The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

National Christian senior Christian Matthews picks Georgia Tech basketball

Of all the places that his hosts brought him during his official visit to Georgia Tech this past weekend, the locker room is probably the last place that Christian Matthews figured would emit the most excitement.

But there he stood in awe Saturday as former Yellow Jackets guard and current Cleveland Cavalier Iman Shumpert sauntered into the area and struck up a conversation prior to his workout.

“Man, that was a great experience,” said Matthews, a senior swingman at National Christian. “I didn’t know he’d be there and then when he came in he asked if I was a freshman. When I told him I was just 17, he asked me my shoe size, and when I said I wore 16, he was like, ‘Yeah, you’ve got a lot of growing to do.'”

If true, Matthews ensured that some of that growth will take place on the Atlanta campus by committing to Georgia Tech later that night. With his decision, the All-Met sharpshooter followed in the footsteps of former National Christian teammate Sylvester Ogbonda, who will be a freshman forward for the Yellow Jackets this year.

“I didn’t think I would end up committing this weekend but just everything about it was great,” Matthews said. “They had the type of family atmosphere and first-class education that I was looking for and my family really got along with the coaches, too.”

Matthews marks the first commitment from the 2016 class for Georgia Tech Coach Brian Gregory, who is sitting on the hot seat after going 55-71 in four seasons at the helm. Though Matthews said the uncertainty of Gregory’s position beyond this year was never directly discussed, the 6-foot-6 guard guard found comfort in the expressed direction of the team.

“We talked about the previous years and he believed they were about to get out of the trouble they’ve been having with the recruits he has coming in and expects to keep getting,” Matthews said. “He told me that I should come prepared to play early and keep putting the ball in the basket.”

Matthews had little trouble doing that last season. Blessed with a soft touch and plenty of range, Matthews averaged a team-high 22.4 points for National Christian, helping them reach the Capital Beltway title game.

More from AllMetSports

DeMatha’s Markelle Fultz chooses Washington

Recruit Watch: Latest basketball offers, commitments