The thought when Jarin Hilson transferred from Fairmont Senior High in West Virginia to St. Mary’s Ryken last summer was that playing under the increased exposure of the WCAC would open up his college recruitment.
But even as Hilson helped pushed the Knights back into contention in the area’s toughest conference with his scoring and passing ability, the senior point guard remained without an offer.
That changed in March, when North Carolina A&T became the first school to extend a scholarship to the skilled Hilson. Following an official visit in April, the interest was mutual, as Hilson committed to play with the Aggies on Tuesday.
“They were the first school to offer me an opportunity to play at the Division I level and when I took my visit, I really liked it a lot,” Hilson said.
Odds are several other Division I colleges will be kicking themselves for not taking more notice of Hilson’s skills. Blessed with speed, a quick first step and strong court savvy, the 6-foot-1 facilitator thrives in the open court by finding his teammates with pinpoint passes or slicing into the lane for buckets.
“They want me to run the point at A&T but also be able to play the two-guard because they think I can shoot the ball well,” said Hilson, who received interest from UNC-Greensboro and College of Charleston. “I just want to continue developing my game on both ends and bring my uptempo game and leadership to the team.”
In his lone season at Ryken, Hilson averaged 14.5 points and knocked down 41 three-pointers to lead the Knights to a 18-14 record, marking an 11-win improvement from a year ago. Along with earning fourth-team All-Met and first-team all-WCAC honors, Hilson recorded a triple-double in the penultimate game of his high school career, notching 26 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds in a comeback win against Capitol Christian.
“This past year at Ryken helped me tune up my game as far as my skill level and pushed me to get quicker and stronger against tough competition,” Hilson said. “Now I’m ready to make an impact at the next level.”
NUMBER CRUNCH: 14
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-The 41st annual Capital Classic will be played this Saturday at T.C. Williams with new format featuring three basketball games loaded with local and national talent.
-Caroline Alcorta led West Springfield to victory in the distance medley during a busy first day for local teams at the Penn Relays.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR TODAY
No. 9 DeMatha at No. 6 Riverdale Baptist, 7 p.m.
On Thursday, Riverdale Baptist Coach Terry Terril notched his 1,000th career coaching win. Today, he’ll lead the Crusdaders against a tough DeMatha team that was once nationally ranked and is looking to bounce back from a close loss to McNamara on Thursday.