was made after a lot of thought by both myself and my family, and I am confident it is the correct one."
When reached Wednesday afternoon, Plymouth Whitemarsh coach Jim Donofrio said Bond, a 6-foot-7, 220-pound forward, was not closed to the idea of attending Pitt after his year at prep school. Bond's decision was forced, at least in part by the decision of McDonald's All-American Khem Birch to sign with Pitt one year earlier than expected.
Bond, one of the top 150 high school senior prospects in the country according to Rivals.com, is a power forward, the same position as Birch.
Bond signed his letter of intent in November, but apparently was unaware that Birch did, too. The news of Birch's signing was kept under wraps until the signing period was over.
"My sense is that Jaylen and his family were trying to picture Jaylen in that class and where he would contribute," Donofrio said. "I think that was certainly part of it."
Because Bond signed a letter of intent with Pitt he is not eligible to sign with another Big East school under conference rules. He could transfer to any other Division I school outside the Big East after his year at prep school or remain committed to the Panthers.
With Birch's decision confirmed, Dixon is now one player over the scholarship limit for next season, meaning one current player on the roster must transfer if the remaining four incoming freshmen are eligible.
First Published March 31, 2011 12:00 am