Since taking over at St. John’s in 2010, St. John’s coach Steve Lavin has had his share of success recruiting players from the West Coast.
Lavin landed Dwayne Polee of California in his first spring, and then added California guys Amir Garrett and Norvel Pelle in 2011. (Polee later transferred and Pelle never made it to campus after being declared academically ineligible. On Tuesday, he withdrew from the NBA Draft.)
Now Lavin is making a run at Stephen Zimmerman, the 7-foot 2015 big man from Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas.
During a phone conversation Tuesday with Zimmerman and his stepmom, Lori Stevens, Lavin offered the big guy a scholarship.
“We’re offering you a scholarship and want you to know you will always have a home here,” Lavin told Zimmerman.
Ohio State and Texas also offered, joining a parade of big-time schools that includes Kentucky, UCLA, Arizona, Kansas and more.
“Just got an offer from The Ohio State University! The blessings keep coming!” Stephen Tweeted.
The competition for Zimmerman will be fierce but Lori said she had followed Lavin since his time at UCLA and that he had watched Steven play as a freshman.
“I watched Coach Lavin when he coaches at UCLA so I’m not a stranger to him,” she told SNY.tv. “I thought he was great then. He saw Stephen as a freshman, so it’s quite an honor. And he sent a really nice today. It was pictures of their uniforms and said, ‘Zimmerman would be unstoppable’ with his name on the back. It’s a good feeling knowing that his hard work is paying off.”
Zimmerman is lined up to play in New York at the Big Strick Classic Aug. 10, so he will get a taste of life in the Big Apple that weekend.