READING, Pa. – Jordan Dickerson’s decision to leave home three years ago paid off Wednesday afternoon.
The former Lincoln standout, who went from Alexandria, Va. to Coney Island, verbally committed to SMU, picking the Mustangs over Providence, Auburn and South Carolina, his uncle Darrell Crawford said.
A still-developing 7-foot-1 center who just finished a postgraduate year at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., Dickerson will join SMU’s loaded recruiting class, which includes Xaverian guard Brian Bernardi. He will also get to play for legendary coach Larry Brown, the much-traveled coach who won an NBA championship with the Detroit Pistons in 2004 and an NCAA title with Kansas in 1988.
“I’m really proud of him, that he made this progress,” Crawford said. “I just hope he can continue it.”
Dickerson’s recruitment picked up late, after he received a qualifying SAT score. He took official visits to Auburn, Providence, South Carolina and SMU, which will join the Big East in 2013.
He’s come a long way. The 18-year-old shot-blocking and rebounding specialist arrived at Lincoln a raw project. Crawford joked “he couldn’t chew gum and walk at the same time” when he first got to Coney Island. He had a solid second year at Lincoln, helping the Railsplitters reach the PSAL Class AA finals at Madison Square Garden.
After a solid summer with the Juice All-Stars on the AAU circuit, he went down to Florida and got even better. He averaged 10 points, eight rebounds and four blocks per game as IMG went 28-2.
“Jordan is a very talented kid that has a great opportunity – his upside is tremendous,” IMG coach Loren Jackson previously said. Jackson added: “He really, really improved. He has a good concept of how a big guy should play. He’s a lot more skilled than people think.”
Lincoln coach Dwayne (Tiny) Morton was impressed when he coached Dickerson with the Juice All-Stars recently in the iS8/Nike Spring League. Dickerson was finishing around the hoop, holding onto rebounds that previously would’ve escaped his grasp and getting up and down the court quicker.
“He got better, he got more lift in his legs, he got stronger,” Morton said. “He got a better feel for the game.”
As for Dickerson’s choice, Morton thinks it was a no-brainer.
“The coach is a pro coach and that’s any kid’s dream, to go the NBA,” Morton said. “Starting right there, it’s a great decision.”