Indiana added a fourth member to its 2014 recruiting class on Friday night as Westwind Prep (Ariz.) Jeremiah April announced a commitment to the Hoosiers.
April, who also had offers from Arizona State, Marquette and Washington State, according to his high school coach, chose the Hoosiers after meeting with Tom Crean and associate head coach Steve McClain on Friday. He said the coaching staff played a major role in his decision to commit to Indiana.
“I got a good vibe from them and the goals they want to achieve,” April told Inside the Hall by phone.
A native of Joliet, Illinois, April said being closer to home also played a role in his decision as well as the program’s tradition. Westwind Prep Jai Steadman said April’s recruitment had picked up in recent weeks. He was originally a member of the 2013 class at Sunrise Joy Christian in Arizona, but returned for a postgrad season at Westwind Prep.
“Steve McClain did a great job with Jeremiah,” Steadman told Inside the Hall. “Their tradition, developing players, the conference, coach McClain did a great job of selling everything. Crean came in and finished the deal.”
Unranked by most of the national recruiting services, Steadman said April has improved offensively this season, but noted that his strength and conditioning will be key upon his arrival in Bloomington.
“I told Coach, his best friend needs to be the strength and conditioning coach,” Steadman said. “As talented as these kids are, they need the weight room.”
One of April’s teammates at Westwind is 6-foot-11 California commit Kingsley Okoroh and the competition in practices and workouts has helped in his development.
April had games of 26 points against Midland Junior College and 28 points against Pima Junior College this season. He finished the season with averages of 19 points and 11 rebounds per game.
“He just turned 18 and he’s got huge upside. He can score, he’s played against the best,” Steadman said. “He’s athletic, runs the floor, has a high motor and high basketball IQ. He should be ready to go.”