Former Highland Park guard Jahmal McMurray has verbally committed to the University of South Florida.
McMurray, who is currently attending Sunrise Christian Academy, took an official visit to USF over the weekend and announced his commitment on Monday picking USF over Sam Houston State, SIU, and Nebraska-Omaha among others.
“It was the people honestly,” said McMurray, who will enroll at USF for the 2015-16 season. “I talked to the A.D. and assistant A.D. and my academic lady—those were the first people that caught my attention. I’m going to get a great education and that school is really high on academics so that was a big plus. The coaches are real high on academics too, they don’t even let you practice if you have a ‘D’. They really care about how you’re doing in school so that was a plus too.
“I also got in good with the team. We bonded really well. It was just like being at home, that’s how I really felt. The coaches have so much experience. You have coach Rod Strickland, who played in the league for 17 years; coach Orlando Antigua, he was a Kentucky assistant for years and Anigua’s brother was at Seton Hall so there’s a lot of high-major programs they have been in so the program is going to turn around quick.”
McMurray graduated from Highland Park in May and reclassified to the 2015 class. While at Highland Park, he was a three-time all-state selection including first-team all-state as a senior averaging 19.7 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 1.1 steals a game.
He was named City Player of the Year his junior and senior seasons helping lead the Scots to the state championship game both years with a 47-3 record. He scored 1,155 points and made 202 3-pointers in high school career. He played summer ball with Top City.
McMurray enjoyed seeing the campus located in Tampa, which was very impressive to him.
“The campus was amazing,” he said. “The campus holds 50,000 students, that shows you right there that the campus is big. The campus is real nice, everything is really high-major there. They have so much money there, like my major is business and a guy just donated $25 million to the business program, that drew my attention also. The facilities are great and I’m going to get extremely better every day.”
Since he announced his commitment, McMurray has received plenty of attention.
“It’s been crazy, I’ve been getting hit up all day, it’s wild,” he said. “Just to know that a lot of people that I’ve really been with since day one are still here with me and supporting me, which is really a great feeling.”
McMurray is unsure if he will sign next month during the early signing period, but is done with the recruiting process.
He will be the first Division I player from Highland Park since 2008 graduates Pat Inyard (UMKC) and Ty Modupe (Illinois State).
He begins his season with Sunrise Christian Academy on Oct. 31.