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Jefferson H.S. standout sets sights on Morgan State

Keith Spellman is without a school no longer.

The Thomas Jefferson star, who had been hampered by a debilitating back injury, verbally committed to Morgan State of the MEAC Wednesday afternoon, ending months of waiting and debating.

“He’s on the court, going to college, the kid seems happy right now,” Orange Wave coach Lawrence Pollard said. “I’m happy the kid is going to college, has a chance to get out of Brooklyn and mature and get ready for manhood. He can pursue his dreams.”

The all−time leading scorer in the East New York, Brooklyn school’s history, the 6−foot−3 Spellman shined for four seasons, averaging 19 points, eight rebounds and five assists last year before a back injury cost him several games toward the end of his senior season. That included the Orange Wave’s PSAL Class AA semifinals loss to John F. Kennedy and the Jordan Brand Regional Game at Madison Square Garden.

He held offers from Rutgers, St. John’s and Hofstra at this time last year, but opted to wait. The interest dried up toward the middle of this past season, almost in conjunction with the injury, which Spellman characterized as severe back spasms. His vertebrae were offset, created by several hard falls on his spine.

He had offers from mid−major programs, causing Spellman to consider prep school. But Morgan State, coached by Todd Bozeman, who mentored Jason Kidd at California, entered recently. They needed a scoring guard with athleticism, Pollard said, and Spellman felt comfortable there.

“This is a good look for Keith – Coach Bozeman is a proven winner. He’s coached a lot of great players. He’s been successful everywhere,” Pollard said. “When Keith saw the blue and orange, he knew it was a fit.”

Talent evaluator Tom Konchalski thinks it is a good match. Spellman is joining a winning program – Morgan State made the NCAA Tournament last year in Bozeman’s third season behind the bench – where he can find his niche.

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