ST. BONAVENTURE -- With three scholarships still available, the assumption was that the St. Bonaventure men’s basketball team wasn’t finished recruiting for next season.
And its latest addition -- despite coming more than two weeks after the regular signing period and two days before the start of June -- seems only to be the next in another line of impressive-on-paper Bona recruits.
Alejandro Vasquez, a well-built 6-foot-3 point guard from The Patrick School in New Jersey, made a verbal commitment to St. Bonaventure, he announced in a social media post and a team source confirmed Thursday.
The Flushing native, who’d made an official visit to Bona earlier this month, selected the Bonnies over offers from Arkansas State, Fordham, Iona, UMass, Monmouth and Robert Morris, according to 247sports.com. He’ll have four years of collegiate eligibility, beginning this fall.
“After an A-10 Championship game run, with Vasquez in attendance in 2019, (the Bonnies) are reloading with firepower for 2020 beyond,” tweeted Mike Yagmin, an analyst for thehoophustle.com. “Vasquez is a fearless shotmaker and three-level scorer who stays in attack mode and extends the floor with easy range.”
Vasquez averaged 17 points and five rebounds as a senior last season at Patrick, an independent private school that retains a connection with the since-closed and renowned St. Patrick’s in Elizabeth, N.J., which produced current NBA players Kyrie Irving, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and former St. Joseph’s forward DeAndre’ Bembry (it is also the alma mater of former Bona big man Da’Quan Cook).
Last summer, he served as the starting point guard for the Puerto Rican U18 National Team at the Americas Championship in Canada. He led his team and finished 15th in the tournament in scoring (14.2 points), eighth in 3-point percentage (41.7), 12th in assists (3.8) and tied for 12th in steals (1.4) while guiding Puerto Rico to fourth place among eight teams.
Vasquez, a composite two-star recruit, per verbalcommits.com, is characterized in multiple online stories by his strength and toughness.
A Patrick School team preview on prepcircuit.com from October said that “senior guard Alejandro Vasquez brings a lot of of toughness and a knack for getting to the basket. The piece added of Vasquez and the program:
“The Patrick School is always in the mix when it comes to top high school programs in the nation, especially on the east coast. The talented group out of New Jersey has a solid balance of returnees and new additions this season. Their key returnees are senior guard Al-Amir Dawes, who just committed to Clemson, and senior Division I prospect Alejandro Vasquez.”
The Queens product, who’s expected to be formally announced by Bona in the coming days, is the fifth member of coach Mark Schmidt’s 2019 recruiting class, joining fellow four-year players Justin Winston and Robert Carpenter, both 6-foot-7 forwards, and junior college transfer guards Matt Johnson and Jaren English.
Though he also logged plenty of time off the ball at Patrick (with Dawes assuming lead guard responsibilities), he’ll be expected to help fill what had been the Bona’s biggest remaining need, the backup point guard position.
With Vasquez on board, the 2019-20 Bonnies will feature at least six new players, including 6-foot-8 Mount St. Marys transfer Bobby Planutis. Nearing the completion of the 2019 recruiting class, Bona is excited about its latest prospect.
“Exclamation point to an already talented group of newcomers,” assistant coach Steve Curran tweeted Thursday afternoon. “Welcome to the squad!”