Four-star Class of 2018 forward Saddiq Bey, a Sidwell Friends graduate, committed to Villanova on Friday, adding another D.C.-area player to the reigning NCAA champions.
In mid-May, Bey was granted his release from North Carolina State after a mutual decision to part ways, which put the versatile player back on the hunt for his ideal college program. After taking visits to Wake Forest, Boston College, Vanderbilt and Villanova in the past month, Bey made his decision public Friday via a retweet of an image on Twitter. His last visit was to the Wildcats on Wednesday.
“I felt on the visit it was the right fit. I just liked the energy and culture of the players. I just felt as though the coaching staff and school could help me develop as a student athlete. So it was just the right fit that I felt in my heart,” Bey said.
“Villanova, its positionless style there, that’s great for him,” Sidwell Friends Coach Eric Singletary said. “It is a great program with Jay Wright and that whole program.”
Bey is just the latest player from the D.C. area to commit to Villanova. Four-star DeMatha guard Justin Moore committed to the Wildcats in early May, and former Paul VI star Brandon Slater will be a freshman in the fall. Bey is also not the first from Sidwell Friends to attend Villanova. Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Josh Hart, who won a national title with the Wildcats in 2016, is also a Sidwell Friends alum.
“It is tremendous for him,” Singletary said of Bey. “It was great for Josh and what he did going to Villanova, and I would expect the same type of thing for Saddiq.”
While Bey was granted his release by N.C. State, the 6-foot-7 athlete was denied a waiver to play in the ACC for the 2018-19 season, according to Les Johns of 247 Sports. That left Bey’s options limited, with Wake Forest, Boston College and Pittsburgh potential landing spots before the ACC denied his waiver to transfer within the conference. Bey never attended a class at N.C. State.
Villanova had two scholarships remaining for next season before adding Bey. The Wildcats will benefit from Bey’s versatility; the program must replace several key players from its title-winning team, including Jalen Brunson, Mikal Bridges, Donte DiVincenzo and Omari Spellman.
Bey averaged 21 points during his senior campaign at Sidwell Friends and missed a handful of games with an ankle injury. He averaged 14.2 points as a junior and led Sidwell Friends to the Mid-Atlantic Athletic Conference championship. Bey originally chose the Wolfpack in November over Xavier, Miami, Pittsburgh and several other programs.
“I just want to bring my full game to the table. It’s a young team, so there’s equal opportunity” Bey said. “This is just me and Jay Wright saying the plan that he had, so it was the right fit.”