Greensboro (N.C.) Greensboro Day four-star shooting guard John Newman has committed to Clemson, he announced on Friday evening via social media.
Newman (6-4, 180) chose the Tigers over offers from Georgia Tech, Providence, Virginia and Wake Forest among others.
The highly regarded prospect is coming off of an official visit to Clemson this week. He is Clemson’s first commit in the class of 2018.
“Everyone there is genuine,” Newman said in a recent interview with The Clemson Insider. “They genuinely care about you. A lot of times when you’re an athlete, people just look at you as an athlete. But I feel like at Clemson it’s a different feel. I feel like people want to genuinely get to know you for the person that you are instead of just a basketball player. I feel everyone’s close and everyone really cares about each other.”
Clemson offered Newman, the son of former James Madison forward John Newman, last August. He also had offers Boston College, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Georgia Tech, James Madison, Old Dominion, Providence and Virginia.
The Tigers have made Newman a priority in this recruiting cycle, and his relationship with Clemson assistant Dick Bender was a big factor in his decision. Bender, Clemson’s director of men’s basketball operations from 2010-14, recruited Newman while at the College of Charleston from 2014-16 and became his primary recruiter after returning to Clemson last summer.
“Once coach Bender came back to Clemson, he was my main recruiter because I’d always talked to him when he was at the College of Charleston,” Newman said. “He knew he didn’t really have a chance of getting me to College of Charleston, but I always spoke with him and kept it cool with him, so once he got there he knew that I was a player that he wanted. Our relationship kind of just carried over.”
Newman, an excellent defender, has been an all-state selection in each of the past two seasons. As a junior last season, he averaged 11.8 points per game for a Greensboro Day team that had a 34-4 overall record and won the NCISAA Class 3-A state title.
He is ranked by 247Sports as the No. 6 prospect in North Carolina, No. 28 point guard nationally and No. 124 prospect regardless of position.
“The thing I’ve heard is I can help immediately because I have a defensive edge and that’s something that (Clemson is) missing right now,” Newman said. “I’m also a two-way player that can score. I’m not that aggressive on the offensive end, so I can play with other good players and find them shots, and I can find shots within myself. I’m a long wing defender who can run the floor and push it out on the break and score the ball. So, they like that about me.”