Aaron Spears

At 6-foot-10 inches, 256- pound junior, Aaron Spears is a behemoth on the court. Personally recruited by St. John’s coach Norm Roberts, Spears will more than likely emerge as an asset to the men’s basketball team.

Spears was recruited from Highland Community College, in his hometown of Chicago, Ill., where he averaged 10 points and 10 rebounds per game during the 2004-05 season.

He helped the Cougars to a 35-3 record and a No. 5 ranking in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA).

Spears’ talent was evident early in his career.

While attending Dunbar High School in Chicago, Spears averaged 28 points and 13 rebounds per game during his senior year (2001-2002).

Roberts became acquainted with Spears when he recruited him during his days as assistant coach under Bill Self at the University of Illinois.

“I recruited him and I knew what he could do on the inside for us,” Roberts said. “I knew he fit how we play, so I feel it was important that we get a player like him.”

Although Spears can play both forward and center, he is expected to be the inside man for the Red Storm, making his presence known on the court to the opposing teams.

Describing himself as aggressive on the court, his size will make a difference to the team affecting the roles of the other players.

During the summer, Spears underwent Roberts’ trademark conditioning program, otherwise known to the players as “boot camp.”

“Coach has had us in boot camp for a couple of weeks and that’s helped me out a lot,” Spears said. “I feel like I’m in good shape now.”

Spears is expected to assist forward Lamont Hamilton in the paint.

“Lamont Hamilton will not have to bang inside all night long,” Roberts said. “He’ll have somebody else with him.”

Spears realizes what he can offer to the Red Storm, “being the guy with an inside presence playing defense, rebounding, doing whatever the coach asks me to do.”

He also acknowledges that his size alone is not going to guarantee success inside the paint.

“I think the other centers in the Big East are really good,” the junior said. “But I’m a lot older than some of the other guys, and I think that will make a big difference.”

As far as Spears blending in to an established team without becoming an outsider, Roberts feels that certain aspects of his personality will aid in Spears’ transition.

“Aaron has a great personality,” Roberts said. “He’s funny and the guys like being around him.”

Hamilton added, “We’re like brothers.”