Recruit Ponds shines at MSG

Troy Mauriello, Assistant Sports Editor

If future St. John’s guard Shamorie Ponds’ performance at Madison Square Garden on Saturday was any indication of how he’ll play in big games during his collegiate career, the Red Storm could have a bright future in store.

The four-star recruit, who currently attends Thomas Jefferson High School in Brooklyn, dropped in 31 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and had six steals and five assists to lead his team to a public school city championship at The Garden over the weekend.

This stellar performance came with Red Storm coaches Chris Mullin, Barry Rohrssen and Matt Abdelmassih sitting courtside to check out their future standout.

Ponds noted postgame that their presence did make him a little anxious at first, but he eventually settled into things, scoring 17 of his 31 points in the fourth quarter.

“To start the game, I was kind of nervous,” he said. “But, as the game flowed, the nerves and jitters got out, and I just played my game.”

A few hours after Ponds and his Thomas Jefferson teammates took home the city championship, Seton Hall, led by a core group of former New York City high school standouts, took home the Big East championship.

Ponds told reporters after the game that he hopes to be in that same position on that same Madison Square Garden court with his Red Storm teammates, this time next year.

“Going into next year, watching Seton Hall, I just want to come and do the same thing…do even better,” he said.

Whether or not Ponds can deliver on those lofty goals remains to be seen, but one thing that’s certain is the fact that he’ll receive nothing but support from Red Storm fans heading into his freshman season.

With former Christ the King star Rawle Alkins committing to Arizona last week, Ponds is now the face of Chris Mullin’s first recruiting class at St. John’s. Red Storm fans have made sure to let him know that on social media.

“It’s pretty cool, I appreciate all of the love that everybody’s been giving me,” he said in a press conference on March 10.

Ponds will head a recruiting class coming in to St. John’s last year that is currently ranked first in the Big East by “247Sports.” He is currently joined by fellow four-star prospects Bashir Ahmed, a junior college transfer, and Richard Freudenberg, a German small forward.