By Sullivan Burgess ’20
The best Providence College sports moment of the year was earlier in the basketball season, when the announcement of the Providence College Men’s Basketball Team signing two ESPN Top 100 High School players: Massachusetts native A.J. Reeves and Rhode Island native David Duke.
With many of the starters of this season including Kyron Cartwright ’18 and Rodney Bullock ’18 graduating, PC students needed a silver lining for next season; luckily, that miracle came in October off the court. Point guard David Duke from Cushing Academy, ranked 46th on ESPN Top 100, declined offers from University of Florida, University of Kansas, Syracuse University, University of Rhode Island, and University of Connecticut to stay in his home state and join Ed Cooley to become a Friar. Duke grew up in Providence and his parents still live in the Elmhusrt neighborhood. Duke is the highest ranked player to commit to PC since Rickey Ledo came to campus in 2012.
He will be joined by shooting guard A.J. Reeves from Brimmer & May High School, who signed in June of last summer, after declining offers from University of Louisville, Villanova University, and the University of Virginia. Reeves, who is six foot six inches, was named the Massachusetts Gatorade Player of the Year during his senior season, where he averaged 27.1 points per game and 9.1 rebounds per game.
According to rivals.com, which ranks the recruiting classes for each team, Providence has the 22nd best class in Division I. Both Duke and Reeves are considered to be four-star recruits according to Rivals and ESPN. With the signing of these two, alongside the signing of power forwards Kris Monroe and Jimmy Nichols Jr. PC turned into one of hottest schools to sign with in the Big East.
Aside from making PC one of the stronger schools in the Big East, Reeves and Duke’s attendance at PC maintains the winning culture and mindset Head Coach Ed Cooley brings each season for the school. Both athletes attended this year’s Iverson Classic, hosted by NBA Hall-of-Famer Allen Iverson, and have been in the gym together working on one goal, bringing the March Madness championship to Providence.
Their chemistry will be pivotal this upcoming season to help develop a rhythm to mix together with our current players to find the strengths of any team that stands in front of the Friars. Reeves and Duke are the spark of light this school needs to be taken seriously as contenders for March Madness. Their addition to the team will attract upcoming future Friar recruits who are looking to come here and be a part of the Friar Family and culture.