Foothill boys basketball coach Paul DeSantis offered a flattering assessment of star senior guard Jace Roquemore before practice Tuesday afternoon.
“He’s 6-foot-5. He can handle the ball,” DeSantis said. “He sees the floor well. He shoots it. He’s explosive. … I think he’s very, very unique as far as his skill-set goes. He’s a big tall, point guard.”
And as of last Thursday — a big, tall, soon-to-be Division I point guard.
Roquemore announced his commitment to UC-San Diego on Thursday night, ensuring he’ll attend college for free via a full basketball scholarship. The Tritons play at the Division II level — for now — but are transitioning in to the Division I level and the Big West Conference, in which they’ll compete beginning in his sophomore season of 2020-21.
“As far as the basketball aspect, it’s great to be able to continue my career” he said. “But I’m getting four years of my education paid for.”
Spoken like a true student-athlete.
Roquemore’s older brother, Evan, was an all-state guard for the Falcons, and played college basketball at Santa Clara from 2010-14. The younger Roquemore idolized Evan, and was in elementary school during his recruitment.
“It was a cool thing to see him take all those visits,” Jace Roquemore said. “And just to see him get recognized by a whole bunch of colleges.”
In turn, Roquemore developed the determination to play collegiately, and — then a rangy, 6-foot-3 guard — cracked Foothill’s varsity roster as a freshman in 2015-16, averaging 7.7 points and 2.9 assists per game.
He began drawing collegiate attention toward the end of his sophomore year, and excelled again as a junior to set up the most crucial stretch of a basketball player’s recruitment — the summer before his senior year.
“I didn’t have too many schools interested in me,” Roquemore said.
But UC-San Diego was one of them.
The Tritons and recruited him throughout the summer, and more intensely at the beginning of the school year. Roquemore visited the campus in the fall, and spoke glowingly of the fit and coaching staff.
And, of course, the location.
He tweeted his commitment Thursday night, and DeSantis said he sensed some relief from Roquemore, who scored a season-high 28 points against Legacy on Monday, and is averaging 16.4 points through five games this season.
“I think it’s huge to get the monkey off his back, know his education is paid for,” DeSantis said. “Now, he can focus on finishing up school and being the best player he can be for his high school team.”
Arbor View linebacker commits
Arbor View senior linebacker Billy Davis announced his commitment to Southern Utah on Saturday. His commitment is nonbinding, and won’t be official until he signs a national letter of intent. Early signing period for football begins Dec. 19.
Davis had a team-high 93 tackles and 10 sacks for the Aggies this season.
Showcase at Gorman
Top area boys and girls basketball teams are set to meet at Bishop Gorman on Saturday. For the girls, Liberty plays Bishop Gorman at noon and Bonita Vista (California) plays Centennial at 1:30 p.m. For the boys, Clark plays Foothill at 3 p.m., and Liberty plays Faith Lutheran at 4:30 p.m.