N.Y. prep star says he'll play for Villanova

Posted: December 04, 2009

JayVaughn Pinkston, a 6-foot-6 forward from Bishop Loughlin High School in Brooklyn who is considered the best player in New York City, made an oral commitment yesterday to play his college basketball at Villanova, according to the director of his AAU program.

Pinkston appeared to be leaning toward Tennessee when he scheduled a news conference on Nov. 18 to disclose his college choice.

But he canceled the news conference, leaving his other top choices - Villanova, St. John's, Seton Hall, and Marquette - in play.

"Villanova was at the top of his list for a long time," said Kimani Young, athletic director of the New Heights AAU team. "But he wanted to take a look at some other places before the early-signing period. He didn't have his heart set on any one school. But in the end, there were too many positives with Villanova."

Another top high school player, Tobias Harris of Dix Hills, N.Y., committed to Tennessee on Nov. 18, but Young said Harris' consideration of the Volunteers had nothing to do with Pinkston's delaying his announcement.

With the early-signing period already passed, Pinkston must wait for April to sign with Villanova.

Pinkston, who can play either forward position, averaged better than 24 points per game last season at Bishop Loughlin.

"He's a very versatile player," Young said. "He can put it on the floor. He's a tough rebounder. He's a fierce competitor. I feel he's going to be an impact player in the Big East pretty soon."

Pinkston is the third player to commit to Villanova for the fall of 2010. The others are 6-5 swing man James Bell of Monteverde (Fla.) Academy and 6-9 forward Markus Kennedy of Yeadon and the Winchendon (Mass.) School.

Contact staff writer Joe Juliano at 215-854-4494 or jjuliano@phillynews.com.

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