Ja’Quan Newton, the outstanding shooting guard from Philadelphia’s Neumann-Goretti High School, has always dreamed of playing big-time college basketball. A 6-2, 176-pound senior, Newton was heavily recruited by a number of Division I schools, including UCLA, Texas A&M and Minnesota. For Newton, however, one standout earned his verbal commitment—the University of Miami, which plays in the Wooden Legacy (Nov. 28 to Dec. 1, 2013).
“I selected Miami because it was the best situation for me,” reasons Newton, an All-Catholic League standout, who averaged 18.0 points a game last season. “Miami has a winning program. I wanted to be a part of a winner … and they also play in the best league in the country.”
For Newton, that would be the Atlantic Coast Conference, of course. The Hurricanes won the ACC conference tournament and advanced to the NCAA tournament last season, finishing with an impressive 27-6 overall record.
Newton, who has scored 1,302 career points, knows a little something about winning. He has led Neumann-Goretti to three consecutive Catholic League championships.
Miami coach Jim Larrañaga would be happy to know that his newest star recruit is also a big fan of his coach: “He’s a good coach and a mentor,” says Newton. “He’s a great guy. He runs a lot of pick-and-roll and high-ball screens and stuff like that. I love pick-and-rolls. That’s how I excel on the court.”