Paul Rowley was already roaming the halls of Loudoun Valley Tuesday morning when the news arrived. Rowley’s father, Sean, sent his son a text message that said, “Hey guess what?”

Loudoun Valley junior forward Paul Rowley is a key contributor on the Vikings' state tournament team. (Photo courtesy of Clarence Thomas/ Loudoun Valley junior forward Paul Rowley is a key contributor on the Vikings’ state tournament team. (Photo courtesy of Clarence Thomas/

An assistant coach from Cornell called Sean Rowley earlier that morning offering a spot on the basketball team for his son, a 6-foot-7 junior forward.

As an Ivy League school, Cornell does not offer athletic scholarships, but it does support applications for admission for prospects such as Rowley.

Cornell stuffed Rowley’s mailbox with letters, invited him to a junior camp in Ithaca, N.Y., and sent coaches to Purcellville to assess his jump shot in early morning workouts.

“We’ve had a relationship now with Cornell since last summer, and it’s nice to see it come to fruition,” Sean Rowley said.

Garnering attention from Ivy League institutions is proof of Rowley’s stellar performance in the classroom. According to his dad, Rowley is the second-ranked student in a class of 275.

In addition to the academic benefits, Rowley said the team atmosphere he witnessed at Cornell stood out during his trip.

“Just looking at how the team interacted with one another, it looked like a really tight-knit, happy group of people,” Rowley said.

Cornell’s tender is the third offer for the skilled forward, who recently overtook senior Josh Grimard to lead the team in scoring average at 16.6 points per game. Mount St. Mary’s and Quinnipiac already offered scholarships, and more schools are hot on the recruiting trail.

Earlier this month, Maryland invited Rowley to check out its facilities for an ACC matchup against Virginia.

Sean Rowley said in the past two weeks, William & Mary, Bucknell, Holy Cross and Boston have all attended Vikings games. Rowley’s 24-point performance in the AA Dulles District tournament final, a 71-60 win over Potomac Falls, gave the scouts something to write home about.

Rowley said he is in no hurry to declare a favorite school. He said he comes from a “methodical” family that will ensure his final decision has been thoughtfully weighed.

Still, offering early has benefits for Cornell.

“You always tend to like people more when they like you,” Rowley said.

After losing to Handley, 58-47, in the Virginia AA Region II Div. 3 championship game last weekend, Loudoun Valley (25-4) will travel to the Siegel Center at VCU, to take on Region I champion Brunswick in a AA Division 3 state quarterfinal Saturday at 8:45 p.m.


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