"They love the coach," Seidlin said of Mills and his family. "He was honest with them. [Mills'] dad is a physical therapist. They liked the idea that John is PhD. They thought [La Salle] reminded them of the high school."
The coach would be Dr. John Giannini. If you go back a year, many of the same things were being said when Glen Mills big man Aaric Murray signed with La Salle. Like, how did that happen?
It is well known in recruiting circles that Giannini works really hard. He was close to some very good players several times. Now, he is closing the deal.
"Sam is a great addition to our program," Giannini said in a statement released by the school. "He is a highly talented guard with a great work ethic and a very impressive academic record. He received recruiting attention from various basketball powers as well as elite academic institutions. He saw an opportunity to make an immediate impact on a talented team at La Salle."
So, how good is Mills?
"His first step is major, major college," Seidlin said. "He can get into the paint with the best point guards in the country.
"Last year, we played against Brandon Knight, probably ranked No. 1 [at point guard], Kenny Boynton, starting at Florida. None of those teams could stop him from getting into the paint."
Mills was at another school for ninth and 10th grade where he did not get a chance to play much behind some very good guards. He blossomed when he went to Gibbons last year.
"The kid has flourished," Seidlin said. "He's become almost a super."
The smaller school atmosphere really appealed to Mills and his family.
"He said, 'I'd rather go where I feel comfortable in the environment of a smaller school with a terrific coach and a chance to win,' " Seidlin said.
Last season was the first for coach and player.
"I held him back," Seidlin said. "He averaged about 17 a game. It could have been 30."
This season, with a younger team around Mills, Seidlin may want him to score 30.
"We work about 4 hours a day," Seidlin said. "Then, he goes home, runs on the beach, goes to the 24-hour fitness center, jumps rope for 20 minutes, lifts weights a second time, shoots for an hour, does his homework - he's a 3.9-something student - reads, goes to bed."
Mills' parents are from Trinidad. Mills was born in the United States, has a twin brother who plays football and will be playing basketball at 20th and Olney next year.
In addition to Mills, La Salle also got letters of intent from 6-foot point guard Tyreek Duren (Neumann-Goretti) and 6-10 center Matt Lopez (Washington Township, N.J.).
"The guard positions are a great need for us in this class and Tyreek should be an outstanding 4-year player for us," Giannini said.
"As we recruit talented guards and look to play more guards in the future, we need outstanding big men to go with them," Giannini said of Lopez.
Hawks make it official
Saint Joseph's got three early commitments, all of whom have now signed their letters.
They are: 6-9 center C.J. Aiken (Plymouth Whitemarsh), 6-3 guard Langston Galloway (Christian Life Academy, Baton Rouge, La.) and 6-6 forward Daryus Quarles (Paulsboro High).
Galloway is the nephew of Hawks assistant Geoff Arnold.
Quarles played last season at Life Center Academy (Burlington. N.J.). He then transferred back to Paulsboro where he played his freshman and sophomore years. He is ineligible to play this season because of the transfer.
"We're delighted to add C.J., Langston and Daryus, not only to our basketball program, but to the university community," St. Joe's coach Phil Martelli said.
All three players are ranked in the rivals.com Top 150.