By Joseph Staszewski
Jordan Agustus’ long and close relationship with St. John’s will continue.
The St. Mary’s (Manhasset) senior forward and Flushing resident verbally committed to play for St. John’s and women’s basketball coach Joe Tartamella last week. Agustus chose the Red Storm over Rutgers, Miami and South Carolina. Tartamella and St. John’s began recruiting Agustus in the eighth grade. She credited him with watching her grow as a player and a person. That familiarity, comfort and trust was something Agustus could not turn her back on.
“I’ve had a strong bond with the coach over the years,” she said. “He was always there from the start and never gave up on me.”
The 6-foot-1 Agustus believed at first she would like to go away from home for college, but she is happy to stay close at a program that has proved how much they wanted her over the years. She and NYC Heat travel ball coach Kevin White think she will fit well in the Red Storm’s up-tempo system at the small forward spot.
“I like the way they play fast and run a lot,” Agustus said. “I just have to get into the rhythm of that. They fast break and I am use to that.”
The sky is the limit for the level of play she could develop into. Agustus’ strength and superior skills in the paint could also allow her to be an undersized power forward. She spent the summer working to improve her jump shot and defending guards on the perimeter. White calls her “enormously gifted” and has seen new dedication to improving her game from her.
“She can be potentially fantastic,” White said. “It is all going to come down to how much Jordan wants it, and I think she wants it a lot ,and how hard Jordan is going to work.”
Agustus joins a St. John’s program that has been to five straight NCAA tournaments and reached the Big East title game last season. But before she heads to Queens, Agustus has her mind set on leading a talented St. Mary’s team to a CHSAA Class AA state title and trip to Albany for the state Federation tournament.
She averaged 15.3 points and 9.1 rebounds per contest last year and poured in 29 points to lead St. Mary’s to a 66-59 win over rival St. Anthony’s in the diocesan title game.
“It takes a lot off your shoulders and you can focus on the team,” Agustus said. “We want to win a championship and go further this year.”
She won’t have to go far when her career concludes, however.